I have never tried Asian street food before but after visiting Time Out cafe, a brand, spanking lusciously new venture, I could happily eat it every day as I'm sure I've only skimmed the surface of all the delicious flavours and new food experiences it could offer me.
Located on the first floor at 14-16 Wheelergate, we were signposted to our destination by a board outside the unobtrusive entrance. We climbed the stairs to a large, spacious cafe. A bar at the front and tables, chairs and sofas scattered here and there giving an impression of a chilled out space where people can relax and have plenty of room to themselves. They even have a sofa in one corner where you can play on the Nintendo 64 or PS 3 with loads of games to choose from. We sat at the end of the room where there is a large, wall length window looking down on the street below (the best spot in the cafe).
My companion and I weren't sure what to order as there was so much choice and we were new to this experience. We had a selection from the tapas menu after some recommendations from the manager.
My companion had Vietnamese spring rolls whilst I had the veggie ones. Forget what you know about the spring rolls in Chinese restaurants, these were a revelation. So light and tasty. The Vietnamese ones contain minced prawn and my companion couldn't stop talking about how wonderful they were.
Next came the Korean BBQ burgers, 3 mini burgers in brioche buns. Confidentially, these were my favourite. In an establishment selling Asian food I would expect burgers to be the food that customers turn to when they're looking for something familiar. But no!!! These burger were full of flavour and spice, all going together but I have no idea what went into these. The meat was really juicy and tender, and the bread was fresh. But wow, the flavours were amazing. My companion also enjoyed these so much that she had two and I only had one, hmmmmm.
Then we had the Thai Grilled pork skewers. Nice tender pork and what really livened these up was the hot and tasty dipping sauce. Bit hard to dip a skewer once you've eaten the end of it, so I poured the sauce over mine. Lovely.
By the time the chicken Karaage arrived (deep fried chicken) I was quite full and only managed a couple of pieces. Tender pieces of chicken thigh with a crispy batter and a wonderful salty, hot dip. Again it was the dip that lifted this dish from the good to the fab.
The staff were all friendly and attentive and the food arrived in a reasonably amount of time. All the food was freshly cooked to order.
I would recommend this place whether you're on a budget or not. The tapas is great for sharing and also if you want a light lunch. I looked on with jealousy as some delicious looking main meals were being served and next time I go I'll try one of these. Still all affordable though as the tapas is around £5 a dish and the main meals are around £7.
The cafe stays open until 11pm Tuesday till Saturday, so don't just go for lunch go for dinner too.........and then maybe a late night snack.
I'm starting to feel hungry just thinking about Time Out Cafe.
Tuesday – Saturday 11.30am-11pm