he Bake specialises in Lebanese food. It is not a fancy frills restaurant, but this means you get fantastic food at a cheaper price. If this doesn’t convince you, let me throw in the fact that it’s BYOB, which further reduces the end-price of the bill (whilst leaving you increasingly sloshed). I went for my birthday following a recommendation by a friend. There was a large group of us but booking was easy. Many restaurants ask for a £5 deposit per head and a pre-order when there’s a large party, however the Bake were happy for us to simply turn up, sit down and order. It was all very relaxed and stress-free for me. It was a suitable choice to cater for everyone on a student budget as it’s very reasonably priced. Added to this they offer Western alternatives for those who aren’t keen on Lebanese food, so no-one would be stuck for choice.
The staff were efficient and the food came very quickly. We were brought warm freshly cooked flat-bread with houmous, olive oil and herbs to pick at whilst waiting for our mains. I chose The Bake Mixed Lamb dish, which included lamb kofta, lamb kebab and lamb shwarma. I was impressed with all of them and pleased that I had the chance to sample a variety of things on the menu, rather than having to settle for one! Every mouthful was a taste-explosion and the lamb was melt-in-the-mouth tender.
“My boyfriend has ALWAYS been able to finish
whatever’s on his plate (plus other people’s)”
Most of the mains came with your choice of rice or chips. Mine just came with salad so, my eyes being far bigger than my belly, I ordered a portion of fragranced rice on the side. It was extremely yummy and complimented the strong flavours of the lamb perfectly. I wish I had been able to manage more than three teaspoons of it before feeling like I was going to explode! My boyfriend has ALWAYS been able to finish what’s on his plate (plus other people’s), yet he was defeated by the portions at this restaurant. It is still a sore point for him.
The waiters overheard it was my birthday and, at the end of the meal, brought out two desserts on the house for us all to share. They were traditional Lebanese sweets, not everyone’s cup of tea I have to admit, but it was interesting to try and I will always be grateful to anyone who’s handing out free pud!
“I will always be grateful to anyone who’s handing out free pud!”
The atmosphere was comfortable and hassle-free. The waiters were efficient and easy to catch if you needed them, but were happy to leave us to enjoy ourselves (even when we were lingering well after the bill had been paid- yes, we were that annoying group I’m ashamed to say!). Don’t let the location put you off as this restaurant is within walking distance of some pretty funky bars such as The Tyne Bar and The Cluny, so would be perfect for a pre-gig meal. It only takes about fifteen minutes to walk to from the Millennium Bridge and this route will take you along the Ouseburn river, which is well worth a venture for those who have never been.
I would highly recommend this restaurant for any occasion, but particularly for those who are trying to get a large party together. It was stress-free to organise and everyone enjoyed themselves. What more could you want?
98 Byker Bank, Byker, Newcastle