A Friday night in Newcastle without our kids is a rare treat. It’s not that often that Cat and I get to have a date night and tonight was it. Our venue of choice was Chilli Padi. We wanted to try out somewhere new, but relatively close to the Haymarket as we were going to see The Last Ship at The Northern Stage. Both options were Cat’s decision, I just agreed to make things easier. Not really knowing much about either option.
Chilli Padi Newcastle
We got a Taxi into town and as we pulled up outside I realised that I’d walked past the place a couple of nights earlier. When I’d been to The Escape Key, I’d walked past thinking that it looked a little stark. It was brightly lit with equally spaced tables and if I’m honest not my first choice for atmosphere. So to then realise that it was our dining option tonight surprised me. There were plenty of tables, which was good as we’d not made a reservation.
Chilli Padi has a very basic drinks menu, but Cat had done her homework and knew it was a Bring Your Own Restaurant. This is a great spin on the cost of a meal out. Generally, it feels like an absolute bargain as there is only a small corkage fee, versus the inflated costs of a bottle of wine. We bought a bottle of our new favourite wine… 19 Crimes.
Chilli Padi Newcastle Menu
We didn’t know where to start. Do you choose something you’ve heard of? or try something totally new? Do you need a side of rice or is rice the main meal? We were clueless but bluffed our way through.
We decided to share a rice dish and choose a meal from the specials list and another one from the main menu.
First up we chose Beef Rendang from the specials. Not the most appetising to look at, but this sliced beef dish was smothered in a lush smooth spicy sauce. It had a good kick to it which took Cat by surprise. It was warming and delicious.
Next our Rice dish. Hokkien Fried Rice. I’m still not sure if this is a side or a main. With the amount of gravy, it would suggest it was the main meal. Again it was something slightly different and very tasty. Admittedly we mixed it with mixed it with our other dishes too, but alone it would have been enough.
We were halfway through the dish when we started to question what the nobbly pieces were in the dish. They looked like someone had sliced down a corn on the cob to slice the nibs off. But they were all connected still. The pieces were maybe 1 cm by 2 cm. Our questioning wasn’t because we didn’t like them, but a just general inquisition.
Turned out to be Squid. When we knew it definitely was the squid. Now I’m not a fan of squid, but this was going down well and didn’t offend me.
The third dish was Malaysian Kung Po Chicken. OMG! This was amazing. The best I can describe it was a very crispy sweet and sour chicken, but even that’s not totally accurate. The crispiness of the chicken was nearly on par with a pork scratching (not the soggy ones).
Chilli Padi Newcastle Review
Chilli Padi was a very surprising restaurant. Certainly not what I expected, as my expectations were low. The outside doesn’t really sell the food, likewise, the very bright lighting didn’t set the atmosphere. Separate that away from the food and this is why I will be back.
I’m going to say that this has been a new addition to the favourite list. The choices we selected mixed the hot curry of an Indian style curry and the crispy chicken from a Chinese dish. It’s like the best of both options. The issue is I would want to choose the exact same meals next time too. Which would start to annoy me because I’d start to be the person who always orders Chicken Tikka Masala!
When the bill came we really couldn’t argue with it. Three meals for less than £30. As it was bring your own drink, there were no additions made to the bill. Not even a corkage fee. Cat even ordered some water to calm down the Rendang bite, which didn’t make the bill either.
The night we went there were plenty of tables as the restaurant is quite big. However, I guess it’s always safer to book. The restaurant is cash only so remember to head to the cash point before you head in.
For their contact details visit their website at http://www.chilli-padi.co.uk/