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Food & Drink Reviews

The Stand Bistro

The Stand is the new comedy club in the centre of Newcastle, but they have a bistro too (open to all – not just comedy fans) and Rosie Marsh discovered that it’s a quite a gem.

The Stand has now opened its doors in Newcastle where it has very quickly made a name for itself being not only THE new comedy hub, but also one of THE trendiest eateries in the city. Morning, brunch, afternoon and evening - there’s always a time and a place to catch up with friends in the warm art-deco ambience of The Stand’s bistro. Modern art graces the walls and scrumpy cider is served behind the bar; this really is an altogether lovely place to be.

The evening menu is packed with variation with everything reasonably priced. The starters, nibblers and sharers all come in at £4.50 each, from twice cooked pork and prawn sticks, north sea fishcakes and chicken parfait, to name but a few. We settled on onion bhaji with tamarind and dill yoghurt and mixed olives, feta and pitta breads. We didn’t opt for the veggie options on purpose (I’m not a vegetarian) but the olives were far too tempting! The mouth-wateringly sharp zingy flavours danced around my mouth while the pitta bread was a great dipping device. The onion bhaji was deep-fried and crispy, along with the refreshing dill yoghurt –the only putdown I have for this was I could have ate more; it was too good!

It was hard to decide on a main course; again we were spoilt for choice. The menu ranged from beef burgers with Berwick edge cheese, North African merquez sausages, fish of the day caught from the fish quay (you can’t get fresher than that) and beetroot burger, all £8.50. We decided to try Vietnamese curry with chicken and sticky rice and Mexican nachos of Wallington Estate beef chilli and sour cream pesto. The curry was absolutely scrumptious: if you’re a fan of creamy Indian kormas and coconut-based Thai curries then you’re going to love this dish. The chicken fell off the bone, so moist and tender, it was cooked to perfection. The Mexican chilli was loaded with robust flavours and shredded beef which was both rich and succulent. Hot and fiery, the guacamole and sour cream also combined perfectly for a delicious attack on the senses. The presentation was another quirky attention-to-detail feature that the bistro hit the nail on the head with; the sauces in neat glass jars that wouldn’t have looked out of place used for storing strawberry jam in a village fete. Très chic.

The dessert list featured brûlée of the day, Eton mess, dark chocolate torte and Mordon blue cheese with grapes and biscuits, all £4.50, so whatever you fancied to round off the meal, there was something to please everyone. So the next time you’re looking for somewhere to eat, that is several steps up from pub-grub, but at pub-grub style prices, then head in the direction of this smart little bistro for fresh and scrumptious food. And, unlike the comedians appearing here, I’m not joking.

Stand Bistro is open from 11am-late. 31 High Bridge, Newcastle.www.thestand.co.uk