Island Images is now closed. Matt and Cat have updated their review of Island Images at the request of one of the staff. Has...

Island Images is now closed.

Matt and Cat have updated their review of Island Images at the request of one of the staff. Has the place changed? Read their conclusions below. The original review follows on.

Matt and Cat eat out. A lot. See this excerpt from Matt and Cat’s diary for the past week: “28 July: Balti King. 29 July: lunch at Island Images. 30 July: dinner at Olivo, Ryde. 31 July: Dinner take away from Corries Cabin, Ryde“.

Beef, mushroom and Stilton ciabatta

How they find time to do their day jobs, eat out and then post interesting and witty reviews on this popular website is anyone’s guess. However, they manage to squeeze it all in!

As explained on this week’s earlier post, the Woodman Arms, Matt and Cat will sometimes update their review if it is old, inaccurate or if the place was worth a second go. This Easter, an email from ‘Craig’ arrived in the Matt and Cat in-box. In it he appealed to the reviewers to revisit his place of work, Island Images, as he was sure “a lot has changed since you were last there and would be surprised if your feedback wasnt better after visiting again?”. Happy to oblige, Cat scheduled a lunchtime gossip with two chums to check out the changes…

…she eviscerated the sarnie and scraped out the protein – confirming that there was a good pile of beef and cheese plus mushrooms.

Island Images was certainly pretty busy on the day that Cat and friends visited. The Cat and The Doctor arrived in time to get the last free table at the back of the shop; a shame to be away from the glorious picture windows with a view of their scurrying colleagues and shuffling non-workers. However, as it was a rare warm day, Island Images staff had thoughtfully opened the rear door which let in a welcome breeze. At regular intervals, Cat and friend were asked if they were ready to order. The service was enthusiastic and it seemed a shame to keep turning the keen waitress away as the duo waited for their missing friend.

Baked potato and tuna

Once all three were in position, the menu studied and decisions made, the waitress came back and took their orders. Cat, expecting a wholesale transformation of the place, was surprised to find that the interior, proprietor and furniture were exactly the same as in 2007. She looked askance at the bill of fare. Having examined the photos that she and Matt had taken on their last visit, it was clear that it was even the same menu. Deciding to test the theory that there had been a lot of changes, Cat selected the very same dish that Matt had chosen eighteen months previously: roast beef, fried mushrooms and Stilton ciabatta. Her companions had a brace of baked potatoes between them – tuna in one and cheese and beans in t’other.

Matt and Cat light

Cat asked the waitress for guidance about the choice of drinks, imagining that there would be a ‘deli’ range of smoothies and local fruit juices. Cat was directed to a fridge which seemed to be mostly full of coke and derivatives. She chose a box of apple juice and was thankful it was poured into a glass so that she didn’t have to slurp it up through the tiny straw.

Cat’s bill
Beef, Stilton &
mushroom ciabatta £4.95
Apple juice 80p

The staff must have been used to processing such a capacity lunchtime crowd. They also seemed old hands; there was much interaction and general chat – very friendly. The food was delivered pretty quickly too. Cat’s ciabatta had a sizeable doorstop of roast beef in it, down which oozed the Stilton. The salad had a good variety of ingredients including red pepper and the same little ramekin of olives that Matt had enjoyed the first time around. It was all certainly very nice, in fact there was a bit too much ciabatta for Cat, so she eviscerated the sarnie and scraped out the protein – confirming that there was a good pile of beef and cheese plus mushrooms. The other gals seemed to enjoy their potatoes. Again, these came with a tasty-looking side salad although Cat was the only one of the triumvirate to get olives. Mouthfuls of tasty food were shovelled into eager, pouting cake-holes in between snippets of salacious news. However, the gossip was more ‘Fumbles in a County Town’ than ‘Sex and the City’.

Island Images is well-placed to catch the County Hall crowd – particularly now the council’s snack bar has been decommissioned. It’s a popular place, serving a good selection of hot and cold snacks and an excellent range of specials. Despite Craig’s assertions, it didn’t seem to have changed at all since Matt and Cat’s first visit. However, that wasn’t not a problem as they liked it first time around. In fact it underlines the consistency of the grub, service and venue – there’s been no deterioration since 2007. And, just to make sure that their judgement was correct, Matt and Cat went there again a week after Cat’s visit. On this follow-up attendance, The Cat had scrambled egg and mushrooms on toast and a hefty amount of tea was also drunk. Once again, the food and service were great. So Craig, thanks for shining the Matt and Cat light into the sky, they were happy to confirm that you still work in a nice place with consistent service and chow.

Original review posted 2 December 2007

Beef, mushroom and Stilton ciabatta

The recently refurbished Island Images cafe and deli is a spacious establishment in Newport’s lower High Street, just a few steps away from the teeming administrative ant farm that is County Hall.

Meeting in town between sundry appointments, Matt and Cat darted into this conveniently-located venue for a quick snack. Cat had already eaten, but Matt, delayed on some errand, was in search of a decent lunch, and quickly.

According to the blurb on the menu, the cafe is associated with Sea Breeze Cafe in East Cowes, which Matt and Cat found most agreeable. Island Images is immaculately clean, even Spartan in its appearance; hardly cosy, but on the other hand there’s plenty of room to stretch out. Matt and Cat were greeted and seated, which was a nice touch.

Matt looked with interest at the tempting menu, featuring the usual baguettes, sandwiches and panini of lunchtime take-outs, and a few keenly priced specials on the board. There was also a chiller with an array of spectacular looking cakes. After some consideration Matthew gave the order for a cup of tea and the appetising roast beef panini with mushrooms and stilton. Cat chose to keep him company with a foaming cappuccino. The drinks arrived almost immediately.

Despite being freshly cooked, it wasn’t long before Matt’s food arrived, and it looked great. A hot and crispy panino contained a generous filling, and was served with plenty of fresh salad, a tasty salad dressing and even a little pot with some splendid olives. An unusual and enjoyable touch. It was every bit as tasty as it looked.

Unfortunately Matt and Cat did not have time to peruse the complimentary newspapers or try one of the scrummy-looking cakes; they soon re-entered the bustle of Newport High Street feeling refreshed. Its austere interior and hard chairs make Island Images a good venue for a quick lunchtime light bite – possibly designed for a quick turn-over of punters.

Island Images is now closed.