Gorgeous decor? Check. Creative cocktails? Check. Diverse food menu? Check. Instagrammable ladies loo? Check.
The brand new Banyan Bar and Kitchen at Monument Mall, Newcastle literally ticks every box.
Banyan, which is an Indonesian tree used as a meeting point for friends and trades people alike, has recently moved into the old Jamie’s Italian venue under The Botanist in the centre of Newcastle.
Having undergone a reported £1.5 million refurb, Banyan Newcastle looks incredible. Spread over two huge floors, the latest eatery to join the Newcastle food scene is decked put in pink blossom trees, velvet upholstery and neon lights.
Theres also a lush private dining room available to hire for celebrations of 8 people or more.
The bar and restaurant group prides itself on not only a beautiful aesthetic but on genuine produce and Northern pride too, using a range of local suppliers for both their food and drinks menu.
Their cocktail menu is creative with lots of quirky twists on classic recipes as well as new, modern flavours and ingredients. The Rhubarb and Hibiscus Spritz (£7.95) is light and refreshing with a perfect balance of sweet Aperol and rich, bitter rhubarb. It’d be cracking to sit outside with during the summer, overlooking monument and catching up with friends.
Oh, and did I mention there was a swing to?
There’s a really strong range of mocktails too. If you like ginger beer, I recommend the Blushing Mexican. Guava, blueberry, cucumber and lime topped with fizzy ginger beer – you’d never know it wasn’t a boozy number.
The drinks prices are pretty standard and in line with most of the other nicer bars in Newcastle.
The menu is just as accessible with a wide range of choice for all appetites and dietary requirements. We sampled a range of dishes as part of the event and thoroughly enjoyed the lot!
The Banyan Platter is a wise move if you need something light to line the stomach before nose diving the cocktail menu. Or if you like a little bit of a lot of stuff. The platter includes Bang Bang chicken skewers drizzled with satay sauce, fried baby squid, panko Brie wedges, crispy duck spring rolls, breadcrumbed king prawns, beetroot houmous, vegetable crudités, marinated olives and warmed pitta bread. The sharer is £19.95.
The main dishes I samples included a Super Food Salad Bowl (£10.75), the Brie Burger (£13.95), the Smoked Haddock (£13.95) and Halloumi Skewers (£13.95).
The Smoked Haddock was the star for me. New potato and leek hash, topped with Taylor’s Fishmongers smoked haddock fillet (a North Shields based fishmonger) with a soft, runny poached egg and creamy chive sauce.
It was right up my street, so tasty.
But a special mention absolutely must go to the halloumi number. The veggie dish was perfectly grilled with huge chunks of soft, stringy, salty halloumi. The skewers were layered with corn on the cob and roast peppers.
Last but not least, the Geordie S’mores (£5.95). A scrumptious take on the hit TV show that shames us all, it’s an absolute must if you can squeeze in another course.
A sandwich of two warm chocolate cookies, gooey toasted marshmallows, Amarena cherry ice cream and warm chocolate sauce.
The ice cream is provided by Di Meo’s Ice Cream Parlour in Whitley Bay.
And if you’ve had Di Meo’s Ice Cream before, you’ll probably already be on your way to Banyan Newcastle right now.
The food isn’t cheap, but from what I experienced was high quality and decent sized portions.
The venue is a welcome addition to Newcastle night life with everything from a brunch menu to evening DJ slots, the team can cater for you anytime of day.
Personally, I think this is perfect for one two many cocktails on a Saturday afternoon with a light bite. Or a spontaneous mid-week date night with their glamorous decor and dim lighting.
And it’ll be even better when that sunshine finally makes an prolonged appearance.
And don’t forget you toilet selfie in those jungle-themed, funky little loos!
Banyan Bar and Kitchen, Newcastle is open now! I was invited along to experience complimentary food and drinks in exchange for an honest review.
Have you paid Banyan Newcastle a visit yet? Let me know what you think!
Lots of love, LB x