Possibly one of the most famous and definitely popular food events which occurs in Newcastle upon Tyne is NE1’s Restaurant Week. Traditionally organised twice a year in January and August I am more than delighted to hear that Restaurant Week is back. Starting on August 6th and ending August 12th. Due to an increase in demand from the Newcastle restaurants during this time, more and more businesses have wanted to get involved. In 2018 the number of dining experiences include 100 restaurants and eateries meaning there is something for everyone.
From the finest North East cuisine to some of the most loved independent restaurants, the Restaurant Week offer is as follows; 2 or 3 courses for either £10 or £15 depending on the place you choose to dine. With this amazing offer in mind and Newcastle food bloggers having the time of their life (all in one week) I thought I would pick out my top picks for dining this August.
For the adventurous diners: Wafi Lounge 3 courses for £10 (Traditional Lebanese)
Starters: There are 10 options on the starter list which is fantastic as most restaurants during this week only offer two or three. I would choose either the Falafel – Deep fried bean & fine herb croquette or Batata Harra & Fried Vegetables – Cubes of potatoes sautéed with garlic, coriander, sweet pepper & chilli.
Mains: Even more choices here so perhaps dine with a group so you can all taste a bit of everything. My picks would be between the Kofta Meshwi – a Charcoal-grilled skewer of seasoned minced lamb with onion & parsley, the Kofta Kosh Khash – a Charcoal-grilled skewer of minced lamb served on a bed of spicy sauce, the Biryani Chicken – Chicken, mixed peppers & onion, mixed with rice, served with a cucumber salad or Seabass marinated in Lebanese spices – Served with salad or chips. This final dish includes a £1.50 extra charge which in my opinion is absolutely nothing especially when you are getting three courses for £10!
Desserts: Very little choice here of either the Baklawa (a sweet pastry layered and filled with nuts, honey or nuts) or the Mhalbeh (milk based pudding with some resemblance to rice pudding)
For the local and independent supporters: Lola Jeans 3 courses for £15 (BBQ, American and English style)
Starters: A choice between 5 dishes, some vegetarian and some for meat lovers. My order would be either Salt & Pepper Calamari, Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls or Cup of Championship Chilli (because this one sounds like a challenge).
Mains: The main event is a highlight for me when it comes to Lola Jeans. My go-to meal would be the Steak Platter which is Prime bistro cut of rump steak perfectly seasoned and cooked to your liking. Served with triple cooked chips, salad, warm pittas and Lola Jeans’ very own steak sauce. Sounds incredible right? If I am feeling a bit more adventurous I might try the Buffalo Soldier Boneless buttermilk chicken tossed in Louisiana hot sauce served with blue cheese mayo & shredded iceberg…erm 100% my cup of tea! Or the Baja Fish Tacos (Tempura cod fillet served in soft tortillas with fresh homemade salsa, crisp iceberg and Baja sauce)
Dessert: Unfortunately a bit of a let down here from LJ. Only one option which is the Warm chocolate brownie and clotted cream ice cream. Of course I do love brownie but I might not be feeling that after some heavy and very filling food and what about catering for allergies? I presume you could ask for something else free of charge?
Making room for the newbies: Antler 2 courses for £10 at lunch or 2 courses for £15 at dinner (Bavarian cuisine- think Austria or Switzerland)
Starters: So only four choices up for grabs this time. Camembert lovers you’re in for a treat here, if you aren’t a cheese person like me maybe opt for the House Terrine which includes toasted sourdough and pickles or Bavarian Ham & Cheese Fritters – Minced Bavarian ham bound with cheese béchamel served with, sour cream and chive sauce.
Mains: First time dining in Bavarian? Maybe try something simple like the Jaeger Schnitzel Breaded Escalope which is topped with a creamy mushroom sauce and served with fries and sauerkraut. Want to get down and dirty with the Swiss go for the grilled sausage served either Bratwurst (plain), Currywurst (spicy ketchup) or Bockwurst (mustard) all with paprika-salt fries.
Desserts: The final course this time is a choice between traditional Apple strudel, Black forest delice with cherries and cream, Traditional German cheesecake with fresh fruit compote or Profiteroles.
One for the animal lovers: The Bohemian 3 courses for £15 (all dishes are Vegan)
Starters: 5 amazing starters are listed on this menu. Admitedly I don’t think I have ever had a full vegan meal so The Bohemian would be the perfect place to begin. My choice for a starter would be either Caramelised red onion & mozzarella flatbread or the Miso & Macadamia nut mozzarella caprese, with tomato and basil pesto. This restaurant is so with the times that it even offers vegan food which is gluten free too!
Mains: A dinner without meat? When it sounds this good I would choose vegan every time.
BFC Burger – Boho Fried ‘Chickun’ burger, with ‘bacun’ cheese. Sounds a bit like a normal burger but you are wrong! This beaut burg comes with special sauce, lettuce, all in a toasted bun, served with beer battered onion rings, fries, coleslaw, and a garlic mayo dip. My other option would be the Thai Bowl- a salad bowl with a mix of spinach, edamame beans, glass noodles, red cabbage, carrots, Thai curry marinated soy pieces and stay sauce. What a mouthful (literally).
Desserts: Banoffee pie, Baileys chocolate pot with chocolate chip shortbread or lemon and raspberry cheese cake. All vegan friendly ingredients don’t you worry.
Honestly I think I will be spending so much money when it comes to NE1 restaurant week. There are so many more options on offer and so many different styles of cuisines even some fab options for kids too. Important tip here is to check when the offers are available throughout the week as some are only lunchtime and some are only certain days of the week. Other than that eat till your heart is content and fill you’re Geordie boots.