NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week returns from 8-14 August. There’s over 100 restaurants taking part, so plenty of options, whatever your favourite dish may be. I was invited to Khai Khai to sample their menu available during the week.
Khai Khai is set in a Victorian building on Queen Street down on Newcastle’s quayside. Pass the leafy entrance and be transported away from the bustling quayside with scents of Indian food filling the air.
This isn’t your typical Indian restaurant. Food is prepared with fire and smoke in the Tandoor and Josper ovens, giving different flavours to the dishes.
For £20 pick one of their small/smoke plates and a heritage main with basmati rice or garlic/plain naan. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me!
Poppadoms to start, as it’s rude not to, right? These aren’t included in the NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week offer, but I’m sure you’d want to get some too.
Drinks wise, there’s plenty on offer from cocktails, to beer, to wine and soft drinks and mocktails. We opted for the latter, one with sarsaparilla and berries which had a really nice aftertaste (and was reminiscent of the hard boiled sweets), the other lighter and fruitier with peach, apple and cranberry. I was told by one of the bar staff that the pineapple martini is one to try, so maybe next time I’ll go without the car.
Wanting to sample some of the favourites, we picked the Onion and Samphire Bhaji and Signature Tandoori Broccoli. I’ve never tasted broccoli like this before. Being cooked with smoke really changes the flavour and it’s certainly one to try. It seems that a lot of visitors to Khai Khai do just that! The bhaji was crisp and light, really tasty.
On to our heritage main dishes, again we sampled another of the bestsellers, the Kashmiri Lamb Roganjosh which is medium spice. I’m not usually one for lamb, but this gets great reviews. And luckily Lucy quite likes lamb so I knew if I didn’t, then she’d be happy with it. However, this was really tasty and fell apart as you ate it. The flavours in the sauce were great too, a nice warm amount of spice but not overpowering at all. My main dish was the Chicken Pepper Roast, apparently pretty spicy. Indeed it was! A dry dish, so not one for mopping up sauce with your naan, but super tasty. It certainly had some heat to it and of course with peppercorns these added a kick. We had basmati rice to share and the garlic naan just for me as it wasn’t gluten free for Lucy.
We added a side of gunpower chips which were some nicely spiced fries. Great if you want something else to add to the meal but probably not necessary. I had to get a takeout bag for some of my main and half a naan. It was very tasty later that evening though while watching some of the Commonwealth Games.
Khai Khai is a great spot offering something a little different. If it’s good enough for Harrison Ford and Gordon Ramsay, it’s good enough for you! I definitely recommend visiting. If you’re looking to go during NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week, book quickly as it’s filling up. If you can’t get in this time, do go check it out for a nice meal soon!
Our meal was provided in exchange for this feature. All photos are my own.