A Tyneside entrepreneur is hoping to bring food fusion to Newcastle’s West end following the launch of his new eaterie.
Uncle T’s café will serve English cuisine during the day and South Indian food during the evening.
The man behind the project Asif Shariff told me: “When people want Indian food, they will either travel to Yorkshire or Scotland and miss the North-East. By creating Uncle T’s, I want to make sure the North-East is also recognised for fine cuisine.
“When we first opened as a café, we had a special day when we offered Sunday dinners for only £1 – people were queuing round the block to try our food. It was fantastic.
“To be honest I spotted a gap in the market as no-one else seemed to be doing what we proposed. The project has been going for around four months now and I’ve invested a lot of money into the business.
“There’s also been a recent influx of South Asian students in the area, so we thought this would be a great place for them to come to enjoy all types of food, but also get a real taste of home.
“It’s all about giving customers what they want alongside a high-quality service, which is why the whole premises has been refurbished. I’m born and bred here and can tell you Benwell is a wonderful lace to live. It has a great spirit of community, and we are well-known here. My parents came from Pakistan, but I’ve lived here all my life.
The outlet in Benwell’s Adelaide Terrace will provide 100 per cent halal food involving breakfasts, lunches, Sunday dinners, sandwiches hot and cold and large selection of VIP cakes and desserts to go along with South Indian food of course. It can be best described as a fusion of delicious foods offering a mouth-watering adventure for the senses.
There are daily specials, samosa’s, jacket potatoes, pies, soup, panini’s, curries and much more for customers to enjoy. They also boast ‘the best coffee in Benwell’.
The business was recently given a five-star hygiene rating and prides itself on being welcoming, while at the same time offering a sociable and vibrant experience. Asif has four staff at present but hopes to expand very soon employing local people. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see them selling South Asian Foods.
The 49-year-old dad of four added: “We’re passionate about providing delicious and high-quality food, our priority is to satisfy all our customer’s needs – we offer a variety of excellent food, prepared with the freshest and finest ingredients, to the highest standard. Our Takeaway offers delicious food at competitive prices, and we deliver as well.
“We open at 7.30 in the morning and go through until 2.30 in the afternoon when we close and change the staff over. The rest of the day until 11 at night is given over to fast food. In other words, there’s something for everyone.”
As for the name it’s the custom for young people in Pakistan to call an elder uncle. Asif explained his brother Trevor had been a business partner and the café was named after him Hence, Uncle T’s café.
One happy customer revealed on facebook: “Yesterday, we tried Uncle T’s Cafe for the first time. This is local to us and we had heard really good things from others in the community about their Sunday dinners.
“The food was great quality for the price you are paying – the beef and chicken dinners were £4 and the lamb was £5. Both meats tasted really good, they came with vegetables – cabbage, peas, carrots along with roasties, homemade Yorkshire’s, mash and stuffing.
“The gravy was proper meat gravy which made it even better and comes in a separate container which you get a great amount, which I’d say is more than enough. They do have a breakfast menu, a range of sandwiches and other meals on the menu too.”
Asif told Asian Standard a contingent of students from the South Asian community arrived at the café during its launch, with many other visitors across the weekend.
www.uncletscafeonline.com for more information