Wok ’n’ Roll

wok-'n'RollNewcastle’s China town is more diverse and authentic than ever before. Claire DupreE takes a tour

Beside Newcastle’s historic walls and a stone’s throw from St James’ Park, China Town is one of the city’s most vibrant multi-cultural hubs.

If you haven’t been for a while, we recommend a trip to Stowell Street, where you can now taste your way around the Orient in a vibrant area where Japanese sushi emporia meet Taiwanese bubble tea shops, exotic supermarkets and authentic Chinese cuisine.  Just outside the city walls, Fujiyama Teppanyaki fuses Japanese food with entertainment as the chefs cook in front of you. Watch them catch eggs in their hats, but resist their offer to try it for yourself – it’s a sure-fire way to get egg on your face.

On Stowell Street, exotic aromas waft out of every doorway. It’s no longer about pile ‘em high buffets – although if you’re looking for a banquet you can try Lau’s and Happiness 2. For something more delicate, try plump dim sum at Wing Kee’s Hong Kong style café, or seafood at King Neptune’s, specialists in Peking cuisine.

For traditional feasts, Palace Garden’s lantern-strewn interior has a carp-filled stream and is a popular spot for lunch and dinner. Sky specialises in Hot Pot menus and traditional classics; while Royal Emperor has an enviable banquet menu. For fresh and funky eats, Dojo Japanese restaurant specialises in Teishoku set meals which include Miso soup, Japanese steamed egg, pickles and fruit. Plus there’s sushi and tempura in abundance.

If you’re after a snack or unusual beverage, Bubble Cha is the place to try Taiwanese bubble tea. A milky tea base can be supplemented with a range of exotic flavourings from herbal to fruit infusions and jelly toppings. There are snacks too, including fab pork buns.

For a taste of luxury, The Mandarin’s sumptuous decor complements the wonderful Thai menu – try chef’s special Pla Neung Manow, steamed seabass flavoured with lemongrass, fresh chilli and lime juice. Landmark Oriental restaurant and bar across the street also offers swish, white linen dining, with an à la carte menu and buffet options. Extend your night out at Red Diner thanks to its private karaoke booths. In a hurry? China Town
Express offers a relaxed café vibe and top takeaway.

Recreate your amazing meal at home and buy ingredients for your own Oriental feast from Chinese supermarket Wing Hong, while HiYoU Oriental also offers tempting treats in its bakery, exotic fresh produce, fortune cookies and an impressive range of fresh and frozen delights, plus much more.

Step through the beautiful ornate Chinese arch and indulge your senses!

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