Wednesday 5 June 2013

As You Like It ... Chocolate and Beetroot

Hidden in an ugly concrete jungle is the delightful As You Like It.  It’s nothing to look at from the outside but as soon as you step through the door the charming character of the bar hits you.
As You Like it is a restaurant bar in Jesmond that I’d read about a lot before moving to the North East, it’s very popular with locals and many even chose to have their perfect fairytale wedding held there.   Not surprising at all given the beautiful décor. 
The place is made up of beautifully decorated little nooks and hidden rooms covered in twinkly lights, pretty flowers, chandeliers, funky chairs and even a grandfather clock.
There are always interesting things going on, the events calendar is very full with comedy nights, wine tasting and the event that I’m really looking forward to trying, the “Supper Club” held every Friday and Saturday night.
 Having only been for a quick coffee before I was very excited to receive an e-mail last week tempting me to Jesmond with the promise of sampling the new menu as part of “Restaurant Week” and was immediately on the phone to book a table.
We began our evening in the bar where the extensive and very reasonably priced cocktail menu had my eyes popping out of my head.  I didn’t even know where to begin and will definitely need a return visit to fulfil the long list of cocktails that I’d like to try.   I opted for the Toblerone cocktail - chocolatey heaven, filled with refreshing ice and topped with a honey float. To add to the fun we “played heads or tails” with the barman, won and got half price drinks. 
My final cocktail choice of the evening had to be something involving cherries as I adore them.  This being the finest cocktail menu in the North East I had a lot to choose from.  I decided on the cherry drop which mixed amaretto and midori with cranberry juice.  Perfectly sweet and very refreshing.
Making sure we were very hungry on arrival we managed to tackle a whole 3 courses, for the shockingly good price of £13 as part of Restaurant Week.   It was a struggle, we were very full at the end and had to roll home, but it was definitely worth it.
For starter I enjoyed halloumi with pitta bread and then had the ultimate indulgence for my main course, the breakfast burger.  A thick beef burger squished into a bun with home-made onion rings, mushrooms, bacon, a fried egg and breakfast sauce.  It was so filling I was barely able to touch my chips.  Despite being about to burst  the dessert menu was just too tempting to turn down, I love interesting twists on classic puddings and the menu was a real feast of wonders.  Luckily Simon stepped in and ordered one of the two desserts I wanted so I got to sample two.   First up was the rhubarb crème brûlée, I’ve always loved rhubarb so this was right up my street.  It worked really well, especially with the shortbread biscuit it was served with, the perfect mix of tang and sweet.    The dessert that really sparked my curiosity was the chocolate and beetroot cake, there was no way I could leave without trying it.  I was a little apprehensive but I do love trying different flavours together.  The chocolate cake was served with a warm chocolate sauce and cream and the beetroot appeared in the form of bright purple sauce which worked so perfectly with the chocolate.  I highly recommend you give it a go.
Restaurant Week is on until Friday but As You Like It run many offers and events throughout the year.


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