Sunday, 7 September 2014

Restaurant Review: The Butterfly Cabinet, Heaton

In these times of ferment and flux, it's comforting to find something that hasn't really changed in years. Not in the interests of nostalgia, but actually to negate the need for it; when you find something, years later, just as you left it then there's no need to pine for the past. Which brings us to a seriously decent brunch in Heaton.

The Butterfly Cabinet, or Belle and Herbs as it was then, was just round the corner from a house we lived in as students. Many an ill-gotten hangover was salved by massive plates of breakfast washed down with well made milkshakes, smoothies and coffee. But the last time I'd stood and queued - always a queue! - on Heaton Road was god knows how many years ago.

I've no idea what led to the change of name, or whether it's the same people behind the place. Inside, it looks much as it ever did, all mis-matched furniture, quirk and trinkets. The menu is still full of breakfast and brunch standards; fry-ups jostle for attention with eggs benedict, pancakes, omelettes et al. Now as then I hummed and ha'd before plumping for the American breakfast.

And really, can you blame me? Just look at that. Four fluffy buttermilk pancakes, pork in two of its finer guises and hash browns, all to be drenched in maple syrup. With decent ingredients and solid cooking as here, this comes as close as makes no difference to my idea of the perfect thing to eat at about 11am on a Sunday. Elsewhere on the table, variations of the fry-up theme were all well received.

A word on the coffee; they're clearly making the best use of the apparatus they've got in here as the end result is shit-hot. Rich and full flavour with a properly steamed microfoam of milk. Watch and learn S***bucks.

I don't plan on leaving it another 8 or so years before heading back over to Heaton for another slice of brunch, but if that were to be the case it'd be lovely to think there'll be an American breakfast and a latte with my name on it. Here's to things not changing; hurrah for familiarity, stasis and maple syrup.


The Butterfly Cabinet, 200 Heaton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5HP
0191 265 9920



  1. I'm still yet to go to the Butterfly Cabinet, I think cos the idea of standing in a line waiting to go in puts me off (god knows why, I'm British, I should love queuing!) I've thought about getting up and going early before the students are out of bed, but I'm just too lazy to get myself out of my front door in time. One day I will get there because the breakfasts look so so good!

    Chloe x

  2. They are pretty damn great. The was pretty big when we went, but moved quick.


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