Situated in the heart of Jesmond, Arlo is a quirky, unique restaurant that is open from morning until late. Offering breakfast, day and dinner menus as well as a takeaway bakery menu, Arlo is catered for every occasion. With so much on offer, there is something for everyone. However, would this variety affect quality? I was looking forward to what Arlo could bring to the table…

As Christmas is around the corner, Arlo have produced a festive feast. From the outside looking in, it is a wonderful plethora of Christmas lighting that entices you in blissfully like Santa himself has invited you into his grotto. Inside, it just got better as they’ve gone all out on the decorations. From toy soldiers to reindeer to elves, it seemed to have everything you could imagine Christmas to include. We couldn’t help but feel the excitement the scenery had generated. Packed, the place was in full swing with Christmas classics playing and smiles were in abundance. I hadn’t eaten anything yet but immediately I felt the passion Arlo have for their restaurant. We were sat at a table by the window; we looked down and saw red and green crackers waiting for us. It was safe to say, my Christmas had started early.

Kate, our waitress on the night, asked us what we would like to drink. With many options available, we decided to go for Doc Favola Prosecco at £23 a bottle. Hey, why not? It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas after all. It was sparkling. It was brilliant. It felt like Christmas.

To start, we ordered Winter Vegetable Soup at £4.95 and Buffalo Mozzarella, Roast Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash at £6.95. They were both presented beautifully. The colourful salad also came accompanied with beetroot, golden raisins, a Spanish piquillo and cumin dressing and a toasted ciabatta. The balsamic was amazing – the best I’ve ever tasted on English shores. The toasted ciabatta, dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, was crisp and crunchy. It was a great healthy starter. The soup that came with a huge slice of chunky bread was warming and comforting… Ideal for Christmas.

Next up, it was a tough decision to choose our main dishes as I wanted to try them all! We decided to go for the Chicken Thai Red Curry with green beans, lime leaf, fresh chilli, pineapple, fresh herbs and sticky jasmine rice at £13.50 and Japanese 7 Spiced Salmon with star anise spiced carrot puree, sesame green beans, pickled courgette and chilli lime caramel at £16.50. When the mains came, they were as pretty as a picture. The both had a candescent look about them. The curry was mild yet sharp and matched itself well with the fluffy, fragrant and sticky jasmine rice. The pineapple added sweetness and the green beans real bite. It was fabulous. However, the star of the show was the salmon. Resting on a cluster of appealing noodles and sesame green beans, it looked heavenly. The salmon just fell apart on the inside and was cooked to perfection. Not usually a fan of salmon, my colleague couldn’t get enough. The dish was fully devoured.

After a much needed break before our desserts, we went for Warm Brownie with vanilla ice cream and Sticky Toffee Pudding with vanilla ice cream; both at £4.95 each. The brownie, so squidgy, was a dessert that I could have again and again. The sticky toffee pudding wasn’t just the best sticky toffee pudding my colleague had ever tasted but it was their best dessert full stop! It was a big portion but he wasn’t content until he conquered every last crumb. We will certainly be back to try out more cakes from their takeaway bakery menu.

Overall, I must congratulate Lucas and his staff at Arlo. It is an outstanding restaurant that has a relaxing feel-good atmosphere, appreciative staff and most of all, top-notch food. It was a pleasure dining there. Thank you for getting us in the Christmas spirit.

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