Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Give Your Tastebuds a Treat ( but Book Ahead

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Give Your Tastebuds a Treat ( but Book Ahead

Article excerpt

Byline: By Geoff Laws

Sachins, Forth Banks, Newcastle.

You would have thought booking a table midweek is unnecessary, a bit 'belt and braces'.

Others say it's the wisest and only way to avoid disappointment. So, with a large dollop of forbearance, I made a reservation at Sachins in Newcastle for Wednesday and peace reclaimed our happy home.

On the way, I reminded the chauffeuse of her misplaced anxiety, confident of tables aplenty. As we entered Sachins, the maxim, 'Pride comes before a fall,' came winging round the corner to greet me. The bar was full. A party of eight young women was being guided to a table as a family of four and a couple of couples took their places.

Avoiding eye contact and the full-blown smugness that lit up my companion's face, we ordered G&Ts and started in on the menu. Her silence about the obvious was palpable, but I was one step ahead.

"Good job I reserved a table," I crowed. Her snort of derision spoke volumes.

Choices were made, G&Ts were drunk and seats were taken. Our first courses of seekh kebab, minced lamb barbecued in the tandoor, and machhi tandoori, monkfish similarly cooked, arrived and we tucked in.

The rolls of lamb didn't appeal much to the eye, but the taste and texture more than compensated. The monkfish was in a class of its own. Skewer-cooked, the chef had spiced it just enough to give flavour sizzle without overwhelming the juicy chunks of meaty fish.

In the interval she drew my attention to the presence of 30-plus diners, many of whom, like the legendary long-distance runner at the next table, were clearly regulars, and I was reminded of the wisdom of booking.

There's an art to making one's point and I suggested she'd hammered this one home firmly enough. Luckily our main courses arrived before she could get out the power drill.

The edible silver leaf in the chingiri makhani burnished sizable prawns swathed in a creamy, chilli fired sauce. Fresh coriander leaves gave a finishing flourish. …

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