OMNI is a neighbourhood cafe in Monkseaton, not far from the metro station. Serving Asian inspired tapas in a laid back and relaxed environment, it's exactly the sort of place I wish we had in my home town of Cramlington. We received a warm welcome and found a snug table for 2. The cafe is cosy with low lighting, flickering candles, scatter cushions, fairy lights, a projector playing old movies and a soundtrack playing an eclectic mix featuring everything from Bob Marley to the Beatles.
When it comes to Tapas, we always over-order. We decided on 4 small plates and 3 side dishes but think that dropping down to 3 small plates and 2 side dishes would have been enough. I am not sure which dish we would leave out though! We spent £48 but this includes 2 beers (£3.80 each) and think this was money well spent. You could easily dine here for £20 a head and leave happy.
The Thai Green Curry was homemade and deliciously creamy and served with tender chicken, bean sprouts and mange tout. It had a good kick to it too and I'm always happy when cafe's aren't scared to add a bit of spice. There was plenty of it too and it's the perfect dish for a cold winter's night. We ordered a side of Jasmine rice to accompany.
As a rule, if squid's on a menu, we'll order it. Omni's is good - served again on the spicy side with a wedge of lime and sweet dipping sauce, the portion was again very good value. I usually think restaurants scrimp on portions when it comes to squid so I'm pleased that wasn't the case here. It was still the first dish we finished though.
We went for spicy fries (can you see a theme here) as one of our side dish and oh my they were SO moreish! We couldn't get enough and I loved the spicy/mild dipping sauce they were served with.
The Steamed Pork Dumplings were a complete contrast to the rest of our dishes. The soy, sesame and spring onion dressing was nice and delicate and the dumplings were light and elegant. I only wish there were more! After enjoying some homemade crab dumplings at the Hoopers' house earlier in the weekend, they seemed pretty easy to make and we're going to attempt (by we, I mean Steve) to make our own soon taking inspiration from this dish. Watch this space!
The side of Asian slaw was possibly my favourite dish. It was zingy and fresh with lots of lime and sesame. It's the sort of food I love.
Our final dish was slow cooked belly pork in a honey, soy and sesame sauce. Steve's favourite dish and a close second for me. The sauce was sticky and rich and I couldn't help dipping my fries in. The pork was beautifully tender and I was surprised to see a few pieces of crisp crackling in there too. YUM!
The staff were ever so lovely at Omni and if you're looking for a chilled out date night with no fuss and good food, I would highly recommend. We'll definitely be heading back for brunch at the beginning of next year and their cake counter looked very tempting too! For those with dietary requirements, they have special menus too which is nice to see.
Omni's daytime menu is served 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday and their evening menu is served 5pm-8pm Tuesday-Saturday. Closed Sundays & Mondays. Find out more via Omni's website here.
Disclosure | We paid for our own food and drinks
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