The Best Burgers In Newcastle - The Fat Hippo, Newcastle

It seems like a funny coincidence that the two restaurants I will have reviewed both start with the word "fat". It's almost like I am drawn to gluttony, and the knowledge that if the name promises so, then it will provide me satisfaction.

 Someone I work with found out (rather early on into our relationship, needless to say) that I love burgers. He immediately began describing a wondrous place, where the burgers were the size of your head, and that you could choose your own toppings, and that it was the best burger he had ever had. Sold, salivating and scheming, I began formulating my plan of attack on The Fat Hippo.


 My Geordie dining buddy Adele and I decided to go for an early dinner to check the place out. Based in the heart of Jesmond, just off of the ever buzzing Osborne Road, The Fat Hippo is nestled on a corner down at the bottom of St Georges Terrace. The restaurant is pretty small, so I wasn't able to get a picture of the setting without startling some innocent customers! The restaurant does look like part of a house, which I believe was converted to house this little gem.  Just look for the sign, and all shall be well...


The interior is really kitsch, with mismatching chairs, little hippo ornaments dotted around and funky artwork all around.  People of all ages are welcome, however it is based in the student zone of Jesmond and it did seem to be predominantly young adults who were there.

Adele and I sat outside in the small patio basking in the afternoon sun.  I had already checked the menu, but as soon as I looked again I entered into the usual conflict I have between my head, heart and stomach.  We both ordered a stunning White Zinfandel rose wine whilst we hummed and hawed over our choices.  It was so refreshing, and set me up perfectly for my meal...



Chilled, fruity and slightly sweet, it was everything I could have wanted in a wine.

We decided not to go for starters, which to be honest I'm glad we did.  You'll see why!  Adele ordered the "Some Like it Hot" chicken burger, but without cheese (I know, she's strange) served on a Ciabbatta bun with a side of fries...



I loved that they served the pickles, lettuce and tomato separately on the paddle board, so you can choose to garnish your burger or nibble away like a rabbit.  Adele described the chicken as juicy, and so tender that it sliced with next to no effort.  The chicken is marinated in a spicy Cajun coating, with a good kick in the after taste.  The jalapeño also added a tangy bite to the burger, which couldn't even be calmed by the savoury chips on hand.  Served piping hot, Adele confirmed that she would be happy to eat this burger again, and again...

As I was doing a review, it seemed only fair to go for the burger named after the place that it was created.  Yes, ladies and gents, I ordered "The Fat Hippo" beefburger served with triple fried hand-cut chips...



A soft, slightly warmed brioche bun.  Three perfectly fried, crunchy onion rings.  A dollop of sweet caramelised onions.  Two rashers of smoked bacon.  A mountain of melted cheese.  This, readers, was the Messiah of all burgers.  Usually I get tiresome of bacon halfway through and pull it out - but this was perfection.  (The only amendment I made was that I asked for no chorizo  in mine - I dislike the texture.)  Each bite was just packed with the most intense flavours, and of course a generous coating of mayonnaise just enhanced the experience.  The triple fried chips, served in their own cute little bucket, were surprisingly soft, really fluffy and tasted beautiful.  The only thing that could have fulfilled my burger dreams was a chocolate milkshake to wash it down with...



Chilled, milky and chocolatey.  It was amazing and simply needs no more explanation.

I was fit to burst once I demolished my burger.  I barely even made it halfway through my chips too, and usually I can fit two courses in easily.

We sat for a while digesting the monstrous burgers we had cleared and swapping silly ghost stories and enjoying the fresh rose wine we had ordered to see us through.

Adele and I went to the till inside the restaurant to pay.  For 1 large glass of wine, 3 small glasses, 1 milkshake, 1 apple juice and 2 burgers, our bill came to just over £28.  Staggeringly just about £15 a head!  I saw on the menu that if you go between 5pm and 7pm Tuesday to Friday, one course is only £7, two courses are £9 and three courses (if you're brave) is only £10.

So get yourself booked into The Fat Hippo, and tell them The (now) Fat Fox sent you!



Contact Details:

The Fat Hippo
35A St Georges Terrace
West Jesmond
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE2 2SU

Tel: 0191 340 8949

Website: www.fat-hippo.co.uk

Wheelchair access: Yes

Newcastle's Own Lucky Charm - Fat Buddha, Newcastle

As some of my readers will know, I'm currently working down in Geordieland. My last review took place in Carlisle, so I thought I should start writing about places in Newcastle, since it's on my doorstep! My friend Adele and I had planned to visit the Quayside for drinks and dinner, however every restaurant was fully booked and mobbed with graduation parties. We hailed a taxi to take us back to Grey street, where the restaurants are all in quick succession of each other. As our taxi driver screamed profanities out the window to passers by (for reasons unknown to both myself and Adele) and slammed his brakes on at the roundabout, I knew I wanted out of the taxi, regardless of how hungry I was. How convenient (and perhaps it was fate throwing me some luck) that Fat Buddha is based on the roundabout we stopped at!



Fat Buddha offer a variety of tastes from Asia, in a really modern and beautifully designed setting.  We were lucky to sit on the top floor, allowing us to take in the sights and atmosphere around us.

I'm not a massive fan of Asian cuisine, if I'm being honest.  I don't dislike it, it's just usually last on my list of things to eat.  After looking through the menu at Fat Buddha, I was really impressed and my mouth was watering at some of the dishes on offer.

For drinks, we decided to refresh ourselves with a peach Bellini...



The very friendly waitress came over once we had settled with our drinks to take our order.  To start, Adele went for the duck samosas, served with home-made Hoi Sin sauce...



Crispy filo pastry encased a generous amount of tender, shredded duck and puréed potato and onion mixture.  Served on a bed of shredded cabbage and carrot, the aromatic combination of ingredients were amazing.  Once dipped into the freshly made Hoi Sin sauce, it was the perfect way to start off our meal.

I went for the deep fried Angry soft-shell crab, stir fried with Birds-Eye chilli and shaven curry leaf...



This starter was surprisingly tasty.  I was a bit anxious about how it would come out - I don't generally like to eat things that look like they did when they were alive.  The crab meat was deep fried in sections, so that it didn't come out crab shaped (to my relief).  The crab meat was beautiful and tender, which was nicely offset against the crunch of the deep fried batter.   The Birds-Eye chilli gave it a wonderful spice which made my eyes dew over, but the starter was so delicious and the sting of the chilli was short lived.  Definitely a must for the seafood lovers, or the adventurous!

Moving on to the main courses, Adele decided she wanted the Hong Kong style sweet and sour chicken with a side of boiled rice...




A classic Asian dish, the portion was really generous and smelled divine.  Made freshly with natural ingredients, this was heads and shoulders above your local takeaway restaurant.  The boiled rice was fluffy, slightly sticky and a perfect companion for Adele's chicken dish.

As a beef lover (you must surely know this by now...) I went for the Thai stir-fried beef with spicy peanut satay sauce, and a side of Yaki Ramen noodles...




I barely spoke during my meal.  I was infatuated by the flavours of this dish, the textures and the aroma.  The noodles were so light and garnished with spring onion and chillies, creating the most amazing flavour.  The satay sauce was rich and saturated the slices of beef.  The vegetables in the curry were served slightly al dente, adding a crunch to the tender beef.  The sauce had a great kick to it, so if you have a tender palate I would recommend that you avoid this (to your own detriment, however!).  I have been fantasizing about this meal all weekend, and cannot wait to get some more.

Once our rumbling bellies were soothed, and our inane chatter died off, we decided it was time to get the bill.  For two starters, two main courses, two side dishes and four cocktails, our total cost was £69 (roughly £35 a head).  The cocktails were approximately £6/7 each, so that's actually where most of our bill came from!

If you're going to Newcastle for any reason, I'd recommend that you visit Fat Buddha.  Lovely staff, talented barmen, delicious food and a stones throw away from the pubs and clubs you've all heard about.

Plus, look at that wee face...



You can't say no to those chubby lil' cheeks!



P.s. Have you voted for my blog yet?





Contact Details:

Fat Buddha
Degrees North
55 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6BG

Tel: 0191 261 1066

Website: www.fatbuddhanewcastle.com

Wheelchair access: Yes

Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013

I'm so thrilled to announce that I've been shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013!



It's thanks to you, my readers, and I'm so grateful for your help! 

Now it's the final hurdle - winning!

The Fox's Feast is on page 8 in the category for 'Best Food Blog' - You need to choose a blog on each page (obviously mine on page 8!) then submit your details on page 14.  To vote...




Thank you - and get wishing that I win!