Geisha, Newcastle is the newest pan Asian restaurant in Sandyford had been on my list to try for months! Japanese/pan-Asian food is one of my favourites and after a colleague mentioned he tried it before it officially opened I’d been waiting for an opportunity to visit. Then Kieran went a couple of weeks ago and said how good it was, so we booked for the first date night Friday night we’ve had free in a while.
If you’ve been in and out of Newcastle at all you’re bound to have seen it, on the corner just after the traffic lights before as you like it and beach box. The big neon Geisha sign is unmissable and you’ve probably also seen it’s always packed – with good reason.
The outside terrace area is under cover, with heaters and a great spot if you can get a table while the weathers a bit warmer. Inside though is a whole other world, with so much going on.
Lanterns fill the roof, and cherry blossom trees sprawl up the sides. There’s a mix of booths, high tables and the bar, as well as an upstairs area. We were sat downstairs right amongst.
There is a lot going on on the menu, with a dim sum section, bao buns, noodle and rice dishes, ramen, salt and chilli section, a from the grill and a charcoal oven section. You can also get from the burger and hot dog section which seemed a bit odd to me but when I saw one they actually looked really good.
If I’m being totally honest the only thing missing on it for me was sushi, even just to order a few bits as a starter, but once I got stuck in to the food I can see why they’ve not included it. They’re all about big portions of good quality.
When you order you can ask for things to come in stages like a starter, or all together as it’s ready. We went for the duck dim sum with hoisin sauce to come first, and I was expecting them to be soft but they were seared – so good – and the hoisin sauce was perfection.
We went all out on the mains, ordering three dishes between us. I’d heard everyone rave about the king prawn skewers in a szechuan glaze so I had to go for those, and Kieran chose the flat iron steak.
They were from the grill, but we were both starving and couldn’t resist the salt and chilli chicken and salt and chilli chips too. So greedy but I have no regrets.
The portions are big and our prawns and steak were both served with sticky rice. They were incredible. Prawns were good but I had food envy over Kierans steak I tried it and I’ll be getting it next time it was phenomenal. I can’t even describe all the flavours but it was all excellent.
The salt and chilli chicken and chips just topped it all off, the chips were so moreish. I haven’t a bad word to say about any of the food it was all delicious and as other people’s dishes came out the kitchen and passed us it all looked great. I had a few messages from friends while I was there to say they’d been earlier that day and loved it too.
Drinks wise there’s a big menu including cocktails, and as much as I love a good cocktail I’m much more picky over them now – think it’s my old age. They need to be more than just a novelty and loads of ice. I went for a lychee martini and it passed the test, very strong.
We had a bottle of wine with our food and as we finished eating I saw there were people sat at the bar having drinks. We’ve not been able to do that in so long and I love an after dinner drink so we asked if we could move up there.
The waitress took the last of our wine over for us and we ordered some more (G&T for me). You can tell the bar staff are experienced, it was a lot better service than some places at the moment. I know there’s been a staff shortage so I’m not complaining, but these guys were just on it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening, it felt like more than just a meal out and both the food and drinks were spot on. Service was faultless too.
I suppose the only drawbacks are the location – but it’s worth the taxi drop off and you can make a night of it just being there. And I did wish sushi was on the menu initially but I’ve definitely got over that as those mains were incredible.
Overall a great new addition and I’ll be going back. Bookings are popular, we had to book 2 weeks in advance so factor that in if you’re planning a visit. You can book on the Geisha, Newcastle website and find the menus there too.
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