Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Restaurant Review: St Sushi, Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne
Since Eldon Square has been getting redeveloped I've seen the odd poster in there claiming that some sort of premium food options are in the pipeline. This is surely well needed as, unless I'm just not noticing them, there are very few decent spots to grab something tasty on those occasions when, for whatever reason, you just have to venture in there. Every time I walk past Spud-U-Like and it's offer of a potato, beans and cheese for £4.49 - now there's some mark-up! - I'm struck by the dearth of imagination invested in Eldon Square's eateries. In which desert, St Sushi sticks out as a verdant oasis.
You could quite easily miss it mind. On the first floor, just next to Eldon Leisure, the dimly lit entrance gives the impression they just do takeaway, but down the stairs you go and you're into the restaurant. There were a number of offers when we went, one of which being very reasonably priced bento boxes to which we added a couple of small starters. The selection of sushi on the a la carte is pretty comprehensive, alongside the usual noodle soups, tempuras et al.
Edamame were exactly that. There you go, look at them. Wouldn't have hurt to bung a bit of sesame oil or togarishi or something on them, would it? Kasia claimed to like them in all their nude blandity.
Much more interesting was a starter of deep fried tofu in some sort of light soy/miso broth garnished with katsuobushi flakes and nori. This was bloody great; perfectly crisp batter giving way to the absent squidge of tofu before the shaved fish flakes administered a funky thwack of flavour. I love how really good tempura batter stays crisp even as it become soggy from sitting in liquid. I could have happily devoured a decent sized trough of these.
My bento box of miso chicken was a very solid effort. The chicken was crisp but moist, the sauce tasted pleasingly smutty but not dirty, like.. I don't know, choose your own metaphor. It was good. The sushi and sashimi were enjoyable, featuring decent quality salmon, and rice with a texture suggesting it had been cooked not too long ago.
They seemed to have a bunch of deals on that aren't advertised on the website, including an extended lunch offering, so maybe call in and see what's going on. If I remember right we paid about £8 for the bento boxes, with the whole bill for two, including lashings of decent green tea under £20. Service was really quick and cheery.
Like I've said, the competition isn't up to much, but this outpost of St Sushi - the main restaurant is opposite the Tyne Theatre on Westgate Road - is well worth looking in on, especially if you're halfway through a blast round Eldon Square. I left feeling revitalised, all the better to continue playing my own small part in stimulating this rotten ponzi scheme we're deluded enough to refer to as an economy.
St Sushi, 11-13 High Friars, Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7XQ