Writing about food is easy when you find somewhere to rave about. We’ve had a few let downs over the last two years of blogging, but I’ve tried to be balanced for everywhere that’s featured. The idea of the blog was to trumpet the North East food scene, and I feel we manage to do that for the most part. When you eat out as much as we do it takes a lot to impress us, but last week found a real hidden gem that deserves to be shouted about. On a day where we’d been disappointed by an independent cafe’s attitude (see our blog about Navaho Coffee which features an update after the original posting) we subsequently visited an absolute star in Newcastle’s City Centre.
Bunker Coffee and Kitchen has been open in Carliol Square since October of last year. I’m rather ashamed to say I’ve parked many times beside it and didn’t notice, even though I was following their Twitter account. Located in a basement, it also has a large event space to the rear. With an industrial style interior, I was surprised at how bright and spacious the cafe is. Each table has a glass bowl centrepiece filled with slips of paper featuring inspirational quotes. This, coupled with the chipboard fixtures and fittings, provided me and Mr. Canny with plenty to talk about while we waited for our order.
The menu is quite simple, but don’t let that put you off. Each day features new options depending on what is available seasonally and locally. The Pet Lamb girls provide cakey goodness like ‘Slutty Brownies’ which, based on the name alone, I had to try.
Catering for omnivores and vegans, the prices were also reasonable. Our two flatbread wraps filled with Beetroot, Squash and Hummus and drinks came to just £13. Speaking with the owner, I know she’s a huge advocate of ‘plant power’ like we are and provides many vegan options on the menu at no extra charge. Rather than alienating potential customers she also has items on the menu that contain meat and dairy so people can exercise freedom of choice. She said it was amazing to see customers making conscious choices about compassionate eating, as well as looking after their own bodies with the clean foods available.
Mr. Canny’s Soy Milk Chai Hot Chocolate and the Pet Lamb goodies were our highlights, although the wraps were filling and nutritious. The Slutty Brownie is a mix of their standard gooey brownie and cookie dough, coupled with a hidden Oreo for a super decadent and rather unhealthy finish to lunch. These were not dairy free, but the girls in their Grainger Market store can custom create something which is suitable for those with specific allergies. Bunker’s breakfast offering featuring Avocado on Toast and Porridge is limited for a city centre cafe as they are trying to find a chef to cover weekend breakfasts and brunches. If Bunker did a cooked breakfast I’d anticipate queues out of the door!
The cafe is conveniently located with (metered) parking outside so you could quickly nip in and grab something to take away for lunch. Free wifi and its welcoming atmosphere mean Bunker is popular with the freelance worker brigade. I can imagine popping in for a quiet lunch with Dinky through the week, or with a friend to have a relaxed catch up over coffee and brownies. I forsee many visits from the Canny Food family in the future to this fantastic addition to Newcastle’s cafe scene.
Thanks for reading,
Note: Although located in a basement there is a ramp at the back for wheelchair and pushchair access, as well as being dog-friendly.