“ 53 Stowell Street / Newcastle Upon Tyne / Tyne And Wear NE1 4YB53 / Tel. 0191 2332333. „
New Year Eve usually finds us indulging in some pre midnight food, and this (last) year found us at one of Newcastle's Japanese restaurants, located, strangely enough, in Chinatown.
When we first entered the restaurant, the thing which primarily struck me was the fact that there were no seasonal decorations. However, we could cope with that, and initial impressions were good. There is an entrance lobby with a small desk before entering the main restaurant, and when we entered the main restaurant, the first thing encountered is the bar. The bar is the length of a wall and is well stocked. The bar area has a couple of low rustic tables with "tree trunk" stools and low long benches. This area is the only smoking area in the restaurant and is divided from the restaurant by a screen.
Once inside the restaurant, there are booths for 6 people, and tables dotted around the room, all sparsely decorated and with subdued lighting. All of the cutlery is plain and simple and the crockery is black, square-all as expected and totally appropriate and in keeping with the décor.
We were ordering from the Christmas menu, and our waitress, appropriately dressed in National clothing, came to take our order. We all ordered drinks and spoke to the waitress who informed us that she was not Japanese and didn't know much about the menu. This didn't bode well, and should have been indicative of the night to come.
The appetizers offered a choice of five and the six of us ordered slices of seared tuna and salads of salmon, octopus, prawn and crab roe. I know, a bit dull, two types of dishes but we were happy with our choices. However, before we even got a chance to order the second course, we were told that these dishes were not available, but we could have buttered salmon consommé or speciality chilled prawn consommé. So, consommé or consommé.
Being relatively pleasant people, and not wanting to cause a scene, we ordered consommé. Not something I would have chosen, but I let it slide down my throat!
The second course again offered a choice of five dishes, and we were bright enough this time to ask what was available- we were getting the hang of this. Yes, we were lucky, the Lobster and mature Cheddar Maki Mono with a supplement of £1.90 was available. Yes please, we would have this.
Main course had a choice of five dishes and we chose Oven cooked marinated duck, Japanese sweet marinated roast beef and Crispy tempura king prawns. This main course would be accompanied by Japanese curry and beef fried rice and steamed rice.
By this stage, we were pretty hungry, having eaten only the consommé, and it was fortunate that when the second course, lobster, arrived, it was pleasant; not delicious, edible enough. However, bon homie all round; festive occasion, everyone is ready to have a good time.
Still, we were considering getting some food out of the freezer when we got back, and then the main course arrived. Bearing in mind the fact that this was 1 hour 40 minutes after having placed the order, and it was by this time 10 o clock. I say the main course arrived, but this is a misrepresentation of what actually happened. The king prawn arrived, meaning that one person would be fed. The rest of us were told that there was no beef or duck, and could we order something else.
So, the suggestion was that one person ate alone, and since prawns were available, we should all order the prawns, wait for them to be cooked, and then eat the,.
Maybe we are bad tempered people, but this was too much. It was the festive season, and potentially the busiest night of the year, and we had been faced all night by the waitress telling us that there was nothing left on the menu. Had we been told when we ordered that there was no beef or duck, we would probably have been less upset, but to have one meal brought to us and then be told, was very disappointing.
At this stage, we made an executive decision to leave before we had to eat yet more food we had not wanted to order.
**OTHER BITS OF INFORMATION**
TOILETS are beautifully clean and very tasteful, located near the entrance to the restaurant.
STAFF are very pleasant and helpful
LUNCH is available costing from £6.50 to £10.50. There are 7 choices of set lunches and the a la carte menu is available
WEBSITE. I haven't found a website relating to the Newcastle restaurant, but I believe it must be a franchised restaurant, because there seem to be Nagomi Emporiums in several places.
Newcastle upon Tyne
0191 233 2333
This is going to appear very unkind, but I can obviously comment only from my own experiences, and they were not good. I can comment only on our meal, on what was probably, if not the busiest night of the year, then one of them. In my opinion, when a Christmas menu was offered, then there should have been enough food to give customers the dishes as stated on the menu. Had one or even two not been available, then this would have been understandable, but when each course had only two dishes, then it was all very disappointing.
I can't even comment on whether the food was particularly good, because although I ate it, the dishes weren't my first choice, and I wasn't particularly keen on the consommé, although the lobster was pleasant enough.
The service was good and the manager was very understanding and didn't charge us for the main courses which were ordered but not available- I think that's fair enough as only one of us had a main course.
On a positive note, our waitress was very helpful and friendly and the toilets are immaculate, but (beware the unspeakable truth ) I wouldn't go again. I know that the experience could be different but there are so many other eateries that I just don't want consommé again.
Thanks for reading my rant.