A few weeks ago, I surprised my boyfriend with a trip to Newcastle for his birthday. I planned it all well in advance (I am a bit of a loser when it comes to planning and organisation) and he had no idea where we were going until we were on the road. I booked a beautiful little apartment on TripAdvisor which I would highly recommend if you’re planning a visit to Newcastle. It can be found here – expect stunning views of the quayside.
Now I knew when planning this trip that the main event was going to be the meal on the Saturday night. I did quite a bit of research on TripAdvisor, particularly into Thai restaurants as Thai food is one of our absolute favourites. I came across Mantra Thai which, at the time of writing, is number 15 of 1,012 restaurants in Newcastle on TripAdvisor and is also up for Restaurant of the Year 2017 – a pretty good effort if you ask me! The reviews were good, the pictures looked incredible and it appeared to be special without being too extravagant. So I booked. Then waited for like… a month for the date to come round. Not even exaggerating.
The restaurant is situated in a stunning building which looks incredibly impressive from the outside and doesn’t disappoint upon entering. The decor is chic, modern and has an expensive feel about it. We were made to instantly feel welcome as our waitress talked us through the menu and offered suggestions of her favourite dishes. We were then provided with complimentary prawn crackers – an easy way to my heart.
For starters, we ordered the Salt and Chilli Spare Ribs and Chicken and Prawn Toast. Both were delicious – the meat of the ribs fell away from the bone and the flavour was perfect with just the right amount of chilli. The toast was beautifully crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with the flavours of garlicky minced chicken and prawn leaving us wanting more.
By this point we were relatively tipsy after having had quite substantial amounts of prosecco in the apartment (Scotland were playing England in the football so alcohol was necessary) and were now enjoying a bottle of wine with our meal, so we were even more excited than usual when our mains arrived and looked nothing short of amazing. We ordered King Prawns in Black Pepper Sauce and Seafood in Aromatic Spices. The king prawns were the biggest I had ever seen – practically the size of my head. Okay now I am exaggerating but they were big and extremely juicy. The dish was also very spicy, maybe slightly too much spice for me but I do enjoy a challenge!
The mixed seafood dish was packed to the brim with king prawns, mussels, scallops and squid. The mussels and scallops weren’t cooked quite as well as I would expect if I had ordered them as a starter on their own, however mixed through the dish they worked well. The squid was the standout for me, the texture adding a good balance to the dish and it took on the flavour of the spices really nicely.
We were completely full and content after all of this so didn’t order dessert.
Food – 9.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Price – 8/10, for a special occasion! (Starters both £7.95, Mains £14.95 and £15.95, Noodles £3.50 and Wine £24)
Overall – 9/10
Mantra’s mantra (see what they did there) is “food is an art, cook from the heart” and they certainly do that. We enjoyed a perfect meal and I would definitely recommend if you are in the Toon and have a special celebration coming up.