When the lovely folks over at the Copthorne Hotel on Newcastle’s Quayside got in touch and asked me to help them create a Bloggers Guide to Newcastle, I jumped at the chance. We were kindly sent off to review The Orchid* Chinese restaurant which is across the road from the hotel in an old Bonded Warehouse.
On entering, we were greeted with great customer service and beaming smiles whilst being shown to our table. With several seating areas throughout the restaurant as well as a private room, each table is afforded the relative luxury of being well spaced from their neighbour, a rarity in most restaurants it would seem. Chic contempory interior and well dressed staff exuded an air of class and quality.
With the customer service being so thorough, verging on almost intrusive, we set about the hard task of deciding what to eat! The young ladies constantly hovering were somewhat offputting, heaven forbid you made eye contact!
The light was somewhat subdued so with that in mind, let’s continue with some photos!
We split 3 appetisers between us. The Smoked Chicken (£7) was lightly battered and served in a thick, smokey spicy sauce unlike anything we have seen in a restaurant before. Very delicious, I have been craving it ever since!
The Salt & Pepper Chilli Chicken (£7) was a huge heaping generous portion. Again, lightly battered to perfection, the crunchy fresh onions and sweet bites of pepper worked well against the salty and spicy batter.
Seaweed with Garlic & Pepper (£4.50) finished off our trio of appetisers. Moreish and something a little bit different with the addition of garlic and pepper. The dish was quite salty and coming from me who could just ingest salt, take heed! I wish I didn’t have to share this. A definite top recommendation from me, along with the Smoked Chicken.
When we finally relinquished our plates to the exuberant wait staff, our mains were hot on the heels of our starter.
I opted for the Chicken Satay (£10.50) with Fried Rice (£2.80). The satay was a delicate balance of sweet and savoury with a little punch of heat to finish off each mouthful. Added bursts of sweetness came from chunks of fresh pineapple. Sizzling hot on a skillet, an extra dose of the chilli would have been fine by me.
The Beef with Black Bean and Green Pepper (£10.50) with Fried Rice (£2.80) was exactly as you would expect. Tender beef with peppers and a punchy sauce. Nothing more, nothing less. A well executed restaurant staple. A testament to quality. If the ‘regulars’ are spot on, then you know you are on to a winner.
For us, the restaurant was on par with any of the heavy hitters of Stowell Street which gladly satisfied us that standards hadn’t been cut just to draw in hotel guests. With a Chinese restaurant of this caliber on the Quayside offering free parking, I don’t think we will be visiting Chinatown again for some time! It is a perfect spot for hotel guests to tuck in to some tasty food after a few summery drinks at one of the many bars.