Jesmond: Suburban style


Rosie McGlade eats her way round Jesmond

Jesmond tastes a lot better now than it did in my student days, way back when. And it’s so eclectic. I’m not sure what we’d have made of a sushi box bar and a curry that wasn’t a tikka masala in those days.

Today, you’ll find food from all over the world, from Iran, Japan, India and the Far East, as well as some great new Italian restaurants. There are some British stalwarts among them, too, with takeaways where you can buy the best sandwich ever, and cafes with cakes to die for.

It’s great for a night out for cocktails with friends or feasting with family, and an excellent place for a lunchtime treat or takeaway. There’s always been something unique about Jesmond, and it’s just got better.
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NudoNudo Sushi Box
The rise of North East-based Nudo is testament to how varied our tastes now are. It doesn’t come much more exotic than the Acorn Road outlet (grilled eel nigiri anyone?) where sushi variations include osomaki or gunkan, lotus root or beancurd skin salad, and crispy seaweed snacks. You get more for your money than other sushi bars, and good quality ingredients too. Take your meal out in attractive boxes, order from home, or eat in and enjoy the quirky vibe with a drink of Vit Hit Berry with ginseng, green apple with elderflower, and mate tea, or lychee juice. It’s way less fattening than your average sandwich, to boot.
Acorn Road, NE2 2DJ, tel 0191 281 8132,
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DenesDeliDene’s Deli
Dene’s Deli has just won a British Sandwich Association Sammies Award, which is some accolade. Near Jesmond Dene (think picnic planning) it’s been priding itself on its delicious sandwiches for 25 years. Traditionalists love the ham and pease pudding, and we like kamikaze chicken, poached salmon with tarragon and lime mayonnaise, and Northumberland nettle cheese, apple chutney and carrot. All are made to order, and there’s a range of salads, low-cal options, vegan and gluten-free choices.
Jesmond Road, NE2 1LD, tel 0191 281 8200,
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PersiaA Taste of Persia
Persian food sounds exotic, and its proud 3,000-year history has influenced cuisines including Greek, Italian or Turkish. Starters here include mirza ghasemi, a flame-grilled aubergine mixed with eggs, garlic, onion and tomato, and served as a warm dip, hummus and fragrant salads, and kebab dishes, stews and sauces with names like bakhtiari, ghormeh sabzi, joojeh and koobideh. There are sumptuous rice dishes, intriguing and delicate flavours, and wonderful combinations of herbs, saffron, and fruits. It’s also great value.
Osborne Road, NE2 2AJ, tel 0191 281 8181,
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Sohe is home to authentic food from all over the Far East, including dim sum basket – mixed meat dumplings with exotic dips, and king scallops and char sui belly pork. From China, head to Thailand, Japan, Malaysia or Indonesia for your main course, with a massaman lamb rump curry perhaps, or Indonesian nasi goring. A favourite with regulars is the oriental Gressingham duck platter, while there’s also a range of fish dishes making the most of the North Sea catch. Sohe is also gaining a reputation for cocktails like Singapore Sour, Oriental Mandarin, Tuk Tuk, and Blushing Geisha.
Osbourne Road, NE2 2AJ, tel 0191 2818181,
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ColtsColts Western SteakHouse
Opening Saturday June 21 Colts, in the centre of Jesmond, was formerly Nino’s and is now home to fantastic American western-style steak house food.
Colts is looking to bring something new to Jesmond, offering a range of home cooked steaks, ribs, burgers, fish, chicken and speciality skewers. There is also a wide selection of sides ranging from sweet potato fries, homemade coleslaw, spicy salsa and more. Vegetarians are not forgotten, and there is a selection of dishes for the reluctant cowboys out there. For the carnivore in your life, look out for the 1kg tomahawk steak which is designed to challenge the hungry or be shared by friends.
Holly Avenue West, Jesmond tel 0191 281 6441
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Friendly and family-run, this is cake heaven; a hang-the-calories wonderland with homemade offerings including almond, orange and sweet potato cake, sticky chocolate orange cake, angel sparkle cake, and salted caramel shortcake. There are fabulous hot chocolates and cappuccinos, too, while for the more health-conscious, or guilt-ridden among us, Hugo’s now stocks Wheat Berry products for joyously fresh accompaniments to their range of salads. They do great drinks, too. The décor is funky but homely, just as it should be in a place serving treats.
Clayton Park Square Jesmond, NE2 4DP, tel 07580 477 975, Facebook/Hugos
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A range of signature dishes and chef’s specials like the naga, Afghani and bongho bondhu offer Jesmond diners a fresh and exciting take on Indian restaurant fayre in an intimate and modern setting. Among the range of unusual dishes are classics for those who don’t like to stray too far. The finely presented menu distinguishes between mild, medium, hot and very hot dishes. The three-course set lunch menu is £5.95 from noon-2pm.
Holly Avenue, Jesmond, tel 0191 281 8431 / 281 0096,
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Lovers of fine pots and pans will go mad for Stangers, a fabulous independent cookware shop in the heart of Jesmond. Now settled into its new home on Brentwood Avenue, the shop is the answer to all your present-buying dilemmas, top-to-floor with fabulous gadgets, gorgeous presentation dishes and the coolest crockery, along with serious specialist knives, pans and baking ware. Stangers is also a stockist of international brands like Le Crueset, Kitchenaid, Staub and Joseph Joseph, and this shop has everything you could possibly need, even if you didn’t know you needed it.
Brentwood Ave, Jesmond NE2 3DH, tel 0191 281 8563,
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Dabbawal’s Jesmond street food kitchen is home to India’s most delicious street food dishes, perfect for grazing and sharing in the bright interior or on the comfortable outdoor veranda with Indian cocktails and cold beer. The Dabbawal experience is all about getting together with friends and loved ones to graze and share street food snacks, tapas-style dishes and classic plates which take diners on a journey of many different, unique flavours. Love a curry? Don’t worry, there are plenty of authentic offerings on the menu, and takeaway is available to order and collect. The Chef’s Special menu is chosen for you, according to your tastes, by the kitchen team and is perfect for groups at just £21per person, while the express early bird menu at £12per person for two courses makes for a lively start to the evening. The lunch menu, now available Mon-Sat, features fresh, wholesome options and Newcastle’s only roomali roti wraps. Dabbawal takes the tastes of the street to a new level, served up in a buzzing environment for a unique experience.
Brentwood Mews (behind Brentwood Ave), NE2 3DH, tel 0191 281 3434,
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Billabong Bar & Bistro
Come the sun and there are throngs filling Billabong’s Osborne Road beer garden, which is traditionally a place to be seen and to watch the world go by. Did you know you can get a sharing pitcher of your favourite cocktail from a selection of 30 sumptuous drinks on offer? The growing tapas menu features spicy chicken strips, sweet pepper drops with mozzarella pearls, and sweet chilli cheese fries and it’s fast getting a following.
For those looking for a hearty meal, the Billabong Burger is a force of nature, made to a secret recipe from lean home-ground beef. There is also steak, pizza, pasta bowls and summer salads to enjoy all season long.
Osborne Road, NE2 2AT, tel 0191 281 7881
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CafeCafe 1901
Located inside a former church hall opposite Tesco in centre of Jesmond, the independently owned Cafe 1901 is a unique 60-seat venue with a vintage vibe.
The cafe specialises in some of the world’s finest single-origin coffee by renowned roasters Has Bean. It has a delicious food menu covering breakfast, brunch and lunch together with indulgent cakes and baked goods from the master bakers and David Kennedy at Vallum Farm.
Laid back with vintage cinema seat booths and communal tables, Cafe 1901 is a one-off you really should experience.
St George’s Terrace, Jesmond, NE2 2DL, tel 0191 349 9774
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