Lebaneat Restaurant Review

lebaneat restaurant viewAnother sunny day in Durham led us to walk into town. It’s great that we can still cut through Pelaw Woods to get to the river, even after the landslip has wiped out the riverside paths. In a very stormy spell of weather, the whole bankside gave way into the River Wear.  Now, the council are working to restore it, and making great progress, but it’s slow. No matter, walking into town is essentially slow too. It’s still thirsty work though, so a pause for liquid at Whisky River and then the Boathouse topped us back up.

We weren’t sure where we were going to eat that afternoon, but had wandered up Saddler Street and had a choice of quite a few. Italian at Zizzi? Tapas at La Tasca? Burger at Fat Hippo? Just then a leaflet was pushed into our hands with the lunchtime deals at Lebaneat, so we decided to give it a go. The lunchtime menu runs from 12-5pm. They offer a starter and wrap for £7.99 and a starter/main for £9.99

We last ate here during the Lumiere Festival in November 2015. It was quite frantic on the peninsula and very wet outside, so we dived in for a breather. It was packed. This time around, the place had a bit more spacshish taouke and was less hurried.

Lebaneat itself is up towards North Bailey, past the normal turn to get to Palace Green and the Cathedral. The first thing that strikes us when we go in is the monumental friendliness and attentive staff. There’s plenty of them and they make sure we’re seated and served with drinks. We opted for a bottle of Lebanese red wine. It was a little too ‘alcoholic’ for me (you could taste the spirit in it). We chose to eat from the lunchtime menu and had a starter and a main each.

Mrs DFAD had Jebne Halloumi which is grilled halloumi cheese served with an Arabic Bread. I kept with the
cheese theme, Sambousek Cheese ; a deep-fried Lebanese pastry filled kofta chickenwith feta cheese and parsley. We shared of course. The starters were absolutely delicious!

For the mains, the boss had Shish Taouk – chargrilled skewers of marinated chicken cubes served with garlic sauce and green vegetables. Mine was Kofta Chicken, chargrilled skewers of seasoned minced chicken with onion and parsley. The tastes were incredible! If Carlsberg did kebabs, this is what they’d taste like!

I can’t stress enough how good the food is in Lebaneat. If I could, i’d eat there every day. The bill came to £36.73, including the wine, which is pretty phenomenal really.

Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 9, Service : 9, Food : 10, Value : 9

Tel : 0191 384 6777

Lebaneat
47 North Bailey,
Durham,
County Durham
DH1 3ET

tealicious rated nine

[su_gmap address=”Lebaneat, DH1 3ET”]DH1 3ET[/su_gmap]

Hits: 1132

Fat Hippo Durham opening 22nd April

MEAT OUR NEWEST ARRIVAL …  

Ok so we don’t like to brag or anything, but the start of the year has already proved 2016 is the year of the hippo. Last year we beat off tough competition in The Battle of the Burger. This year we won best restaurant in Newcastle in The Chronicle’s People’s Choice Awards 2015! Plus in just a couple of months, the latest member of the Fat Hippo herd will arrive!

 

Unless you’ve lived under a rock, or pretending it’s the 80s or something and living life offline, you’ll know exactly what we’re on about. But for those of you who might have missed it (you should pay better attention) Fat Hippo Durham is coming soon! It’s been a lot of hard (hungry) work, but we’re excited to announce the latest member of the herd will be open for business on April 22nd!  From a little place in Jesmond to three restaurants, we’ve come a long way since 2010. Our burgers may have changed their names a couple of times, but our mission has always been the same. We do the good kind of gluttony, serving up good old-fashioned get-it-all-over-your-face food. For the last 6 years, we’ve made our name in Newcastle, and now we’re excited to bring our bangin’ burgers to another great city in the North East. Plus we use 100% Northumberland and Durham beef – so we figured the move into Durham made sense!  There’s still some work before our launch, and you can bet we’re going to be cooking up all sorts of exciting new exclusives for Durham so keep your eyes peeled …

http://www.fathippo.co.uk/blog/meat-our-newest-arrival

Hits: 1209

The Talbot Hotel Malton Review

The Talbot Hotel Malton

talbot hotel maltonAs promised, our Durham Food and Drink ‘away day’ trip to The Talbot Hotel Malton.

We’d taken the train from Durham Railway Station early doors on the Saturday morning, bound for York. This is about 45 minutes these days, and after a brisk walk across York Station to platform 5 we hopped on the Scarborough train. This trundled off through the NW suburbs, seemingly through people’s back gardens and out into the Vale. Haxby came and went, then we latched onto the River Derwent, past the beautiful Kirkham Abbey and Priory and some lovely railside properties before arriving in Malton mid morning. Out from the carriage, across the river and into the town, the weather was colder and blustery. Mrs DFD had bravely decided on just a dress and cardie. We disappeared fairly rapidly into a local cafe for warming coffee. When we ventured into Malton Marketplace, there was a food market on, and the sun had come out, so we wandered around savoring the smells and sights until luchtime.

The fantastic Talbot Hotel is run by James Martin, the TV chef. You can see the hotel from the railway as you approach Malton, standing high up on the opposite side of the river. It has 26 bedrooms, so not huge by modern standards. The Restaurant and menus are overseen by head chef Jake Jones. We’d booked the lunch time meal on Open Table about a month previously, and had a 12:30 reservation. The lunchtime menu is set at £18 for a two course meal or £24 for three courses. We decided to just go for a two courser. The barman Steve was very attentive and took our drinks order, then came back for the food. Mrs DFD had selected Poached Cod for starters and Pork Belly for her main. I went for Asparagus and Wild Garlic Soup and Talbot’s Burger (Venison Burger), which wasn’t on the set menu, but the barman said he could sort it for me for the same price. We garnished it with an extra portion of hand cut chips and purple sprouting broccoli, garlic butter and bacon.

A pint of Tail Gunner and a glass of Prosecco later, we were shown through to the restaurant. We were the first ones in for the lunch. It’s like a stately home inside, with the huge, strong equine oils adorning the walls and extensive views from the massive sash windows into the grounds and back across the river. We sat by one of the windows, taking advantage of the strong light that had developed. We sampled the bread and butter whilst we waited for our starters to arrive. Our waitress saw to it we were comfortable, then delivered our first course.

Mrs DFD’s Poached Cod was light and melted in the mouth, with a lovely delicate lemon salt taste. The asparagus and wild garlic soup came with strips of mushroom and the accompanying seared sour dough bread was fantastic.

Poached East Coast Cod, Jersey Royals, Granny Smith , Sea Purslane at the Talbot Hotel Malton

wye valley asparagus and wild garlic soup, king oyster mushroom, charred sourdough bread at the Talbot Hotel Malton

Now i’m not normally into anything too fancy, but the main course was well worth waiting for! The Talbot Burger of Venison came in a big rosy bun, with cocktail skewer, a little piece of seared lettuce, with a jenga fashion of chips and beetroot relish. I added broccoli which was covered in garlic butter and strips of bacon. Debs’ pork belly was served on a bed of white beans with grilled leeks and parsnip, she also added some jenga chips and shared the broccoli and bacon. The burger was covered in ribblesdale cheese, which has a very strong flavour. The belly pork was the best i’ve ever tasted, with nice crunchy fat and dry meat beneath. I don’t generally eat beetroot as it’s not normally prepared as nicely as this, but it had a nice sweet soft relish taste and not the hard stuff i’d rejected as a kid.

Talbot's Burger. Roe Deer Burger, Smoked Ribblesdale Cheese, Charred Gem Lettuce, Beetroot Relish at the Talbot Hotel Malton

Rare Breed Pork Belly, White Beans, Grilled Leeks and Parsnips at the Talbot Hotel Malton

We passed on the desserts and just went for a coffee in the atrium. This totally relaxed us for another half hour. Steve the bar manager came in, clutching a large TV under his arm, saying that if he couldn’t go to Aintree, then Aintree would be coming to him. The Grand National was almost upon us. We left him to watch his race, paid the bill (£61) and disappeared back to the food market to buy copious quantities of cheese.

The Talbot was everything I expected it to be, with great food and superb staff ensuring we enjoyed our meal. I’d like to stay there sometime and sample the full hotel hospitality as I think it would be awesome. I’d give this a perfect 10.

the atrium at The Talbot Hotel Malton

Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 10, Service : 10, Food : 10, Value : 10

The Talbot Hotel Malton,
Malton,
Yorkshire,
YO17 7AJ
Tel: 01653 639096

[su_gmap address=”YO17 7AJ”]YO17 7AJ[/su_gmap]

Hits: 3099

The Capital Durham Indian Restaurant

Here’s a promo video for The Capital Indian Restaurant in Claypath, Durham. I’ve been there many times and I’ve never had a bad meal yet, but be sure to book yourselves in as it gets very busy, especially at weekends.

Directly above The Capital you’ll also find Palm Sugar.

We called in on the way back home after a day in the town. The rain had been incessant, and it was good to get into the dry for a bit. Surprisingly for the time of day (7pm), the restaurant was empty, so we took the chance to get fed up before the rest of the Friday crowd turned out. The Capital, in my opinion, is the best Indian Restaurant in Durham. Tonight that was proved beyond doubt. Mrs Durham Food and Drink hadn’t been before, but she was only moderately impressed the last time shw came out for an Indian meal, at the Spice Lounge, so this was a new one on her.

We started with Poppadoms and pickles. We asked for two plain ones, when they came there were three. The pickles are the standard four, lime pickle, mango chutney, onion relish and mint raita. Usually, the one Indian Restaurants get horribly wrong is the lime pickle. I’ve tasted some pretty ropey attempts in the past. The Capital do the definitive lime pickle. It is absolutely superb! I started raving about it straight away. Mrs DFD agreed. But there was more to come.

capital durham indian restaurant

For the mains, we selected Balti Special Garlic Chicken and Chicken Nawabi, with a Vegetable Pilao and Peshwari Naan. The Chicken Nawabi was the most fantastic taste i’ve had at an Indian Restaurant for a long time. Creamy and delicate, with huge pieces of chicken. The Balti chicken was subtle on the garlic, but enough to give it that distinctive kick. Delicious stuff this. A huge peshwari naan bread mopped up the remnants, with a Cobra Beer each.

The Capital Durham lived up to my billing as the Best Indian Restaurant in Durham City, bar none. The service was as efficient as ever, with the waiters always there to get the order in and food delivered to the table as quickly as possible, but without hovering over you. Food quality was superb, with subtle spicing leading to a fantastic dining experience.

Price was only £34 for two, which included £6 for the two beers, so a bit of a bargain really.


Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 9, Service : 9, Food : 9, Value : 9

capital durham rated nine

The Capital Durham
69 Claypath,
Durham,
County Durham
DH1 1QT
Phone : 0191 386 8803

Scores on the Doors

[su_gmap address=”The Capital DH1 1QT”]DH1 1WA[/su_gmap]

Hits: 6207

Bells Fish Restaurant Durham

We called in at Bells Fish Restaurant Durham for lunch on Good Friday. The restaurant is on the corner of the Market Place and used to be Bimbis Fish Restaurant. The place has just been totally redecorated and looks great inside. Like the Gilesgate takeaway, the shop has a big feature of an ornamental fish tank just inside the door, with tropical fish. This seemed to keep the kids entertained nicely.

bells fish and chip restaurant durham

Bells Fish Restaurant Durham

No cheap ‘cafe’ style decor for us; no plastic tables or chairs. At Bells we feel that a world class dish, served in a world class city centre, should be served in a world class place. Hence our heavy investment in our restaurant on both equipment and fixtures and fittings.

At Bells we are proud to serve local people as well as guests from all over the world. You’re sure of a warm and friendly reception here at Bells. Just take a look at our menu and remember, at Bells we are now serving beers and wines too.

If you’d rather enjoy your fish & chips the ‘traditional’ way, our first class takeaway service is available just alongside our restaurant.

We had to queue for a while in the rain to get into Bells, but were able to jump the queue a bit as a table for two came up and those in front of us needed 3 or 4. Felt a bit guilty there as we passed them all in the queue; their faces seemed to harden slightly as we breezed past. The restaurant was fairly full, everybody from adults to babies in there! The seats are nice and comfy and there’s more room upstairs if the lower deck is overflowing (it was). The waitress (all were smartly turned out in their uniforms) took our order straight away. We stayed with traditional Cod and Chips with mushy peas, although there’s plenty to choose from on the menu, including Sea Bass, Salmon and Steamed Mussels. And dandelion and burdock is compulsory with fish and chips isn’t it, along with a slice or two of bread and butter? Oh, go on then.

We amused ourselves by pulling silly faces at the baby on the next table until our food came. All the while people were coming and going, but they seemed to have it all worked out, with a lad clearing tables to make sure new incomers had a clean place to sit, rather than staring at the previous leftovers for 5 minutes. The food took about 10 minutes to arrive, and was delivered on Bell’s fish shaped plates. That was totally effective, raising a smile and reminding us where we were. The cod was cooked beautifully, no soggy batter or bones, all nice and crisp. The chips were also nice and dry, and the mushy peas were a perfect paste consistency. Time to nip our noses and dive in! We stayed for about a half hour, but they were still queuing outside in the rain, so we didn’t hang about any longer and let someone else have their turn to dry out and feast their faces. I was still feeling a bit guilty about jumping the queue to be honest 😉

bells fish and chip restaurant durham

Price was £24 for two, which wasn’t cheap, but when you consider that fish and chips for two from a normal chippy will cost best part of 12 quid these days, without the sit down, drinks and service, it wasn’t too bad.

Bells have got things very right with their Durham restaurant. The food is very nice, the menu extensive and the service is fast, efficient and polite. Recommended if you don’t mind queuing to get in.

Bells Fish Restaurant Durham,
11 Market Place,
Durham,
DH1 3NE
Tel: 0191 384 8974

Website : http://www.bellsfishshop.co.uk/


Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 8, Service : 9, Food : 8, Value : 8

Bells fish restaurant Durham rated 8

Scores on the Doors

[su_gmap address=”Bells Fish Restaurant DH1 3NE”]DH1 1WA[/su_gmap]

Hits: 3472