Sachins, Newcastle is a restaurant that specialises in the finest Punjabi cuisine. You will find it in the Stephenson quarter on Forth Bank. If you are looking for a warm welcome and delicious food in a cosy atmosphere, Sachins is the place to go. We recently went along for dinner. Read on to find out what we thought.
Like many families, we don’t often get the chance to eat out as a couple. When my son went to stay overnight at a friends we went out for the night. Our destination was Sachins Punjabi restaurant in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Whilst the restaurant has been there for ages and I have gone past it many times, we had never been in for a meal. I was looking forward to dining there.
You can find Sachins restaurant in Forth Banks, an area directly behind Newcastle Central Station and with easy access to the quayside. The area has changed much over the years.
The tables are close together. You are not sat to close to others unless it gets full. It was quite busy when we were there but not packed. I can imagine it feels a bit cramped when it is full. The tables are set with crisp white linen and candle at the table add to the ambience. The restaurant feels welcoming and cosy.
Service is welcoming and attentive. They make sure you have what you need without feeling intrusive. Orders were taken swiftly and you were never left waiting for too long.
Sachins specialises in Punjabi cuisine. If you are familiar with the Punjab region of India you will know the fields are full of wheat fields, yellow mustard blossoms, rice paddies and sugarcane. The region is also a dairy region.
It is no surprise that the local cooking makes use of these agricultural traditions. Expect lots of ghee and dairy with ginger, garlic and spices. The region is also famous for its clay oven for cooking bread and meats – the tandoor.
The menu is extensive with a wide range of al la carte options or set meals for two, three or four. We found it difficult to decide and finally choose the gourmet meal for two (£55). You know whatever you choose will be nice All the food is freshly prepared using the finest ingredients.
While waiting for our food we had a drink. The wine menu features a large selection of wine so you are bound to find something that suits. If wine is not to your taste you can have a soft drink or Cobra beer. The Cobra beer is lovely, the bottles are chilled to perfection and ideal for washing down a curry.
Shortly after we got our drinks the appetisers arrived. The crisp poppadoms came with a selection of four different pickles. I tried not to eat too many in case I did not have room for the rest of the meal but the poppadoms kept jumping into my hand. They went perfectly with the pickles.
The pickles are mint and yoghurt, Sachins salsa, mango chutney and onion. The onion is a mix of diced onion, cucumber and tomato. The mango chutney has a lovely sweet flavour and the mint is a great palate refresher. Most surprising was the Sachins salsa with its special blend of spices. It is mild to start but packs a small kick afterwards. This one was our favourite of the four pickles.
The starters soon made an appearance. There are two different dishes Murgh Tikka three ways and Chilli Chingri. The Murgh Tikka features tandoored chicken in green, red and yellow with a bed of salad. The chicken is moist and the different flavours of the spices came through. Each chicken piece has a distinctive taste.
The Chili Chingri is king prawns marinated in gram flour, chilli and garlic with an orange and cinnamon dressing. These had more of a kick than the chicken and you could definitely taste the chilli. It was not overpowering but the salad was nice for cooling the mouth down. The flavours were spot on.
After the starter we were feeling pleasantly full but had enough room to attempt the main course. Accompanying the mains we had a side dish of vegetable pilau rice and a selection of tandoori nan breads. The nan bread was delicious. Both were lovely and crisp with a slightly more buttery taste than normal naan bread. The rice was fluffy with a mix of different vegetables.
There were two different main dishes, Chingri Malabar and Baghwani Murgh. Chingri Malabar is king prawns in a rich sauce with curry leaves, mustard seeds, south Indian spices and coconut milk. Baghwani Mugh is chicken with baby spinach and Sachins spices. Both dishes were delicious, the meat meltingly soft and the dishes spiced to perfection.
We had a debate about which dish was the hottest but were unable to decide. The Chingri Malabar was hot but the coconut milk cools it down. This leaves a spicy taste on the palate which is not overpowering. The Baghwani Murgh is slightly hot to start with a spicy aftertaste. Both dishes complement each other and make a lovely main.
We really enjoyed our meal at Sachins Newcastle and would go back. The restaurant is easy to get to, being near Central Station and a car park. The service was good and the food was delicious. It was not too hot and it was full of flavour. The portion sizes were spot on. We were able to eat what was on our plates without having to waste any.
Sachins has a welcoming and cosy atmosphere. I imagine that when it is busy it can feel crowded but when we were there it was fine. I would recommend booking ahead as the restaurant can get busy.
Whilst the price for the meal was slightly more than I would normally pay, it compares well with other restaurants in the centre of Newcastle. If you are dining out for a special occasion it is worth considering Sachins for a flavourful and tasty meal.
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear,
Tel: +44 0191 261 9035
Have you ever been to Sachins? What did you think? Let me know below.
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Our meal was complementary but as always thoughts and opinions are my own.