Tuesday 12 March 2019

A Taste of Branches - Five Course Tasting Menu at Branches, Jesmond

*This is a collaboration with Branches

I have been wanting to visit Branches in Jesmond ever since they opened their doors.  I've heard great thing about their affordable, high quality food and lots of stories about their delicious Sunday lunches. Of course, I've also heard whispers that there's a blossom tree inside the restaurant (and we all know I can't resist a beautiful restaurant interior!)

Simon and I finally made it to the Jesmond restaurant last weekend for a late lunch, very hungry and excited about tucking into their five course tasting menu - it's not often you get the chance to enjoy such a huge feast. Usually when we eat out we manage two courses, so the promise of five made lunch feel extra special.

A Taste of Branches - Five Course Tasting Menu at Branches, Jesmond

The Taste of Branches menu is available for lunch between 12:00 and 14:30 and Dinner 17:00 to 19:00 (until 18:00 on Friday and Saturday) and costs £24.95 per person which is an absolutely amazing price. I don't think you'd find a five course tasting menu that cheap anywhere else and if you're looking for something a bit special without breaking the bank I wouldn't bother looking anywhere else.

We were shown to the most beautiful table underneath the gorgeous blossom tree, I really can't talk about it without mentioning Instagram because it was the perfect photo opportunity - absolutely beautiful and the perfect spot for a romantic lunch for two. The entire restaurant is decked out in white furniture, plush booths and I even spotted a flower arch when I ventured upstairs. It's quite the dining out destination.

Every meal for me nowadays starts with a gin (my gin and tonic obsession doesn't appear to be ending any time soon) and I opted for the Bloom Gin (£9.95) which came with rose buds and lavender, it looked so pretty. I've never tried lavender in my gin before but it worked so well and really added something special to my gin - it's definitely a garnish I'll look to introduce at home in the future.  Simon chose Diet Coke (I'd decided he was designated driver as soon as I read through the gin menu) which we thought was a little steep at £3.25 a glass.

Taste of Branches - Five Course Tasting Menu at Branches, Jesmond

Before I begin with the menu review I do have something to discuss which, although definitely isn't the restaurant's fault, did leave us a little frustrated. I have a mild nut allergy which I mentioned to our waiter who helpfully fetched me the allergen menu. At that point I discovered that a lot of the dishes were marked as containing nuts.

With many of the foods being sourced externally the restaurant couldn't guarantee that things didn't have nuts in. Completely understandable of course and something I come across a lot. Usually I confirm that I understand the restaurant has no control over the external food supplier and that there are nuts used in the kitchen and then use my own judgement when it comes to making my order. Branches however take allergies so seriously that I wasn't allowed to order anything that was marked as potentially having nuts in. I can completely understand why, especially given the recent press attention in relation to allergy sufferers in restaurants and the huge risks involved but I found it a little awkward to be told I couldn't order things that I knew I would be fine with.

Taste of Branches - Five Course Tasting Menu at Branches
I'm definitely not going to dwell on it as I do applaud the restaurant for taking allergies so seriously, but as I feel honesty is important in my reviews, I thought it was worth mentioning.

The first course of our five course feast was the one I couldn't help but be very excited about,  the bread course!  As someone who always goes slightly bonkers over the bread basket whenever we go out I was looking forward to my freshly baked warm bread served with whipped butter and the flavoured salt of the day.

The bread was divine, a warm crusty roll with a delicious soft centre which I completely smothered in the delicious whipped butter ...  yes I did ask for another because just having one roll to share on a "bread course" did seem a bit daft!

Branches - Five Course Tasting Menu at Branches

Course two and we had five delicious sounding starters to pick from.  I opted for the Rich Chicken Liver and Mushroom Pate with Black Truffle dressing and Caramelised Onion Chutney. The pate was delicious but really rich so I couldn't quite finish it (as we were only on course two I needed to make sure I left plenty of room)

Branches Jesmond - Five Course Tasting Menu at Branches

Simon opted for the Slow Cooked Crispy Ham Fritter and Hens Egg - Braised Ham with Soft Boiled Hens Egg, Truffle Mayo and House Pickles. It looked absolutely beautiful and shockingly Simon didn't let me try a single bite of it (grounds for divorce surely)? The dish gave me quite a lot of envy so on our next visit I'm going to be sure to order this one.

Branches Jesmond - Five Course Menu at Branches

Course three was an intermediate course which I always love on a taster menu as it's exciting to see what the chef is going to come up with.  We had a lovely light Beetroot and Apple amuse bouche. It is just me who finds extra courses just makes the meal that little bit more fancy?

Branches Jesmond - Five Course Menu
We approached the fourth course with plenty of room left and it was hard to pick between the six main courses on offer. Simon went for the Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Duck Fat Fondant potato, Pickled Mushrooms, Pancetta and Seasonal vegetables. I was watching carefully as he cut into the chicken, I always think the sign of a good restaurant is a well prepared chicken breast and this one looked perfect.

Branches, Jesmond Five Course Tasting Menu

I opted for Tagliatelle Carbonara with Crispy Egg, Wild Mushrooms and Pancetta and although I'm the first to admit that Carbonara wouldn't be something I'd usually get that excited about let me tell you that this really was a Carbonara that was worth writing home about. I've never had anything like it, it was absolutely delicious and truly knocked my socks off. I would quite happily sit in the restaurant and eat endless bowls of it all day long. It was incredible and if you take anything from this review let it be that you need to go to Branches and try this dish!

We got a special little surprise at the table before our final course when a very impressive bit of food theatre appeared. I wasn't sure what was happening to start with as a jug of curious looking liquid was poured on top of our glasses covering the whole table in smoke. For a glorious moment I felt like I was on Top of the Pops. Love a bit of drama with my food so this went down a treat.

Branches, Jesmond - Tasting Menu

Time for the fifth and final course and although we were beginning to feel more than a little full we knew there was no way we were going to be able to resist polishing off the dessert.  I had a dessert that's not usually served on the Taster Menu to accommodate my allergy which I really appreciated. The Double Chocolate Brownie was served with Amarena Cherries, Chantilly Cream and Ice-cream. It was incredible!

Branches, Jesmond - Five Course Menu

The real big finish of the day though went to Simon's Bourbon Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel Ice-Cream and Cinder Toffee. It just looked incredible - an absolute mountain of pudding and I just couldn't stop staring at it. It was a real thing of beauty and was the kind of dessert that makes you completely forget that two seconds ago you were feeling very full up. There's no way you could ever turn this bad boy down! Simon is a real connoisseur of Sticky Toffee Pudding and has decided this one now features in his top five in Newcastle (maybe one day I should get him to write a blog post on that?)

Branches, Jesmond
We were absolutely blown away by our meal at Branches, we have eaten in some of the finest restaurants in the North East and the quality of the food was definitely comparable, the only difference being the price! It's not often you find such high quality food at such a reasonable price, we still can't get over the fact that the Five Course Menu only costs £24.95!  The perfect location for a special occasion and, in all honesty, at that price, why bother waiting for something special - just book in now and give it a go!

Find Branches at:

9 Osborne Road


0191 239 9924

We received a complimentary meal for two in exchange for this honest review. We paid for drinks ourselves. 


  1. I have never been to Branches before but keep hearing great things about it from friends and family. Your meals look delicious and the setting looks amazing, love the blossom trees. I think I will suggest this to my friends for my hen party meal (I'm too old for a night on the drink lol) x

    1. Oooh yes it'd be absolutely perfect for a hen party!

  2. Oh this looks and sounds gorgeous! That decor! :)
    I could live in there. I love the highbacked booths and food looks soo good.


    1. It was really comfortable and beautifully decorated ... a good place to settle down for the afternoon with a pile of food!


© New Girl in Toon | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig