Over the last year, we’ve noticed Newcastle’s meat-free offering has grown at an exponential rate, which is great for us as we have transitioned from meat-eaters to vegans over the course of 12 months. Karma Kitchen is one of the jewels in the North East’s plant-based crown. The mother-daughter-run business operates from an Indian restaurant in the unlikely location of Newcastle’s famous Bigg Market and offers a menu of entirely vegan curries and side dishes delivered across the North East.
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.
It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe. Since giving up meat for good, I have to admit I have fallen into the habit of eating the same thing most weeks. Experimenting with food can be hard when you have spent six years nailing what you can and can’t eat but every so often I do give a new dish a go! I threw this curry together for lunches this week – I’ve called it Thai-inspired as it’s not a thai recipe (it’s not a recipe at all, so apologies for the rough quantities) but it’s a good example of how gluten free vegetarian food can still be exciting – in fact this one is even suitable for vegans!
Zaap Thai is the latest restaurant to open on Newgate Street, on the former Co-op site which has since become a hub for bars, restaurants and even a hotel. We were kindly invited by the team to try out what they had to offer. I’ve got to be honest, I tend to avoid Thai/Chinese restaurants unless they explicitly state they offer gluten free, like Nudo Noodle House and Wagamama, since this kind of food generally does not lend itself to gluten free (soy sauce in everything!). I checked Zaap’s website and there was no mention of allergen info – I do wish more restaurant chains would offer up this kind of information easily as I would be more likely to go somewhere I know can cater for me than try somewhere new that doesn’t openly state it offers gluten free.
A few weeks ago, we decided to venture outside of Newcastle (shock horror, I know!) for a family lunch in Northumberland. We were kindly invited by the guys at St Mary’s Inn to try out their menu, so with Mam, Dad and nephew in tow, we tootled on up the A1 to for a Bank Holiday treat. Managed by the same team as Jesmond Dene House, St Mary’s Inn is located a short drive from Stannington, incidentally the location of another of my favourite pubs, The Ridley Arms.
Last Thursday evening we were invited along to try out Newcastle’s newest restaurant (probably not even correct at time of publishing), Turtle Bay. The Caribbean venue has set up shop in part of the old Co-op on Newgate Street, just one up from The Gate. I’m not sure if this location will work well for this concept – Turtle Bay is heavily reminiscent of Las Iguanas, which was actually co-founded by the same person (so that makes sense). The Latin American chain seems to do a roaring trade on Grey Street, only time will tell if Turtle Bay can replicate this in a different part of town.
Dabbawal has been on our list for places to visit for a very long time, and we’re kicking ourselves for waiting so long. Situated opposite one of our favourite pubs, Bacchus, Dabbawal Street Food is where we decided to spend the last day Dry January. Booking a couple of days in advance, all tables between 6-8pm were already reserved so we went for an early bird meal.