Tag Archives: Newcastle

Hei Hei – Newcastle upon Tyne

Hei Hei is situated at 46 Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, it’s a blink and you will miss it kind of restaurant but definitely worth looking out for.

We visited Hei Hei during happy hour which offers 1 course for £5.50 or 2 courses for £7.50, of course we opted for the 2 courses.

We arrived at Hei Hei just as it had opened for evening service meaning we were the only people in the restaurant, this soon changed and by the time we had finished our meal the restaurant was half full with diners.

I started with Crispy Wantons which were filled with minced prawns, served with sweet and sour sauce.  The Wantons were perfectly filled and cooked to perfection.  Mr Gourmand managed to steal a Wanton from me as the crispy prawn parcels proved to be too tempting to resist.

Mr Gourmand’s starter was the Hot and Sour soup which was filled to the brim with shrimp, pork, bean curd, green peas, chinese mushrooms and red chilli.  Mr Gourmand has had numerous bowls of Hot and Sour soup in various restaurants before which have all been fairly similar, he couldn’t quite put his finger on what was different about this bowl of soup.

Both of us left clean plates after our starters and Mr Gourmand admitted that his soup had filled him up more than expected.

I chose the King Prawn with Salt and Peppercorn spices for my main course, this was cooked with onions and peppers and served with a portion of fragrant steamed rice.  When I first saw the dish I was worried that it wouldn’t be filling but the amount of rice was actually deceiving and once I started eating it I soon realised that I was going to be very full.  The spices used complemented each other well and the heat was just right for my palate.

Mr Gourmand picked the Chonqin diced spring chicken with sichuan pepper and dried chilli lantern peppers.  Mr Gourmand hadn’t realised that the dish would be deep fried and was slightly worried that the dish would be very dry to eat.  The chicken was tender and moist and tasted delicious with the hot spices.  This is not a dish for the faint hearted and was actually the hottest dish on the happy hour menu.

I would not hesitate to return to Hei Hei during happy hour, if you’re ever on Dean Street in Newcastle upon Tyne between 12.00 – 2.00pm or 5.15 – 6.30pm I urge you to try it out for yourself.

Northside Diner – Newcastle

You can find the Northside Diner on the 3rd floor of Fenwick, they certainly were not stupid when they placed an american diner in the middle of the toy department!

As far as a faux American diner goes, Northside diner looks the part, the colourful booths, tall barstools and jukebox just screams diner to you, the menu has a selection of burgers, hotdogs, stacked sandwiches and milkshakes.

During my visit, I wasn’t quite hungry enough to eat a full meal so I thought a plate of nachos with salsa might fill the gap, I wasn’t expecting the monster dish that was placed in front of me!  My plate held enough food for 3 people which was amazing value for money.  I probably managed to eat a third of the food, I would have eaten more had there not been a huge amount of grated cheese lurking underneath the salsa and nacho chips, don’t get me wrong, I do like cheese but I have my limits, I couldn’t eat a block of cheese at home and my plate of nachos definitely contained what would have amounted to a whole block if packed together.

During my visit with 2 friends not one of us left a clean plate so if you have a huge appetite Northside diner might just be the place for you!

Laus 202 – Newcastle

Laus 202 is situated at 92-98 Newgate Street in Newcastle upon Tyne.  Chinese buffet restaurants are not really somewhere we would visit in Newcastle as the majority are quite poor when it comes to the variety and quality of the food on offer, I’d heard some good reviews from friends about Laus 202 and decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.

 The Sunrise buffet is available between 11.30 – 5.00pm and costs £7.90

The Sunset hour buffet is available between 5.00 – 6.00pm and costs £11.00

The Sunset buffet is available between 6.00 – 10.30pm and costs £13.00

What makes Laus 202 different from other buffets is the fact sushi is served, the sushi isn’t the best I’ve ever had but it’s edible.

Soup is usually standard at all buffets, what’s nice about the sweetcorn soup at Laus is the lack of salt in the soup.  I’ve been to some restaurants before where it tasted like a bucket of salt had been placed in the soup making it inedible.

The usual fried starters are available such as Seaweed, Spring Rolls, Won Tons, Prawn Toast and Samosas and a selection of dipping sauces are on offer.

Mr Gourmand and Mini Gourmand are massive rib lovers and there is a selection available to choose from at Laus 202 rather than just the usual BBQ.

Chinese buffet food on a plate never looks appetising when it’s someone elses but every dish that was sampled was very tasty and the sauces were thick rather than the usual watered down sauce that you often find at buffets.

Unfortunately during my visit there was no room left for dessert but a full selection is on offer throughout the day.

Stateside Diner – Newcastle

I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with the Stateside Diner, I’ve been a customer for many years now but this visit was my first in nearly 2 years.  When I first started to visit the Stateside it was faultless, portion sizes were huge and similar to what you would find in a real American diner, staff members changed and unfortunately so did the food.

A friend of mine who was a loyal Stateside patron from the good old days had mentioned that the menu seemed to have changed a little and the Stateside was back on track!  Hearing this marvelous news Mr Gourmand and I hotfooted it down Pink Lane to find out if this was really true.

I had the Southern Fried Chicken Burger (£5.95) which was served with a spicy mayo, salad garnish and home made fries.  The last time I had a chicken burger at the Stateside it tasted like it had been in the fryer for a week, I’m happy to say on this occasion the chicken was moist and tender.  The home made fries were a welcome surprise and were delicious, as you can see from the pictures above there was certainly no scrimping on the portion sizes which veteran Stateside diners will be pleased about.

Mr Gourmand had the Chilli Dog (£4.95) which was covered in Rancher beef chilli, it barely lasted anytime on the plate which is a good sign!

We shared a portion of Onion rings (£1.95) which were a little disappointing as they tasted like they had been marinated in vinegar which was a little offputting.

Sodas at the Stateside were always refillable which was a huge bonus when eating here, there seems to be a new rule in force where soda’s come with one refill only which doesn’t really bother me as I couldn’t manage more than two anyway but I do know friends who could quite easily polish off 3 or 4.

If like me you were a regular customer of the Stateside Diner and you got sick of the shoddy rushed service, bad portion sizes and meal inconsistency I urge you to go back and try it again, I do believe it’s changed for the better!  The Stateside lives on!

The Stateside Diner can be found at 37 Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne (A short walk from central station)

Pizza Al Taglio – Newcastle

Pizza Al Taglio can be found at 34 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.  The chain opened in Durham in 2007 and the brand claim to bring authentic pizza slices to the North East.

What you will notice straight away when you view the pizza slices through the glass is that the pizza’s resemble more of a french bread pizza rather than a traditional pizza base that is usually found in Italian restaurants.  If you’ve ever tried to eat a thin based pizza on the go you will have realised that it quickly turns into a very messy meal, Pizza Al Taglio have formed the perfect base for a hand held pizza meaning that you don’t need to worry about a plate (a plate is provided but you don’t need one).

I recently visited another pizza slice company in Newcastle and found that I had to fold my slice of pizza over to try to eat it in a ladylike fashion as the base was so thin, a knife and fork would have been prefered.  Mr Gourmand ate his by holding the paper plate up to his mouth which isn’t ideal.

The Pizza Margherita was a bargain at £1.80 per slice, the Margherita is a personal favourite of Mr Gourmand however I find it a little boring as a choice.  I loved the taste of the herbs used on this pizza, I will choose my words carefully next time I call something boring as this pizza did not fall into that category.  The base of the pizza was really good, different to anything I had eaten before but perfect for holding with your hand.

The BBQ Chicken Pizza was £2.00 a slice and packed with ingredients.  The BBQ sauce was sweet and smokey and wasn’t overpowering as sauces often can be.  There was a good amount of Chicken on the pizza and like the Margherita this pizza had a perfect base.

Pizza Al Taglio offer a meal deal which consists of any pizza slice, any can plus fries or crisps for £2.90

If you’re looking for a snack that you can hold in your hand without needing a packet of napkins and you’re adventurous enough to try a base that’s different to the norm, pop down to Pilgrim Street in Newcastle and visit Pizza Al Taglio for a slice or two.

YO! Sushi

When it comes to fast food, YO! Sushi is probably Mini Gourmand’s favourite.

Blue Monday’s are my favourite time to visit as a selection of dishes are discounted to £2.40 per plate.

I don’t really have too much to say about YO! Sushi, the food is standard and quite expensive for what you get.

Having said that, I do love the hairy prawns and squid!

Here is a selection of the food that Mini Gourmand and I consumed during our last visit.

Spicy Chicken ISO. Crispy chicken, katsu sauce and shichimi powder (Japanese chilli). (£3.00)

Duck Gyoza & Moromi Miso. Duck dumplings with moromi miso sauce.  (£4.00)

 Spicy Pepper Squid. Hot coils of spicy pepper squid topped with red chilli. (£3.50)

Hairy Prawns. Prawns wrapped in kadaifi pastry with wasabi mayonnaise. (£4.00)

Spicy Chicken. Spicy chicken salad with ginger and garlic  (£3.50)

Crispy Duck Futomaki.  Shredded duck, sliced cucumber and spring onion with moromi miso sauce (£4.00)

Mini Gourmand enjoying the fresh fruit which contains Strawberries, Grapes, Pineapple and Melon (£3.00)

Chinatown Express Dinner Delights

Regular readers will know that the Chinatown Express is a Gourmand family favourite! It’s our first stop for Chinese food in Newcastle.  Mini Gourmand has to pass through Newcastle city centre to get home from school so we took the opportunity to go for an early dinner.

Mini Gourmand decided she wanted something refreshing to drink so ordered a pot of Chinese tea which she loves.

Barbecue spare ribs were Mini Gourmands chosen starter, for some reason she always ends up with sauce all over her face and requires numerous napkins to remove the sticky red sauce.

Deciding to eat something different for her main course, Mini Gourmand went for Satay Chicken, it’s not a dish any of us would usually pick, this is probably because we have all had really bad versions of satay sauce.  We all agreed that this was a really good choice and not at all sickly like some sauces can be.

Mr Gourmand went for his first pearl tea, a Strawberry pearl which both he and Mini Gourmand thought was delicious.

Salt and Pepper ribs were Mr Gourmands starter choice, usually he is a hot and sour soup man but fancied a change on this occasion.

Chicken with black bean sauce and chilli was Mr Gourmands main course choice, it’s a very rich but delicious sauce with just a hint of spice.

A creature of habit, I went for the honey melon pearl which is always superb, it’s like a dessert in a glass so I always try to leave it for the end of my meal.

I love the huge won-tons that the Chinatown express serve, I wasn’t in a soup mood so these were the next best option.

The crispy beef in a spicy Peking sauce is always amazing, the vegetables are fresh and crisp, the sauce is sweet and spicy and the beef is not at all chewy, if you get a chance to visit the chinatown express and wish to eat from the evening menu I suggest you give this dish a try.

You can read about my previous visits Here, Here and Here

Revolution Newcastle

I’m a terrible sucker for advertising, I get drawn in all of the time, especially when I’m offered a bargain.  A text from Revolution informing me that Mega Monday’s at Revolution bar offered 50% off food all day was just the ammunition I needed to grab Mr Gourmand and our friend Peter and head down for lunch.

I had only previously eaten at Revolution once with my friend Juliet, the food was decent but it was the cocktails that really sold the place to me.

After browsing the menu and being torn between a couple of dishes, I decided to go for the Peppered steak and cheese Denver fries.  (£8.25) ( approx £4.12 with discount)   When the dish arrived I have to admit I was slightly disappointed as it looked very dry, I had expected a rich pepper sauce that coated the fries and steak, maybe they forgot to include the sauce? either way it prompted me to do something I very rarely do and I’m actually ashamed to say I did it!  I added ketchup!

The steak wasn’t good, it tasted a little like liver, needless to say I ate the fries and left the rest!

I’m very glad that I had the sense to order a side of onion rings (£1.95)  The onion rings were actually rather nice, the batter was crispy and the onions inside were cooked well.

Peter chose the guacamole and bacon burger  (£8.95) (approx £4.47 after discount) which came with a side of fries and coleslaw.  Peter had no complaints about the dish and polished it off in record time!

Mr Gourmand picked the Chicken Katsu (£8.95) (approx £4.47 after discount), it was a choice prompted by food envy after glancing at the table next to us!  The salad was dressed well and was a delicious accompaniment to the dish,  Mr Gourmand did have one criticism though, there was not enough sauce to go with the dish.

The three meals, pint of san miguel, pint of lemonade and a lime and soda came to £20.47  which I thought was really good value for money even though I wasn’t too impressed with my meal.

Kook Inn Nostalgia

I’m writing this post with a heavy heart, I came across the Kook Inn photographs on my phone while having a clear out and decided to write a post about it.

The Kook Inn holds comfort food memories from the days when it was based in the Greenmarket which no longer exists, my friend Steph introduced me to Fish Fingers, chips and gravy as a cure to a broken heart, it sounds vile but it really did work.

The spot in Newgate shopping centre where the Kook Inn stood until recently also holds memories from its days as the Fish ‘n’ boat, Mr Gourmand and I used to often go for Fish and Chips as it did the best ones in Newcastle city centre, we were elated when the Kook Inn took over the site as they decided to continue to sell fish and chips along with their other menu items.

On our last visit to the Kook Inn, it just happened to be the day when they would be closing the doors for good, there was no fish left as they had been getting rid of their stock over the previous days so we had pie, peas, chips and gravy as a goodbye meal.  To a lot of people the Kook Inn was just a greasy spoon frequented by the elderly but to me it held a lot of good memories and I’m really sad that it’s no longer there.

Sunday Lunch at No28

After some very good food served at No.28 (you can read about it here) we decided to make an effort to visit for Sunday lunch

No28 is situated on 27-29 Nelson Street right in the centre of Newcastle city centre.  It’s a little hidden gem with quirky furniture and fantastic food.

A Sunday lunch at No28 costs £7.95 which is great value for money for a home cooked no frozen veg meal.

Mr Gourmand had the Roast Pork which came with apple sauce and crackling, it’s a meat he doesn’t get to eat at home so whenever possible he will usually choose it as a Sunday Lunch meat.

I picked the Roast Beef which was delicious and melted in the mouth.  We both had carrots, savoy cabbage, broccoli, green beans, Roast potatoes, Mashed Potato, Mashed turnip, Roast Parsnips and a huge Yorkshire pudding.

I couldn’t finish my meal so Mr Gourmand helped himself to my Parsnips and Roast potatoes.  My only criticism with my food was that it was a little salty, Mr Gourmand hadn’t noticed this with his meal but after tasting mine he did agree that either the gravy or mashed potato tasted like salt had been added to it.