I was invited to eat at The Bake, or Al Baik as it was formerly known, a while ago for a friend’s birthday. I looked at their Facebook page and decided I didn’t want to spend my Friday evening eating chicken and chips in Byker and met them later on for drinks instead. Mr. Canny and I have recently spent all of our free time sorting ahead of a move to our new house for the arrival of Canny Baby, which hasn’t given us many opportunities for eating out. We needed to find somewhere ‘low key’ for food which may not have minded us smelling of bleach and wearing trackie bottoms and opted for this eatery, which is not far from the Ouseburn area of Toon.
My friends had been positive about their visit, so I had reasonable expectations for The Bake. We didn’t book a table in advance and were able to turn up on spec. Not wanting anything too elaborate, and having craved a Parmesan since an Instagrammer posted a photo of theirs from another establishment, I decided that was what I was going to have. Mr. Canny picked a Shish Kebab and, knowing that we were returning to disassemble flat pack furniture when we were finished, opted not to have anything other than the bread it was served with to avoid a mid-afternoon carb slump.
The restaurant was surprisingly busy for the location and the time of day, which was encouraging. We jealously looked on as platters of charcoaled meat and pillows of bread were ferried to other tables. I had chosen to sit right in front of the kitchen to watch them prepare the food, which is something you don’t often get the opportunity to do. An army of workers busied themselves serving bowl after bowl of hummus, which even looked good to a non-chickpea lover like me.
We whetted our appetite with a Mango Lassi, which Mr. Canny remarked was a bit of a weird inclusion on a Lebanese menu. I didn’t care as I’m limited in soft drink options normally, and it made a nice change to water. I felt the meal probably should be accompanied by beer, but that isn’t going to happen for me any time soon.
The Parmo was decent, although I felt the ends were a bit too ‘crisp’ for my liking. Mr. Canny helpfully ate those for me. Compared to the one Jnr had at Man vs Food a little while ago The Bake’s affair was head and shoulders above it.
The Shish seemed a bit measly in comparison to my main based on the price, but I’m assured that quality over quantity prevailed. He chose to round his meal off with a coffee, which was served with some Baklava. The Baklava was super good, although I only managed a few bites as I was stuffed with everything I’d managed to pack away during our visit. Good job I’m eating for two!
The Bake is a delightfully cheap and cheerful place to eat, but make sure you’re ravenous to fully appreciate all they have to offer. We’ve vowed to return for the mezze and pastries we saw being served to other patrons. I’m pleased I put my snobbery aside to visit this gem in Byker, and would recommend others do the same. Just don’t expect anything refined and you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading,