I was kindly invited for a meal (gratis) to try Tynemouth’s newest restaurant, The Buddha Lounge. The restaurant offers an Asian Fusion menu serving up Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes. As a huge fan of Asian cuisine, I was itching to get through the doors and sample their new menu.
The Buddha Lounge has apparently put as much thought into the decor and ambience as it has its menu. As soon as you walk through the doors, you are greeted by a spacious and calming atmosphere which exudes class from every corner.
It’s refreshing to see an establishment apply so much thought into their customers’ surroundings, creating a stylish and relaxing restaurant. From the Giant Buddha statue watching over the visitors to the extremely realistic faux tree we were seated beneath, it is a pleasurable environment in which to enjoy a meal.
What sets The Buddha Lounge apart from other Asian restaurants I’ve visited is the option of a Tapas. I think when you’re presented with such a diverse menu with so many delicious looking options, having several dishes to pick from is ideal, so that’s just what we did.
We were even given the option to have all the food served at once or have the food come out once we have finished the previous dish. Here’s the lineup we chose:
House Crispy Noodles with Duck
When we asked how many dishes were appropriate for two people, we were advised that four tapas dishes and one noodle dish is what most people go for. As such we decided our centrepiece would be the house crispy noodles with duck.
The portion was certainly generous and more than enough for two people. The duck and vegetable topping was delicious and quite frankly could have been a meal in itself (for one person).
Chilli Salt Squid
I’m one of the few people I know who enjoy squid. The problem is a lot of places simply don’t cook it correctly, and you end up with what equates to a tasteless rubber band. That could not be further from what we received. It was cooked to absolute perfection, with a smooth texture and subtle flavour that so many places fail to achieve.
The Chilli seasoning wasn’t overpowering, however, if you do like your food spicy, then I would probably ask for extra heat. I feel you would loose the delicate flavour of the squid if you did so, making the dish we got spot on for me.
Huge, tasty crispy perfection. There isn’t much to say about prawns, but these were delicious and needless to say scored a perfect ten from me. They were accompanied by a sweet chilli sauce, but there was more than enough flavour for me to enjoy them without.
As anyone who cooks meat at home will know, smaller cuts are MUCH harder to get right as they dry out quickly. I’m not sure how the pork was cooked, but regardless it was amazing. It had all the flavour of a cut from a whole joint, with the rich, moist meat topped with a thin layer of crackling. The different textures and flavours from each bite were a foodies dream.
The dish was also served with shallots, sweet ginger and hoy sin sauce. It was recommended we tried the pork with a little of each and by god was it a good recommendation! The additional condiments gave a sweet kick to the Pork, which needless to say disappeared in no time.
Sweet Honey Roasted Ribs
There’s nothing worse than getting ribs with a Chinese takeaway and getting tough bits of fat with next to no meat on them. Well, that certainly wasn’t the case here given the meaty ribs were so tender a light breeze would have stripped it off the bone! They we’re sweet and packed full of flavour, getting top marks from me.
So the Buddha Lounge will be keeping its doors open till late and offering up a selection of Asian-inspired cocktails. We were treated to a couple of these during our meal, and they were two very different drinks, but both nice.
The first was a Singapore Sling style cocktail that was really strong with powerful fruity flavours. The second was a refreshing cocktail with Saki, dragon fruit, lemon and lime. It was a great palate cleanser and probably my favourite of the two.
There genuinely wasn’t one thing I didn’t enjoy about eating at the Buddha Lounge. The staff were extremely friendly, and after chatting to them following the meal, you can tell they truly care about the success and standards of the restaurant.
Given the restaurant has only just opened it’s doors and is already filling up, I have no doubt it will quickly become established as one of Tynemouth’s best restaurants and lavish late-night cocktail bars in parallel. Tynemouth has always represented quality and style for a night out, and the Buddha Lounge is the epitome of both at a very reasonable price.