It seems like ages since I was walking to work along Salters Road and spotted the boarded up remains of the New Bengal, which had been a part of Gosforth High Street for decades. This week, the restaurant re-opened under ‘new’ name, New New Bengal, and we popped along to see if the food was as good as it previously had been at this Gosforth institution.
We didn’t book ahead, but managed to get a nice table for two downstairs. The new restaurant is on two levels with a modern interior and brand new open bar. We were greeted and seated by what we believe is the owner, and we ordered a couple of glasses of wine from the menu – both under a fiver each, so not too bad for Gosforth.
The menu was quite meat-heavy, but there were still plenty fish and vegetable dishes to choose from. We went for our favourite Palak Paneer, which is a paneer and spinach curry, with a pilau rice and masala chips to share. We also ordered poppadoms and pickles to start as we were starving and dodging starters. One thing I was very impressed by is that the menu highlights allergens on every dish – we eat a lot of indian food, as it is almost always gluten free (except for bread-based or deep-fried dishes), but it was great to see dairy also highlighted on the menu.
The poppadoms and pickles were by far the best I’ve ever had – six different pickles accompanied the freshly made poppadoms – SIX! The waiter was very proud to say that they were all made in-house, so it’s not a surprise that we ordered another tray to go with our curries.
Our curries were also fantastic, and we’ve become connoisseurs of the various types of paneer and spinach curries, so this is high praise. The rice was delicious as were the masala chips, whoever decided to cover fresh Indian chips in masala spices should receive a knighthood.
When we asked for the bill, we were offered a free drink from the bar, which I am guessing is a way of welcoming customers back to this historic haunt. We went for Disaranno, which was a lovely way to end the evening. The total bill came on £28.50, which isn’t bad at all. We nabbed a take away menu on the way out and waved goodbye to the attentive staff. We’ll definitely be back to the aptly-named New New Bengal, and would highly recommend any curry fans to give it a go.