Harissa Mediterranean Kitchen, Sandyford, Jesmond.
A new and trendy little gem, plonked on Starbeck Avenue. Somewhere for healthy eaters, hungry students and hip diners to gather together, kick back and dig in to some seriously fresh flavours. Great for after-work tipples and nibbles, too. A glass of wine and a few small plates to share after 5pm does you good.
Top to toe white makes this dainty restaurant feel bigger than it is – light and airy too for warm summer nights. The mix of white brickwork, sunshine yellow seating and copper, industrial-style lighting makes the Instagram-addict in us beam with delight – super simple, but oh so picture perfect. Get snap happy and show the place some love.
We wanted something light and fizzy, so the rose lemonade (£2.20) won us over. There’s wine from France, Spain and Lebanon, plus beer from Wylam Brewery and few local gins, too. We’re trying the quirky ‘mint spice’ and ‘green fog’ tea next time.
Colourful, fresh-as-can-be grub from all corners of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The menu changes regularly thanks to the kitchen’s use of lovely seasonal ingredients, but you’ll always find a selection of chargrilled meats, flatbreads, fresh stews and salads, packed with homegrown veggies, on offer. Takeaway service launching soon and you can visit for brekkie/brunch on Saturdays too.
We kicked things off a trio of dips and flatbread (£9) for dunking. The hummus arrived thick and crunchy – the way it’s supposed to be – topped with crispy chickpeas and plenty of tahini for plenty of sesame goodness. The whipped Labneh cheese was also divine – cool and smooth, with fresh herbs and a dusting of smoky paprika. So good, we could’ve licked the pot (we didn’t). It was meat all round for mains, served on fresh-from-the-oven flatbread. Tender chicken breast for us, drizzled in creamy, harissa Greek yogurt, and slow-roasted shoulder of pork with apple, spring onion and crackling (sounds a bit of an odd mix, but boy does it work) for our dining buddy. Sides were steamed, crunchy broccoli (£3.50), doused in a light chilli sauce and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, plus carrots with crumbled feta (£4). This is hearty, healthy grub that will leave you feeling good on the inside. We’ll be back for more soon.