We rocked up to Aidan’s on a sunny Sunday with high expectations. This place is getting a lot of hype, so much so that they’ve recently started a successful supper club for their loyal fans. It is run by Aidan Jackson, a young graduate of Gateshead College who after working in the Newcastle restaurant scene opened his first solo venture last year. According to their Facebook page it’s his 23rd birthday today so happy birthday Aidan!
A few doors down from the excellent Harissa Kitchen in Sandyford, the people of Jesmond have cottoned on to the fact that brunch is a big deal these days.
The lovely light cafe is tastefully but simple decorated, with a big picture of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust in one corner and an open kitchen pass in the other. The counter is laden with sweet treats, which are often temptingly shared on Facebook.
We took our seats in the corner and perused the menu, which is made up of all day brunch, light bites and more substantial lunch dishes.
I decided to try out the Shaksuka, harissa tomato and pepper stew, baked eggs, greek yoghurt, feta cheese, coriander and toasted sourdough (£9) and I had to add the merguez sausages ‘cos it’s be rude not to (£2.50 supplement). The Mr went for potato hash then changed his mind and went for the Full Monty breakfast after he saw one come out of the kitchen looking incredible (2 sausages, 2 bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms, beans, 2 eggs and toast – £8). Little dude chose a pancake stack with crispy bacon and Canadian maple syrup (£7.75, half a stack is £5 but we thought he’d manage a full stack!) and we ordered some scrambled eggs on sourdough (£5) for little miss. By this point at 12.30pm on a Sunday the place was very busy and they were having to turn people away at the door so best to book like we did to avoid disappointment.
After a little wait which the lovely waitress had warned us about (15 mins, not bad at all if you ask me!) our food arrived. I was very happy with my choice, although all the dishes looked amazing.
Little dude got stuck straight into his (massive) pancakes and maple syrup, claiming they were “vewwy yummy.” Make sure you’re hungry if you order the full stack, just look at the size of them!
My shasuka was exquisite; the tomato, pepper and garlic sauce had the perfect balance of sweet and a hint of spice. I loved the fresh coriander and the creamy feta and greek yoghurt on top. The eggs were baked to perfection with lovely runny yolks. The spicy middle eastern merquez sausage had a nice kick to it, and when you add some excellent toasted San Francisco sourdough you’ve pretty much got heaven on a plate. I devoured as much as I could and it kept me full all day, it’s a properly hearty brunch dish and well worth the price.
The Mr’s full English was full of quality ingredients, big juicy sausages and thick bacon rashers, He particularly enjoyed the black pudding (£1.50 supplement, not pictured as he ordered it separately) and his only complaint was one egg had a slightly runny white, it’s always so tricky to get poached eggs just right and the other one was perfect so he wasn’t deterred.
Nice little touches at Aidan’s include a lemon-infused water dispenser that you can help yourself to, wonderful staff and excellent tunes. It’s a fantastic little place to enjoy some brunch, coffee and cake or a lovely evening at their monthly supper club. The staff are genuine, friendly and know their stuff and we left feeling very satisfied, if somewhat run ragged by our little ones!
All the best Aidan and team, keep up the good work!
We were provided with a complimentary meal for the purposes of this review, however as always the opinions expressed in this article are honest and true to experience.