Sunderland DJs to bring the party to new Factory Kitchen gin garden + brunch review
It may be more gritty than pretty, but Ouseburn’s post industrial offering gives it a charm that sets it apart from other Newcastle neighbourhoods.
Once a hive of industrial activity, the area is now a hub of culture that’s given way to a string of independent cafes and restaurants you won’t find in the more chain-heavy city centre.
The Biscuit Factory is something of a poster boy for the rebirth of the area: a former Victorian biscuit manufacturing warehouse, it now houses an independent gallery which supports local artists, cafe and Artisan restaurant.
After a visit to the recent, and brilliantly bonkers, exhibition by Jim Moir, aka Vic Reeves, we tried out the brunch offering at The Factory Kitchen Cafe.
The sun had its hat on, for once, and its large terrace, complete with pansy window boxes and trailing foliage, was the perfect place to look out over Ouseburn’s street art. But there’s plenty of covers inside for the more common rainy days.
As it’s only open for brunch, lunch and coffee breaks, the menu is concise but has a palate-pleasing choice for brunch lovers with options such as grilled cheese sandwich (£7), homemade smoky baked beans on sourdough (£6) and Moroccan baked eggs (£8) with many dishes using ingredients from the gallery’s doorstep, such as Ouseburn Farm. Vegan and veggie options, however, are limited compared to other places in Ouseburn.
In keeping with the laid-back atmosphere, you order at the counter and I went for the eggs Benedict (£7.50). As it’s a prime spot on a sunny Sunday, with people of all ages, it was starting to fill up but our orders arrived in a timely fashion.
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It’s a dish I’ve had countless times, but the Parma ham, instead of English ham, added a richer texture and they hadn’t gone too heavy on the Hollandaise which meant it added to, and didn’t drown, the lighter flavours.
Coffee competition is pretty fierce in this corner of the city, with dozens of independent places to choose from, but the flat white (£2.60) I ordered held its own with a good flavour and a touch of barista art on the top.
The cafe has an alcohol licence for those after a stiffer drink, with a bottle of Prosecco for £21 and a can of Northern Monk Eternal IPA costing £3.75.
As an added draw, from this weekend, Sunday June 16, DJs from Sunderland collective Deja Brew will be performing on the terrace for a new pop-up gin bar.
A collaboration with Northumberland-based Hepple Spirits, Sloe Sundays will run until the end of August, with the café serving specially created gin cocktails from a bar on the urban terrace.
Cocktails will include the Long Sloe Summer, a fresh and light cocktail combining gin with sherry and tonic water, inspired by the flavour of the Hepple Sloe and Hawthorn Gin.
The café’s all-day brunch menu will be available to the tune of jazz and soul and Latin on the decks from Deja Brew lads who will be performing this Sunday from noon until 4pm.