With folk visiting from overseas the Canny Food family have to up the ante when it comes to eating out. Having expanded from its location tucked away near Elvet Bridge into a building full of quirky architectural features, Flat White Kitchen seemed like a great place to go for lunch on our way to Durham Cathedral. My first visit a few months ago was brief due to the constant stream of coffee-lovers out the door, which we thankfully managed to avoid this time round.
The café’s decor is traditional yet modern, consisting of robust wooden tables and stools set against white-washed walls. The daffodils on the tables added a cheery splash of colour alongside the plants on the window sills. There was a mix of folk either catching up over lattes or working on their Macbooks.
Shaun Hurrell, who’s previous gigs include Head Chef at St. Marys Inn, pop-up dining experience Trial Shift and some London-based Michelin starred restaurants, is the man behind the menu. There aren’t a huge amount of options – breakfast items such as the ubiquitous Avocado on Toast, Pancakes and Salt Beef Hash, light lunches like salads and sandwiches, and a display cabinet full of cakes – but that’s ok. We weren’t looking for War and Peace, just as long as there was something Mr. Canny could eat.
We started off with a London Fog – an Earl Grey Latte made with soy milk especially for the vegan. This was like drinking a warm marshmallow in a glass on account of the vanilla shot. Delicious. Our guest sipped on their fruity Orange, Ginger and Carrot Juice, while I had Soda Folk Cream Soda.I ordered a Grilled Cheese Sandwich (£6.45), which was served on sourdough bread with pink pickled onions. I especially liked the chipotle and red cabbage slaw on the side. Mr. Canny had the Superfood Salad (£9.95), which was a mix of quinoa, tahini, beets, avocado and black rice. It tasted healthy and fresh compared to my Swiss and Cheddar cheese fest.Our friend, who is a meat eater, ordered their Brick Lane Bagel (£6.95) which also came with the slaw accompaniment. This toasted bagel was topped with salted beef brisket and pickles, London-style as the name suggests.
Judging by the food we ate their popularity is a tribute to the pared back but tasty menu on offer and the ambiance of Flat White. Not your run of the mill coffee shop, that’s for sure! We found the staff were willing to talk about the food on offer and advise on what was suitable for us to eat. They were also friendly and welcoming, which isn’t always a given in some of the cafes we’ve eaten in of late. Our lunch was definitely a success and don’t be deterred if there’s a queue – it’s well worth the wait.
Thanks for reading,
Note: Due to the age of the building accessibility is an issue if you have a buggy, but there are baby change facilities.
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