Thursday, 15 February 2018

A Night along High Bridge, Newcastle

We love a good date night and when we realised it had been a good couple of months since our last one, I promptly booked my mam in to babysit. We are lucky in that Steve normally has a day off through the week so we can go out for breakfast or lunch if we wish, however we both agree that nothing beats a proper night out. I have a huge list of places we want to visit or re-visit and this week it was the turn of Dabbawal, somewhere I've heard so many great things about but not got around to visiting myself. I was ready nice and early as we had a couple of jobs to complete before heading to town.

A Night along High Bridge, Newcastle

You'll find Dabbawal on High Bridge opposite Bacchus in Newcastle (they also have a branch in Jesmond). We were hoping to dine from their pre-theatre menu which is available 5pm-6:15pm Sunday-Friday. Priced at £12.95 per person, it's a bit of a bargain. I didn't think we'd need to book a table as it was a Thursday evening and early doors but I'd definitely recommend you do - we were lucky to get seated - the restaurant was buzzing! The lovely staff managed to squeeze us in so long as we promised to be in and out within the hour - challenge accepted! 

We ordered a couple of large Cobras (£5.45 each) and loved the glasses they were served in. These 660ml bottles will see you through a starter and main without the need to re-order halfway through your meal.

We accepted the offer of Poppadoms and the tray of pickles they were served with were delish. Our starters arrived pretty much 2 minutes after ordering - King Prawns for me (£2 supplement) and Vegetable Samosa Chat for Steve. Both beautifully presented, freshly prepared and bursting with lots of flavours. My prawns were nice and sweet and the perfect appetiser I thought.

Onto our curries and Steve ordered the Lamb Rogan Josh which he said was the best he'd ever had. I went for the Murgh Madras which was again, spot on. Madras can be so hit and miss. Often it feels like chefs just chuck a load of chilli powder in but that is certainly not the case here. The dish wasn't too spicy, was very aromatic and you could actually taste the spices rather than feel like they'd just been added to set your mouth on fire. I could eat this curry all day. The portions were decent too.

Service at Dabbawal was exemplary and tables were turned quickly. As soon as the pre-theatre diners were finished (without being rushed), tables were set and filled with diners who had booked a later table. It was a very polished routine. The restaurant seemed to be popular with groups of friends, families celebrating and couples dining after work. Just a little thing but I love it when all members of staff wish you a good evening and thank you for visiting as you leave - always makes me want to return.

Our total bill was £47. We are a sucker for an upsell and once the large drinks, poppadoms, naans ect.... are added on, I sometimes feel that pre-theatre dining isn't as good a deal as you think. In this case, it was 100% worth it though and it's fair to say that Dabbawal is now our new favourite Indian restaurant. I can certainly see why it was so busy, why so many people rave about it and why it has won several awards. Next time Steve and I want to try the chef's special selection where for £22.50 they send out a selection of dishes for you to try - perfect if you're stuck in a rut and fancy trying something new.

After Dabbawal we popped over the road to Bacchus. Bacchus is a real ale pub in Newcastle and somewhere I'd never stepped foot in before. I immediately knew it wasn't my vibe though - it was filled with Newcastle businessmen and I felt so out of place. It felt like a bit of an old man's pub to me and just wasn't my cup of tea. Plus I don't even like real ale. So we made a swift exit (poor Steve - he loves a real ale) and headed along the road to Pleased to Meet You just in time to take advantage of their cocktail happy hour where you can order 2 cocktails for £12. I went for this chocolate espresso martini which was one of the best cocktails I've tried in ages. I took a photo of the menu so we can try and replicate it at home. I loved it and highly recommend.

A year or so ago we'd visited The Stand Comedy Club (it's right next door to PTMY) and had such a good night. Like most things, we vowed to come back but there is always so much to see and do in Newcastle so it took us longer than expected to re-visit. The Thursday Show usually features four comedians plus host and tickets are priced between £5 - £10. We met our friends The Hoopers for a couple of beers in the bar beforehand. There is no reserved seating in the Comedy Club and I'd advise getting down there for around 7:15pm (doors open at 7pm, show starts 8:30pm) if you'd like a decent seat and to avoid the dreaded front row.

Photographs aren't allowed inside The Stand but we had a fab night. Jason Cook was the host for the evening and had us in stitches as he recounted tales travelling to Amsterdam on the DFDS Seaways Ferry. The comics were great fun too and there was something for everyone. There's a strict no-talking policy during shows at The Stand which may seem strict but it worked pretty well. We had an hours catch up with our friends before the show and there were two intervals between sets for us to have a chat and replenish drinks. Drinks were pretty reasonably priced too from what I can remember.

A meal at Dabbawal, cocktails at PTMY and comedy at The Stand was a pretty perfect date night for us. It would have been even better if we'd been able to stay next door at Motel One but unfortunately, Steve had to work the next day. Booo! Let me know if you fancy retracing our steps and enjoying a High Bridge night out. If Indian cuisine isn't for you, another place I'd highly recommend in this area is Kaltur - definitely the best Spanish food in Newcastle.

We're lucky to be going out again this week - we're heading to Evan's Bistro for a Valentine's meal and then may head into Whitley Bay for a couple of drinks. I'll post a review of our evening in the next few weeks......


  1. This sounds like our perfect night out too. We love curries and comedy. Wish we could have come. We really struggle to get sitters on week nights. I’ve been meaning to try Dabbawal and The Stand for ages!

    1. Both definitely recommended. We're so lucky to be spoilt for choice in Newcastle!

  2. What a brilliant date night, we keep meaning to go to The Stand but we're yet to make a plan .. might see if there's anything good on for my birthday!


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