Eating out


This guide is compliled by our very own ‘Lunchtime O’Boulez’, larger-than-life, Pavarotti-lookalike,  Ian Smith, Esquire, who is indeed a legend in his own lunchtime !

When it’s nose-bag time and he gets his bib on, this dude has racing-colours on his knife and fork !

Move over Harry the Horse (Damon Runyan’s infamous champion eater of Broadway), this guy has REAL class !


Rumour has it that 2017 has been an exceptional year for Ian on the gee gees – as he has been sucessfully backing up-and-coming trainer Phil Kirby’s horses big style and he regularly puts a Monkey on the nose !     He has even been down to the stables at Middleham to cast an eye over his investments !   For the uninitiated, a Monkey is £500, so named because the old 500 Rupee notes in India had a  money on them – another bit of useless information !



Read on ………






Categories are as follows : Fish and Chip restaurants ; Ethnic Restaurants ; Haute Cuisine ; Cheap & Cheerful Eateries.

Bon appetite !

I.S. (Tynemouth, October 2010)


Category I. Fish and Chip Shops.


*  This is a no-brainer, as the best fish and chip shop in the country is right on our doorstep.

Colemans Fish and Chip Restaurant, 182 Ocean Road, South Shields, NE33 2UQ, has been in business since 1926.

Unfortunately, their original premises, Colemans Central Cafe, was destroyed by the Luftwaffe but they rose from the ashes and the show went on.

Colemans is the current English Fish and Chip Shop of the Year 2010, having scooped this award several times.

Situated bang in the middle of Ocean Road amidst a host of Bangladesh and Pakistani eateries, Coleman’s shuts its doors when the ‘Indians’ are opening up.

Hours of trading : 11am – 5.45 pm, sitdown and takeaway.

They even have a blackboard on the wall of the restaurant naming the boat on which the fish was caught !

This fish and chip shop is run with military precision.

And you don’t go out smelling of vinegar, like you do from most other local chippies !

Their standard cod and line-caught haddock meals cost around £8.

All of their food is cooked to perfection and the local staff are smart and friendly.

For that special occasion, their Special Seafood Platter or their Hand Prepared Scampi, weighing in at about £18.95 are superb dishes.

Despite enlarging the restaurant in 2012, long queues regularly stretch out into the street.

Small / inexpensive meals also available for pensioners.

For full details, visit :


Pip Pip !






* My favourite Indian restaurant on Tyneside is exactly what it says on the tin.

Rasa Newcastle, 27 Queen Street, Newcastle, NE1 3UG, is a genuine ‘Indian’ restaurant, which is something of a rarity.

The cuisine emanates from the Indian state of Kerala, which lies on the beautiful Malabar coast of  south India.

Even the pre-meal Snacks at 3 quid a head are something special, comprising a snack tray with a bowl of unusual assorted crispy Indian treats such as achappams, pappadavadai, pappadoms, banana crisps, murukku, etc., all of which are popular in Karalan tea shops for ‘tiffin’.

These are duly dipped into assorted small dishes of pickles and chutneys.  Delicious !

The menu is a bit bewildering, as it is not the usual chicken vindaloo and pilau rice format.

Mains even include Crab Varuthathu, which is the most popular dish back home in Rasa Samudra. Recipe is fresh crabs cooked in turmeric and chilli water, stir-fried with Indian shallots, black pepper and curry leaves and served with paratha bread.

Give this place a try at lunchtime, as the £12 business special is brilliant.

Hours of trading : lunch 12-3 daily, dinner 6-11pm and Sundays, dinner only, 6-11.

Pip Pip !


* For Chinese in Newcastle, where better to go than to the brand-new Lau’s 202 Buffet House, 92 Newcastle Street, Newcastle, NE1 5RQ.

The 202 refers to the number of seats, but this place has been so well put together in unabashed contemporary style by Dakota House of Design that it does not feel over-crowded.

Open all day, eat as much as you like, with prices and range of dishes increasing as the day progresses.

Their lunchtime Special for about £7 includes starters from a chefs-island, where you can watch them making sushi and teppanyaki, etc.

Follow this up with choice from a vast array of mains, rice dishes, noodles, etc.,  then help yourself to sweets, smoothy ice cream and Chinese tea.

A much nicer venue in my opinion than the many outlets on nearby Stowell Street, otherwise known as China Toon !

This place gets seriously busy, but gives a 7.15% discount for students and wrinklies !

Reminiscent of similar restaurants in Singapore.

Open 11.30 to 22.30.

Great place to take a bunch of kids for a party !


Pip Pip !






*  A superb new modern restaurant opened in September 2010, just down the road from the Tynemouth Lodge pub.

Chef-patron, Graeme Cuthill who hails from Lancashire opened Irvins Brasserie in the former Richard Irvin (trawler owners) Building on North Shields Fish Quay.

The fish quay was already awash with bistros and chippies, but Irvins is in a different league.

Graeme was previously a chef to Andrew Lloyd Webber and a former Head Chef at Newcastle’s Hotel de Vin.

Everything is cooked in the open-plan stainless-steel kitchen area at the back of the restaurant and it is immediately apparent that the catering team are working with military precision.

Great choice of dishes on the menu and all meat, fish or vegetarian dishes can be ordered as either a Starter of as a Main.

Hence, possible to have a few Starter dishes on the same plate !

Had lunch at Irvins about a week after it open and impressed by the beautifully-presented, exquisitely-cooked offerings, which I duly washed down later with a pint or two of ‘Khyber’ in the Tynemouth Lodge !

Returned for lunch over the Christmas period, steak and calves’ liver were brilliant and the staff were working their socks off !

The presentation and quality of the offerings in this restaurant are unparalleled in the area.

Having a chef-owner at the helm in a kitchen area makes all the difference – other restaurants please note !

This outlet has became an overnight success-story and it is advisable to book at weekends to avoid disappointment.

Fast-forward to  2013 and Graham has had to put extra tables into the brasserie where they now also serve a good range of inexpensive tapas-type English dishes in addition to the A la Carte and Table d’hote menus.

They will also cook to order, within reason !


Full address : Irvins Brasserie, Fish Quay, North Shields, NE30 1HJ. Tel 0191 296 3238    (Closed for annual holiday during most of January – check website)

Be there or be square !!


Pip pip !

UPDATE : Irvins ceased trading in 2017 and is currently standing empty





* Start the day with the best bacon and egg butty on Tyneside atWights, bang in the middle of North Shields Fish Quay.

No charge for al fresco dining under parasols outside of this famous ships’ grocers, where you can watch the world go by !

Friendly service is assured by Marty and Dennis at Wights and in the true tradition of an English grocers shop, the fresh bacon is sliced to order.

An array of old-fashioned sweets are also sold loose.

This place is a ‘must’ if you are visiting the Fish Quay.


Pip Pip !





* Best value CARVERY in the area is The Gibralter Rock, Tynemouth.

Formerly a Bass house and in the same safe family hands for over 20 years, the Gibralter Rock – which is right next door to Tynemouth Castle – provides excellent fresh wholesome food at just £10 for two carvery meals during the week (correct at NOvember 2013)

Everything is home-cooked and joints being sliced are ham, beef and turkey, then you help yourself to as much veg as you like.

It is possible to walk in there and have a meal in front of you in the space of 5 minutes.

Cheaper and much much better than Wetherspoons !

Brilliant views out to sea and of the ancient Priory.

They also have an extensive a la carte menu to choose from.


Landlord Billy is one of the longest-serving licensees in the area.


Pip Pip !


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