Four letters. Two syllables. One gorgeous cafe (and an endless number of delicious bites and splendid evenings).
Omni Cafe is the Monkseaton kingpin of great food and good times. Omni is truly one of our absolute favourite North East spots and well worth the drive seaward if you are based further inland. If you’re local to the sweeping sands of the coast then, well, we’re jealous. If we lived closer we have to admit, we’d probably never be out the door.
True to the Southeast Asian food cultures they honour in their creations, the ingredients are crisp and the tastes pack a punch. Sweet, sour, citrus, salt. It’s all happening on your plate and we promise you, you’ll love it.
Omni is a family owned and orientated cafe-cum-restaurant. Step over the threshold on the corner of Monkseaton Front Street and you are immediately submerged within the cosy and welcoming atmosphere of this special little spot. An incredibly vast number of lush, healthy houseplants tumble down from the shelves that run around the top of the interior walls, as voluptuous spider-plants hang in suspension from the ceiling, their little “babies” jostling for a look at what’s a-happening beneath.
Well, what’s a-happening is, indeed, all very delicious and exceptionally wholesome. Omni opens its doors to the public from 10am onwards, with a morning, lunch and dinner service. Pre-midday you can enjoy delicious coffees, loose leaf teas and fresh bakes, as well as a selection of sourdough brekkie sarnies.
For us, lunch time onwards is truly where it’s at though, as the food here is absolutely second to none. It’s difficult to adequately convey the complexities and subtleties of Omni’s flavour combinations, but if we had to describe their stuff in one word we would probably opt for fresh. True to the Southeast Asian food cultures they honour in their creations, the ingredients are crisp and the tastes pack a punch. Sweet, sour, citrus, salt. It’s all happening on your plate and we promise you, you’ll love it.
Personally, we’re crazy for the crispy fried squid (see above), which we’ve enjoyed previously as both as part of a salad and as a standalone side. Look at it, just look at that vibrancy. Pure joy on a plate. What’s more, it’s a brilliant spot for veggies, pescies and carnies alike, with something for everyone. I’m a tofu lover myself, and enjoy nothing more than opting for their crispy soy-based delights whenever I can (no bland tofu here, that’s for sure), but I’ve heard their beef shin and peanut curry is a slammer, too. Cooked for 12 hours, no less.
In the mood for a beverage whilst you’re at it? The lovely staff behind the counter serve up a selection of punchy cocktails and long drinks, too. Their gin and tonics (see right) are, truly, an exquisite accompaniment to their sumptuous, fresh food. Plus, if you manage to avoid the urge to truly stuff your face, we urgently recommend that you round your meal off with an infamous Di Meo’s ice cream. Your dairy dose, at this special spot, comes topped with your choice of peanuts and caramel, espresso or (wait for it) Spanish sherry. Killer.
If you’re interested, Omni also host regular “supperclubs”, wherein their talented chefs get creative and come up with a surprise menu of special dishes to unveil on the highly anticipated evening itself. We’ve yet to attend one of these marvellous occasions, but we’re looking into it, we can tell you that much. So, why not make a reservation for your next lunchtime soiree or perhaps a cosy, evening date with a loved one? You’d be mad not to give this place a try.
Head to Omni Cafe’s website to read more about their wonderful backstory, check out their menus or to make a reservation. Go on, we know you’re hungry.