The Herb Garden was created in 2013 and is located inside an arch railway in the heart of Newcastle. According to their website, ‘Serving garden-fresh salads bursting with flavour, an eclectic ever-changing specials board, and our one-of-a-kind weekend brunch menu, The Herb Garden aims to deliver a diverse menu suited to all food preferences. What’s more, we also have a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well as a yummy kids’ menu for your little ones.’ Fresh, healthy, gluten-free options… I was more than excited to find out exactly what The Herb Garden had to offer. On arrival, it is quite hard to miss the place as there is a gigantic, golden horse statue set at the entrance. As you walk through, the bar to the restaurant is quite dark and mysterious but go further to the main restaurant area and be prepared for your breath to be taken away. Hanging brightly, white lampshade lanterns, all varied in size and height, galvanise the room. The surroundings are beautiful. Whilst we were there, we could slightly feel and hear a passing train go by which wasn’t a hindrance but a welcome addition to the ambience.
Taken to our table for the night by Rebecca, we then cheerfully checked over our menus. For our starters (it was a tricky choice as the sharing appetisers sounded amazing) we went for Garlic Bread with Cheese and A Trio of Dips and Dippy Sticks. Served on a wide board, the eight, chunky-sliced strips of cheesy garlic bread looked amazing. So jealous I couldn’t have any, my colleague went through it as fast as lightning even though the serving was quite substantial. My trio of dips and dippy sticks was a wonderfully vibrant board of food. Healthy sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery and peppers lit up the brown bowl they were served in. The summer coloured dips of beetroot, pesto sprinkled on hummus and tzatziki were all a pleasure on the eye and distinctive to taste. If I had to choose a favourite, it would be the hummus covered in pesto; I’d eat that every day and sometimes more than once. It was a great, healthy appetiser that I would have no reluctance in ordering again.
Next up was the main deal. The Herb Garden mainly serves pizzas and salads but we had to go with something from The Specials Board. Without any hesitance, we ordered The Sheikh Sharer which was a platter for two. Spicy Lamb & Pistachio Kebabs, Pomegranate & Cinnamon Chicken Wings, Beetroot, Feta, Mint, Walnut, & Pomegranate Salad, Garlic Halloumi with Mint & Olives, Spicy Flatbread, Beetroot Labneh. Remember that time I went speechless when the platter from The Herb Garden came? Wow, just wow. Again so colourful, it was the best platter of food I have ever seen. Where do I start? Let’s go with spicy lamb and pistachio kebabs. Thick, juicy, tender pieces of meat with a nut crunch; they were divine. They were a tremendous combination with the visually stunning beetroot labneh which had a delicious, creamy texture. New to my palate, the chicken wings were full of aromatic flavour and packed a sweet punch. I enjoy new when it is this good! The Herb Garden can certainly do salads; it was simply the best fresh salad I’ve ever had. Then there was the salty, chewy halloumi and olives resting on a bed of tomatoes. The dish literally had everything! The special thing was when we were eating it, we felt healthy. A fabulous main event. Although I was full, it would’ve been wrong to miss out on dessert as the previous courses were outstanding. I went for the special gluten-free dessert Rebecca suggested, the ‘I can’t believe it isn’t a cheesecake’. With a coffee, dates and ginger base, a cashew and coconut cream centre, topped with a cinnamon and almond shard, it was brilliant. The Herb Garden was brilliant.
Overall, The Herb Garden delivered and delivered with flair! Great service, a lovely setting and amazing food. I’m not planting a seed here but if you’ve never been, please go… You’ll certainly be impressed by this hidden gem.