Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Chef Peking

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Chef Peking

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Ord

Chef Peking,

Front Street,

Tel: (0191) 296 4604.

If it's a view you're after when you dine, then Chef Peking is probably not the place for you. If it's good food you seek, then look no further

The restaurant is located in the bowels of the former United Reformed Church which, in 1980, was converted from a place of worship into a labyrinth of bric-a-brac shops imaginatively, if not a little obscurely, titled The Land of Green Ginger.

A subtle sign on the front of the church is the only indication of the restaurant that lies below.

In the basement of the church it may be, but that doesn't mean there isn't a view.

Natural light does make it into the dining area and, if you stand on your tip toes, you can watch the world go by" from ankle level. (I say this is no great view, but then there is probably a niche clientele who would pay good money to watch other people's ankles. Those who subscribe to spring to mind).

There is a fairly steep flight of stairs to negotiate to get into the restaurant area which is not very disabled-friendly or, in our case, children's buggy-friendly.

The Ord brood arrived on a Saturday afternoon to take advantage of the midday special offers.

Chef Peking is reassuringly traditional. The decor not over-fussy or starkly minimalist - a look many modern Chinese restaurants are using to attract the youngsters - it's just straight up and down traditional.

Oversize Chinese prints adorn the flock wallpaper walls.

After staring at the one opposite me for some time (while my wife changed our youngest in the ladies) it dawned on me that all was not what it seemed.

It looked for all the world like a scene from an ancient Chinese restaurant (did they have them?) but from the way the women in the picture were draping themselves over the diners, I was sure it must be an ancient Chinese brothel.

The staff at Chef Peking were accommodating, but not that accommodating (not that I asked, by the way. Our waiter wasn't my type).

As soon as we were seated, a bowl of prawn crackers was brought to the table with a spicy tomato dip. …

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