As some of my readers will know, I'm currently working down in Geordieland. My last review took place in Carlisle, so I thought I should start writing about places in Newcastle, since it's on my doorstep! My friend Adele and I had planned to visit the Quayside for drinks and dinner, however every restaurant was fully booked and mobbed with graduation parties. We hailed a taxi to take us back to Grey street, where the restaurants are all in quick succession of each other. As our taxi driver screamed profanities out the window to passers by (for reasons unknown to both myself and Adele) and slammed his brakes on at the roundabout, I knew I wanted out of the taxi, regardless of how hungry I was. How convenient (and perhaps it was fate throwing me some luck) that Fat Buddha is based on the roundabout we stopped at!
Fat Buddha offer a variety of tastes from Asia, in a really modern and beautifully designed setting. We were lucky to sit on the top floor, allowing us to take in the sights and atmosphere around us.
I'm not a massive fan of Asian cuisine, if I'm being honest. I don't dislike it, it's just usually last on my list of things to eat. After looking through the menu at Fat Buddha, I was really impressed and my mouth was watering at some of the dishes on offer.
For drinks, we decided to refresh ourselves with a peach Bellini...
The very friendly waitress came over once we had settled with our drinks to take our order. To start, Adele went for the duck samosas, served with home-made Hoi Sin sauce...
Crispy filo pastry encased a generous amount of tender, shredded duck and puréed potato and onion mixture. Served on a bed of shredded cabbage and carrot, the aromatic combination of ingredients were amazing. Once dipped into the freshly made Hoi Sin sauce, it was the perfect way to start off our meal.
I went for the deep fried Angry soft-shell crab, stir fried with Birds-Eye chilli and shaven curry leaf...
This starter was surprisingly tasty. I was a bit anxious about how it would come out - I don't generally like to eat things that look like they did when they were alive. The crab meat was deep fried in sections, so that it didn't come out crab shaped (to my relief). The crab meat was beautiful and tender, which was nicely offset against the crunch of the deep fried batter. The Birds-Eye chilli gave it a wonderful spice which made my eyes dew over, but the starter was so delicious and the sting of the chilli was short lived. Definitely a must for the seafood lovers, or the adventurous!
Moving on to the main courses, Adele decided she wanted the Hong Kong style sweet and sour chicken with a side of boiled rice...
A classic Asian dish, the portion was really generous and smelled divine. Made freshly with natural ingredients, this was heads and shoulders above your local takeaway restaurant. The boiled rice was fluffy, slightly sticky and a perfect companion for Adele's chicken dish.
As a beef lover (you must surely know this by now...) I went for the Thai stir-fried beef with spicy peanut satay sauce, and a side of Yaki Ramen noodles...
I barely spoke during my meal. I was infatuated by the flavours of this dish, the textures and the aroma. The noodles were so light and garnished with spring onion and chillies, creating the most amazing flavour. The satay sauce was rich and saturated the slices of beef. The vegetables in the curry were served slightly al dente, adding a crunch to the tender beef. The sauce had a great kick to it, so if you have a tender palate I would recommend that you avoid this (to your own detriment, however!). I have been fantasizing about this meal all weekend, and cannot wait to get some more.
Once our rumbling bellies were soothed, and our inane chatter died off, we decided it was time to get the bill. For two starters, two main courses, two side dishes and four cocktails, our total cost was £69 (roughly £35 a head). The cocktails were approximately £6/7 each, so that's actually where most of our bill came from!
If you're going to Newcastle for any reason, I'd recommend that you visit Fat Buddha. Lovely staff, talented barmen, delicious food and a stones throw away from the pubs and clubs you've all heard about.
Plus, look at that wee face...
You can't say no to those chubby lil' cheeks!
P.s. Have you voted for my blog yet?
55 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 261 1066
Wheelchair access: Yes