Slightly tucked away behind Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter, Mantra Thai Restaurant has occupied the ornate building, which was formerly the Waterside Palace Chinese restaurant, and have created a sophisticated and serene Far Eastern dining venue.
The building’s modern yet traditional articulation and symmetry, synonymous with Asian architecture, sets the scene for that overall Far Eastern experience.
We entered Mantra through its impressive entrance and were warmly welcomed by friendly staff. We were then seated on the upper floor of the luxurious and spacious venue which boasted some spectacular views of the Tyne. The venue’s interior had a proudly traditional yet distinctly modern feel. The comfortable trendy seating arrangements and modern lighting complemented the venue’s traditional Thai decor.
Mantra’s menu has been carefully crafted to combine contrasting flavours of hot, sour, salty and sweet within artfully presented dishes, that you won’t necessarily find served in a regular Thai restaurant. The menu offers a selection of banquets to choose from on one half, and Chef’s Specialities, small plates, big plates, soup, curries and sides throughout the rest of the menu. For starters we opted for the Mantra Sharing Platter (£9.95 each) which consisted of chicken satay skewers, king prawn tempura, vegetable spring rolls, pork spare ribs with homamade bbq sauce and a crispy duck salad.
Before our starters arrived we demolished a tasty plate of Thai crackers, served with a tangy dip. The beautifully presented platter could have easily suited us for a main course; a symphony of flavours and textures with accompanied dips which took the dish to a whole new level of delicious.
“Our Mantra: Food is an art cooked from the heart.”
After foregoing my usual Thai favourite, Massaman Curry, for something a bit different, I plumped for the Weeping Tiger (£15.95) a combination of char grilled sliced sirloin steak on a sizzling hot plate accompanied by a spicy tangy chilli dip sauce. Jess opted for the tame but flavoursome chicken yellow curry (£10.95) and a side of egg fried rice (£3.00)
The char grilled steak was melt in your mouth delicious and the spicy dip gave the dish a real kick. The portion was easily enough for two sharing, a real Carnivore’s heaven.
Jess thoroughly enjoyed her chicken yellow curry proclaiming; “this was the most aromatic, and delicious Thai dish” She had ever tasted. The Chef’s 30 years of cooking expertise was certainly reflected within the meals authenticity, presentation and overall flavour.
Although I could have happily left the restaurant, content and full after our first two courses, the small but more-ish dessert menu was begging. Jess went for the, raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake (£4.50) and I opted for the mango and passion fruit sorbet (£3.50). Our desserts arrived, again generous, delicious and beautifully presented.
Before we knew it, we’d spent two very pleasant hours in this amazing restaurant. It’s no wonder that Mantra’s high standard of providing fine quintessential cuisine along with first class service and meticulous attention to detail has made them a ‘must do’ venue on Newcastle’s burgeoning restaurant scene.
Waterside Palace building, 29 Forth Banks, Newcastle, NE1 3SG
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