Nestled in of the city’s most popular spots in Jesmond, As You Like It (part of the Apartment Group) is a picturesque, stylish bar and restaurant set over three extensive floors with a wonderful garden terrace. On entry, I was automatically absorbed and in awe of the gorgeous surroundings. Chandelier after chandelier, lighting of astute elegance catches your eye and prints a picture of happiness in your mind. Excited, we were taken to our seats to the restaurant situated on the third floor. We were sat with at a great viewing point to the lower floor staging area which was excellent on the night as they had ‘Battle of the Bands’ playing. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house and the place was in full swing but was the food going to taste as fabulous as the setting had suggested?
First, our waiter on the night, Francis, asked us what we would like to drink. With many cocktail options available, we decided to go for an Apple Spiced Gingerbread and a Geordie Zombie. A sensational mixture that infuses right before your eyes, the apple and spicy ginger combines fantastically well together. My colleague hadn’t realised what he had let himself in for with the Geordie Zombie, wow it was strong but it had a sweetness that made up for its power. In saying that, there is a limit of only two per customer.
To start, we ordered Tomato and Pepper soup accompanied with a large slice of freshly cooked bread and Build your own Sticky Pork Pancakes with sharp cheese, shredded cucumber, chopped spring onions and sour cream. The soup certainly had a kick to it and was right on the money. Pulled and slow cooked, the pork was oozing with taste and with the sharp cheese especially, brought the pancakes to life. I’ve never had pork pancakes before and I was beginning to question why…
In between courses, we decided to order a bottle of Tosti Extra Dry Prosecco and took a moment to gather our thoughts. To be having dinner, with acts serenading us in the background as we ate, we got the feeling it was about to be a night to remember. Observing the crowd, we weren’t the only ones in our element as most people portrayed noticeable cheer on their faces. Francis, who was a perspicacious host, brought us the bottle of prosecco and two glasses with raspberries in at ready… The celebrations had begun just not on our behalf but for As You Like It…
For our main courses, Francis kept us right and gave us excellent recommendations as the menu has a range of options. We ordered Harissa Spiced Lamb and Halloumi Skewers with a chickpea, feta & green leaf salad, pitta bread, jalapeño sour cream dressing, honey glazed baby carrots and sweet potato fries and Slow Cooked Drunken Beef Chilli with proper chips, sharp cheese, sour cream and torn artisan loaf. The skewered lamb (served rare) was tender and juicy and the halloumi was a fulfilling veggie option. Big shout out to the pitta bread too as it was gluten free. Without doubt, they were the best skewers I’ve ever had from a restaurant. My colleague told me he couldn’t get enough of the beef chilli and he did his very best to devour the whole slab but the portion size defeated him in the end.
Although there was very little room for dessert, we went for Warm Dark Chocolate Brownie served with vanilla Beckleberry ice-cream and my colleague opted for Deconstructed Double Chocolate Cheesecake served with raspberry coulis and Chantilly cream. The brownie was soft, sweet and melted in my mouth. I absolutely loved the ice-cream. I need more of that in my life. The cheesecake was the star of the desserts. Sweet indulgence at its finest.
Overall, As you Like It is an establishment full of love and enjoyment and is made for special experiences. Sat in the best seats in the house, live bands playing in front of us, customers in high spirits and in the mood, top notch food and drink… It was impossible to be anything other than satisfied and we didn’t want to leave. Maybe it was the Geordie zombie, maybe it was the energy, but my colleague was overwhelmed by As You Like It and put the experience down as one of his top three so far stating that he had been spoilt tonight. I have to say, I agreed… But don’t take our words for it; you’ll have to allow As You Like It to captivate your senses by going and experiencing it for yourself.