It’s time to put down the oven gloves and pick up your phone. NE1 Restaurant Week is nearly here and you’ll want to get booked in quick to avoid disappointment. 20-26 January are the dates for your diary.
One of the restaurants taking part in this January’s NE1 Restaurant Week week long event is newcomer, Horticulture. This eatery has been getting quite a hype lately and rightly so. If you’re not already impressed that there’s 40 variations of espresso martini to choose from (yes really – actually 50 different coffee related cocktails to browse) then the small plates they have on offer should satisfy you.
I headed along to Horticulture for a preview meal this week, sampling some of the dishes in their NE1 Restaurant Week £15 offer. Here’s why you need to visit too.
Horticulture are offering 4 small plates for £15 (and the odd supplement here and there if you’re opting for the steak or prawns, which is fair game really when some of these dishes alone would cost £10 each) They pride themselves on using fresh, organic locally sourced produce. The ethos is to avoid waste and you’ll notice they really cater for the vegan and veggie market as well as offering plenty choice to the meat fans too – both from the sea and from the land.
Hummus is always a good idea and served with a really generous amount of flatbread. It’ll incur a £2 supplement but if you want something as a snack to nibble whilst you’re ordering drinks I would definitely recommend. If you fancy trying something a little different, go for the whipped beets – a tasty alternative that includes pieces of goat’s cheese.
From the bigger small plates (if you’ll excuse me) we ordered the slow cooked bean goulash (delicious, and the sourdough was so good to mop it all up) grilled vegetable shwarma which was really tasty vegetables but basically a veggie wrap, not quite a shwarma.
From the sea we had the hake, wonderfully cooked with that melt in the mouth texture. Also the charred tiger prawns in a tikka marinade. Then, whether or not this was intentional our final two dishes which arrived together were the sweet potato curry which was warming, packed with flavour and the chicken thigh tagine served with giant couscous.
Everything was fresh, tasted great and presented impeccably. Side note, I must find out where those plates are from! We both commented that the way they used vegetables was really thought out, rather than you getting a side of mixed veg for example. Sometimes that’s what you want but the emphasis on catering for different dietary needs really stood out.
Dinner is served Monday to Saturday from 3pm and for the brunch fans out there, you’ll want to get along and sample their 2 dishes for £10 offer which includes Turkish Eggs, Eggs Benedict and Shloumi ( the latter with a small supplement) I’m already considering whether a Newcastle based parkrun is on the cards for next weekend so we can conveniently drop by for breakfast afterwards…
You’ll notice also, that there’s a surcharge on the bill for ‘carbon free dining’ – this is a minimal amount of money and it’s worth noting that Horticulture also created a cocktail with profits going to the Australian bushfires too. It’s a place with feeling, great food and a welcoming atmosphere.
Fancy something else? No problem, here’s a few other restaurants that might just whet your appetite…
Tyneside Bar Cafe – not only is Tyneside home to a decadent cinema, but they whip up some tasty food too in their bar/cafe. This time around for restaurant week they’re offering a full Veganuary menu (as well as catering for the non-vegans too) and it’s pretty tasty. The pumpkin and butternut falafel was delicious, vegan shepherds pie was really good – so good I wanted a full sized one and the chickpea tagine is warming with a bit of a kick. You can have 3 dishes for £10 or 5 for £15 and I’d probably recommend sharing 5, having a slower meal and enjoying a tipple or two. They’ve got a tasty low alcohol stout for the beer fans.
Dabbawal – I’ve been here a couple times and always rave about how tasty it is and the atmosphere in the restaurant., Nestled away on High Bridge it is well worth a visit if you’re into your Indian cuisine. The Malabar king prawns are on the offer and that’s a great dish. The Kofta Kari sounds incredible too though, so if you’re veggie I’d opt for that one.
Las Iguanas – If burrito bowls and enchiladas are what you’re looking for, get along to Las Iguanas. It’s always a fun night and the drinks there are great too. I’ve shared a few thoughts on their menu here.
Where have you booked for NE1 Restaurant Week?
Our food at Horticulture and Tyneside Bar Cafe was complimentary for inclusion in this article. Drinks were paid for ourselves. All photos are my own.