Business lunch: Sohe

Alison Cowie visits Jesmond’s Sohe to indulge in some exciting Asian fusion cooking

I’m guessing that, by now, most of you will be sick of the turkey, ‘trimmings’, chocolates, mince pies and booze you’ve been cramming into your mouth over the festive period. It’s the same every year, isn’t it?

January is traditionally the time when you ditch the rich and/or sugary fare and try to eat healthily.

But detoxing post-Christmas doesn’t have to mean staying in and eating salad leaves. Sohe, on Jesmond’s Osborne Road, offers the perfect antidote to festive overindulgence.

The eatery offers experimental Asian fusion cooking and an exotic and eclectic interior – complete with a statement mosaic bar serving a range of cocktails.

During the day, Sohe serves the al la carte menu with starters, tempura and dim sum priced at around £7 each, and stir-fried, barbecued and roasted dishes and curries priced between £13 and £24 each.

There is also a great value lunch menu served between noon and 4pm for a very reasonable £8.90 (one dim sum and one main)

I, of course, visited Sohe pre-Christmas for the purpose of this review and the restaurant was in flux between its festive and new year menus. However, a quick chat with the friendly and ultra-professional manager later and the amenable head chef agreed to whip up a range of dishes that will be available in January – most of which, I was told, would be featured in the excellent value lunch menu.

What followed was a celebration of tastes from the East with beautifully executed flavour combinations – often so hard to recreate in the kitchen at home. Or is that just me?

Highlights of the meal were the deep and earthy Japanese ramen broth with enokitake mushrooms, and the tofu chu chee churry with Asian vegetables. Being a committed carnivore – and to my shame – I would never think to order a dish that featured tofu. But the panfried bean curd tasted amazing, combined with a wonderfully velvety sauce that provided just the right amount of heat to be punchy without being overpowering.

As we were still in December, two of us indulged in desserts – the gingerbread with satay sauce proving the better of the two; I would definitely recommend it if you are still looking for a sweet treat this January.

 

On the menu:

Prawn and plum crackers

Thai crispy rice balls

Vietnamese spring rolls

Thai fishcakes

Japanese ramen broth

Togarashi spiced salmon fillet with sweet and sour vegetables

Tofu chu chee churry with Asian vegetables

Pork and prawn stir fry with mushrooms

Chocolate torte with fresh raspberries

Gingerbread with satay sauce and vanilla ice cream

 

Sohe

97 Osborne Road, Jesmond, NE2 2TJ

www.sohe.co.uk

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