You all probably know by now that I am in a committed relationship with food. The best thing about being in love with food is the variety. No two meals need be the same. You can wake up next to Tony the Tiger, take lunch with Uncle Ben, go for a romantic dinner with Jamie Oliver and finish the day by watching a good film with those two lovely lads, Ben & Jerry. Whatever your mood there is a meal to suit it and food never answers back, steals the covers or leaves towels on the floor. What more could you want?
Now, don’t get me wrong, our relationship is great – even if it does occasionally cause my favourite jeans not to fit – but food can sometimes be an expensive partner to keep, so when I heard that NE1 would be hosting a Restaurant Week with some of the top eateries in Newcastle offering discounted meals, I was on the case straight away.
Cafe 21 is one of the premier restaurants in Newcastle and is usually a little bit out of my student budget but thanks to Restaurant Week, Emily, Zoe and I were swapping a medium chicken with peri peri chips for some posh grub – so posh we twice had to google what some of the words meant.
Pre-dinner stroll by the River Tyne
For Restaurant week, Cafe 21 was offering a 2 course meal for £15 and a 3 course for £20, bargains. As a starter and main kinda girl I opted for the Pheasant terrine with Pickled Young Vegetables to start followed by the Slow-Cooked Shoulder of Pork, Braised White Cabbage, Bramley Apple and Black Pudding Mash with crackling for my main.
Now, don’t get too disheartened, the Pheasant Terrine won’t be the next Kate Moss of the food world as it doesn’t give good face but lets all remember that it’s the taste that matters and although I would have appreciated a bit more spread the terrine definitely tastes better than it looks. Trust me.
Bad Instagram photos happen to us all, guys.
Being a recently converted pork fanatic after years of abstinence, I just had to try Cafe 21’s piggie offering. The shoulder of pork was a huge juicy portion with lashings of black pudding speckled mash which is possibly my new favourite thing ever. I know black pudding isn’t for everyone but I cannot get enough. I love it so much it hurts.
After a sneaky extra pudding of chocolate and banana ice cream, we headed out into the night for cocktails and some crude conversation. My NE1 Restaurant Week experience was stellar and I will definitely be returning to Cafe 21 when I’m feeling a little bit flush. My love for food didn’t break the bank this time, but watch this space.