Bringing Chinese cuisine to Newcastle’s Quayside, Liu Dining is an ideal choice for oriental flavours and aromas. According to their website, Lui Dining offers
‘Modern contemporary Chinese cuisine being crafted by an exceptional chef and team under the management of former owner Kevin Liu and son Arran.’
On walking through the entrance – the beautiful scent of Chinese aromas instantly enticing us in – we were greeted with an inviting welcome and taken to our table located to the left of the entrance. Out of the ten tables within looking distance, nine were taken. In a flash, prawn crackers were brought to our table with smiles all-round. The night had begun!
Settled, we decided to be a little adventurous with our drinks choice. Even though there are many options of wines, spirits, beers and ciders, we ordered the Japanese fermented rice wine ‘Sake’ served hot heated in the wok. To my surprise, they brought us a huge wine-sized bottle of it! It was strong! Be prepared is all I’m saying…
From an extensive food menu, we were ready to order our starters. It was a tough choice as there were many options but especially for me as the menu didn’t state which options were gluten free. In the end, we went for Spicy Hot and Sour Soup (Roast Pork, Shitake Mushrooms, Tofu and egg), Steamed Dim Sum Siu Mei Pork Dumplings and Long Ribs in a Spicy Barbecue Sauce. The ribs were unbelievable. I haven’t seen them glazed better! Hot, sweet, tickle the taste bud good, I mean really good. The pork dumplings are a Japanese classic that are becoming ever so popular. They were thick, succulent and full of meat. They were meaty. We were enjoying our meat. The warming bone-marrow-esque soup was packed full of bold flavours. Liu Dining couldn’t have had a more seamless start.
Before we were about to order our mains, I couldn’t help but witness the pride in which the waiters had in providing a wonderful service to their customers. Even with the place just about full, they couldn’t do enough. Again, it was a difficult choice to choose from such a vast selection of dishes on the menu. We decided on Lamb with Curry Leaf and Onions Mongolian Style and Cod Bites with Sugar Snaps, Tofu, Asparagus, Cashew nuts and hint of Oyster Sauce (Hotpot). We also ordered Jasmine Rice to accompany our dishes. When our dishes came, they both looked fabulous but it was the smells… It was like I was breathing our main courses in towards our table. Come to me, come to me my nose was conveying. Salty and tender, the lamb was amazing. The crispy fried onions and jasmine rice were perfect accompaniments although the rice could’ve been a little stickier. The cod bites were another winner and my colleague would certainly return for the dish again. With food this pleasing and with so much to choose from, Liu Dining has to be a front runner when it comes to the best local Chinese restaurant in town.
As we were fairly full but had to attempt dessert, we went for Mango Sorbet and Banana Split Ice-Cream served with fresh cherries and raspberries. Yes cheesecake and other cakes were available but this was an ideal choice to cleanse and sooth our stomachs at the end of the night.
Although we didn’t finish the Sake – we would’ve never made it home – our experience was a treat. Liu dining prides itself on excellent customer service. Just don’t forget they provide quality food to go with it. For goodness ‘sake’, go check it out…