‘I can think of many reasonable excuses for needing a cocktail’ – Rachel Hollis
*We received a complimentary lunch and drink in return for an honest review*
When we came up with the idea of this Sunday lunch guide it was never because we believed there was nowhere to get one in Newcastle, it was more that they weren’t particularly well advertised. It took a lot of digging to find out what was on offer where. My research led me to our next top, new kid on the block; Banyan.
Banyan sits pride of place in the centre of Newcastle, right by Monument where Jamie’s Italian used to be. The first thing I said to Dave was how much I love it when a building is acquired, and they completely gut it from the inside out and put their own stamp on it. You would never know that Banyan was ever Jamies, which is good because of Jamies, I was not a fan.
It’s very swishly decorated inside, lots of booths for larger groups, high tables for people just having a drink, a small dining area at the back and a lovely beer garden out front for the two days a year it’s warm enough to sit outside without having to wear a Maggie Simpson snow suit. We arrived at 1.30pm on a sunny Sunday; the beer garden was packed and the there was a great laid back Sunday vibe inside.
In terms of the food on offer they have a small but perfectly formed roast menu (£15.95 for 2 courses). The only meat options are chicken or beef (there’s a veggie option as well though); perfectly fine for me as I only ever have chicken for Sunday dinner however I think Dave might have liked the option of pork or lamb thrown into the mix as well. It’s also worth mentioning they have other things on offer on a Sunday too like burgers, curries, salads etc, just in case you weren’t feeling the roast dinner.
We were there to do a job though, and I’m all about the roast. We had a drink to start; pint of lager for the gentleman and a Lemon Cheesecake cocktail for me. OMG this may be one of the nicest drinks I’ve ever tasted. It’s a mix of Ketel One Citroen vodka, limoncello, lemon with a ginger snap crumbled over the top and it’s absolutely heaven in a glass. My only regret is that I didn’t save it for ‘pudding’ as it tastes exactly like lemon cheesecake. Nice one Banyan.
As far as roasts go, theirs is probably up there as one of my favourites. The portions and the veg/potato ratio was spot on for me. I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of mash, especially when there’s some roasties there too, who prefers mash to roasties? No one. So the fact there was no mash on my plate was a winner for me. The chicken was perfectly cooked and seasoned and the gravy absolutely full of flavour. Not a whiff of bisto here. Dave’s beef was cooked pink as standard, just how he likes it and the yorkie was sizable and crispy.
Honourable mention needs to go to the side of pigs in blankets we ordered, who doesn’t like a P in B? They were yummy and a great added extra.
We were too full for pudding on this occasion, but I have more than a side eye on their Geordie Smores (Toasted marshmallow, fruit compote and double chocolate cookie sandwich with Amarena cherry ice cream and warm chocolate sauce) I’ve seen pictures of them on the ‘gram so will for sure be giving them a whirl next time I’m in for my Lemon cheesecake cocktail fix.
Speaking of Instagram, If I’m not mistaken Banyan could possibly be the most instagrammable bar in Newcastle. There are gorgeous flower walls dotted over the place and the mirror in the (ladies) toilets are perfect if you’re a fan of an outfit picture like I am.
Banyan is a welcome addition to the bar scene in Newcastle I reckon; the cocktails aren’t the cheapest in the world but certainly on par with other places and I think the atmosphere, staff and quality of the food sets them slightly about their rivals. I’m looking forward to heading back with the lasses and hitting their cocktail menu. Hard.