I had the pleasure of checking out the newest member of Newcastle’s bar and restaurant club, Banyan. Taking over the old Jamie Italian’s near Greys monument, the Indian fig tree named restaurant follows the message of its brand meaning, spreading wide ranging aerial roots. I love the idea behind this story of building great standing foundations. This follows throughout the restaurant portrayed in their choices of food and drink supply trying to support local businesses and bring the Newcastle community together under one restaurant.
The bloggers evening took place in the private dining room on the second floor. A large oak table with blue glass flowing through the middle filled the room under the stunning white flower ceiling. Giant candles set the mood perfectly.
We started off with a rhubarb and hibiscus cocktail which was delicious. It was gin based with rhubarb-strip for decoration. Alongside we shared two of the sharing platters, one meat and one veggie. The Banyan platter included bang bang chicken skewers with satay sauce, fried baby squid, Japanese breadcrumbed Brie wedged, duck spring rolls, breadcrumbed king prawns, vegetable crudités, olives, Pitts bread and beetroot hummus. The mezze platter for the smaller price of £18.50 compared to £19.95 included, Mediterranean vegetables, hummus, falafel, pickled onions, tenderstem broccoli, olives, artichokes, watermelon, pepperoncini and pitta. My favourite were the satay chicken, warm pita with beetroot hummus and falafel balls.
For the main courses we again shared a few of the dishes. From the power bowl options we tasted the Yoga bowl which would cost £10.95. This was a mix of avocado, beetroot hummus, pickled carrots, artichokes, peppers, quinoa topped with a walnut dressing. From the Banyan skewers section of the menu we got halloumi, peppers and corn on the cob skewers which came with a warmed wrap and sweet chilli sauce, fries and watercress.
The third dish we were served included the Brie burger costing customers £13.95. A beef burger patty is stacked with soft cantered Brie wedge, caramelised onion chutney and mayo. Again served with fries and watercress. I think this was my favourite dish out of the main courses we sampled because I’m not a burger lover or even Brie but this was absolutely delicious and when I return will be ordering this incredible main course.
Smoked haddock was a close second place to the burger. For £13.95 the locally sourced fish came on a good portion of leak and potato hash, soft poached egg and creamy chive sauce. It was really tasty and great to see the menu had named Taylor’s fishmongers based in North Shields.
Throughout the main course the amazing staff at Banyan continued to bring us their favourite cocktails to compliment the food. We had another gin based one as well as a Banyan twist on the classic piña colada.
The desserts were a selection of famous locally sourced ice creams including Nutella and salted caramel. The winner for all of us I think was the Geordie S’mores. Two chocolate cookies sandwiched toasted marshmallows topped with cherry coulis and warm chocolate dipping sauce.
After this spectacular feast all the bloggers were invited over to the bar to make some cocktails. We got to try our hand at bar tending where we picked any cocktail on the menu and a bar tender guided us through the mixing process. This was really fun and great insta opportunity. In fact the whole restaurant screams Instagram opportunities not to mention the bathroom jungle themed neon sign (a must see when you visit Banyan). From neon blue lights to floral ceilings and wooden decor Banyan Newcastle has been decorated with an urban style in mind and I love it.
I totally recommend a visit for their food and drinks as it’s great value for money, something different with their meal choices and fantastic setting in a fantastic location. Banyan Newcastle will be the new hot spot this summer with the outside sitting area looking down Grey street and with the incredible staff it’s going to be a hit.