As You Like It: Restaurant week in Newcastle

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Don’t be fooled by the concrete office block exterior; inside As You Like It in Jesmond is a warm and welcoming bar and restaurant with excellent food and top quality service.  On entering, there is a large bar area with plenty of seating (including comfy sofas!) downstairs.  The restaurant is upstairs.  It is a really elegant room, with large simply dressed wooden tables and plenty of soft lighting.

Jim & I have both separately visited As You Like It for work events, however we went for food there for the first time this week as part of Newcastle Restaurant Week.

Jim's asian style rare been salad with korean dressing and fresh corriander

Jim’s Asian style rare been salad with Korean dressing and fresh coriander

Newcastle Restaurant Week is a biannual event in which the city’s top restaurants throw open their doors to new customers by offering fixed price two and three course menus.  The offer varies from restaurant to restaurant, but will typically involve offering two courses for £10 or three for £15.  This summer’s restaurant week had originally clashed with our holiday to Belgium and so we thought we would miss it, however luckily for us, a number of the restaurants participating extended their offers to run until Sunday 18th August 2013.  You can find out more about the restaurants participating here.

Harissa spiced halloumi cheese, macho peas and warm pitta with peri peri dressing.  It was so good, I even ate the peas!

Harissa spiced halloumi cheese, macho peas and warm pitta with peri peri dressing. It was so good, I even ate the peas!

We chose As You Like It out of the many restaurants available as I was going to be driving and parking is extremely easy as there is a large public car park across the road, which is free after 6pm.  The offer was two courses for £10 or three courses for £15 from a set menu.  Needless to say we both went for three!

There were plenty of options on the menu and we both agonised about our choices.  Jim eventually settled on the Asian style rare beef salad to start followed by Newcastle Brown Ale beer battered haddock strips and chips.  I hate fish, however Jim’s fish looked so soft and flaky that even I was tempted.

Newcastle brown ale beer battered haddock strips with proper chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce

Newcastle brown ale beer battered haddock strips with proper chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce

I had harissa spiced halloumi with warm pitta and peri peri dressing to start, followed by confit duck leg with chorizo stew.  The duck leg was perfectly cooked, and melted away from the bone.  It was complimented impeccably by the smoky chorizo stew.

Confit duck leg with spanish style chorizo stew

Confit duck leg with spanish style chorizo stew

We both went for a triple chocolate brownie for desert.   This was delicious; my only slight issue was that I would have preferred it served warm.

Triple chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  If only it had been served warm it would have been perfect!

Triple chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. If only it had been served warm it would have been perfect!

After ordering, the food came out to the table extremely quickly and was elegantly presented.  The service from the waiting staff was excellent and they were attentive and friendly throughout our meal.

The dishes that I had are not on the regular restaurant menu for As You Like It, however Jim’s starter and main are – they would have cost £20.90 at the regular restaurant prices, so we really did get a bargain by eating there during restaurant week.

There are still a few days left of the extended restaurant week.  Times are hard for everyone at the moment and eating out is a real luxury.  However, restaurant week is a fantastic opportunity to be able to experience some of the best food that Newcastle has to offer for a fraction of the normal price.  So I would urge you, if you can afford it, do it!  Remember to check the terms applicable to the particular offer, for example, to take advantage of As You Like It’s offer, you will need to book a table.

Finally, for anyone reading this from outside the area, Newcastle is the fifth cheapest city in the UK to visit.  Come during restaurant week, and you will have even better value for money.

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