On my day off last week, my sister and I decided to go out for breakfast together at The Butterfly Cabinet on Heaton Road. I honestly could not believe that I hadn’t been to, what used to be my favourite café, for over three years! It was about time I returned to agonise over one of the most mouth-watering menus in the North East, once again.
The outside of this café/restaurant/live music venue is so unassuming, you’d honestly think it was a continuation of the terraced housing Heaton is so well- known for. Even the entrance to The Butterfly Cabinet looks like the front door to somebody’s house, and not the way into Newcastle’s quirkiest breakfast emporium. Nothing had really changed since my last visit all those years ago before I moved to Durham for university, and to be honest I was really quite glad. The only thing I was pleased had changed from usual was that there wasn’t a queue leading out the door and onto the street! We were seated straightaway which was just as well, because we were absolutely starving and ready to eat a lot of breakfast.
From the ornate ceiling, unusual artwork and random stuffed gorilla sitting on a shelf, The Butterfly Cabinet is certainly very unconventional. But somehow it has a really warm, homely feel to it and it all just works! I’ve never seen the café quiet, but I don’t think that’s just because of the décor – I think the food and drink certainly have quite a bit to do with it. The Butterfly Cabinet is insta-famous amongst the students, families and young professionals of Newcastle for its huge cooked breakfasts. I’m a firm fan of the ‘build-your-own-breakfast’ option but this time I decided to try something different.
My sister and I shared two breakfasts between us: a plate of eggy bread with bacon and syrup, and banana pancakes served with a butterscotch sauce. The eggy bread and pancakes were fluffy and delicious, and the accompanying sauces were so good we could have drunk them! No need though, because we ordered two giant milkshakes to go with our breakfasts (we really went for it!) As always is the case on my visits to this Heaton café, I just couldn’t clean my plate and left feeling fit to burst despite not even making a dent in my breakfast. The value for money is pretty good too, with two of these generous breakfasts and two yummy shakes for around £20. It really is worth the money and if you come away feeling hungry I’ll eat my hat!
The Butterfly Cabinet doesn’t just serve an extensive breakfast menu. Paninis, burgers, pasta dishes, steak and cake -you name it, they’ve got it. The same goes for drinks! Never in my life have a seen such a wide-ranging iced tea menu, and general range of drinks. There’s certainly something for everyone (including those with dietary requirements) at The Butterfly Cabinet.
From hosting events and parties, to putting on gigs and serving top-notch grub – is there anything this café can’t do? One thing’s for sure, I definitely won’t be able to wait another three years to make my next visit to The Butterfly Cabinet!
Overall Rating: ****
Pro(s): Yummiest breakfast I’ve had in a long time. Great portion sizes (maybe not if you’re on a diet) which make it value for money. Quirky décor and friendly atmosphere.
Con(s): In my eyes this place does deserve a five star rating for all the reasons I’ve listed above, yet it’s tendency to get very busy and overcrowded, and the fact that many people have to queue out on the street to get a table, could be a put-off for some.