Harissa Mediterranean Kitchen
Address: 31-33 Starbeck Avenue, Newcastle, NE2 1RJ
Tucked away in a student area of Newcastle, Harissa Kitchen in Sandyford is a hidden gem. A bright and contemporary eatery laden with a relaxing Mediterranean feel, it’s perfect for casual catch ups with friends and embracing the highly anticipated summer weather.
The food is an array of tapas inspired by every corner of the Med. The fresh and spicy aromas of which hit you as soon as you enter the petite yet cool kitchen. From the menu, you can choose several small plates, or a couple of large plates to satisfy your hunger. This cultural cuisine is all about sharing, so we recommend trying a variety of dishes with the small plates section.
The choice of dishes on the menu is a good size, offering plenty of options and an impressive variation of tastes and flavours, but not too big that it becomes an impossible task to make a decision.
Regardless of your dietary preferences, there’s something for everyone. From spiced lentils and homemade falafel to huge king prawns and lamb croquettes enriched with harissa. The Kitchen recommend around 3-4 small plates per person, including an intriguing selections of hummus dips, olives, and warm, crisp flatbreads.
The Foodies Corner team recommend the Harissa House Sausages, spicy pork chipolatas with a dressing of harissa yoghurt. The bitter, yet heated dressing was a perfect match for the meaty sausages. The Batata Harra was also a firm favourite on our visit. Crisp potatoes sautéed in garlic and coriander, a minimal yet entirely flavoursome combination.
To start, or to compliment your meal, try any one of the colourful dips available at Harissa. The charred flatbread coated in their speciality Whipped Labneh Cheese is an unusual yet more-ish addition to your meal.
Thought and precision is put into everything from the presentation down to the seasonal and fresh ingredients. What makes this place even more impressive, apart from their award of Best Newcomer in the area, is the fact it’s a social enterprise. The team invest every penny of their profits back into the community via their sister organisation, Food Nation. The staff are passionate and knowledgeable which always makes for a pleasant experience.
Head to Harissa Kitchen for a summer lunch, midweek date or a good gossip with the girls. Fresh, tasty food and good wine, what could be better?
You can find out more about the inspirational Food Nation, here: http://www.foodnation.org/
Overall Rating ★★★★
Words and Photography by Laura Brown @ProperScrummy