I took the family along for a leisurely lunch at Boat Noodle recently to give this newly opened establishment on Leazes Lane a go. The menu online mentioned vegetarian options but nothing leapt out as being suitable for vegans. I have to say their website wasn’t easy to use either, with a scrolling menu that flicked quickly past the page I actually needed! A message on their Facebook page and I was assured I’d be accommodated.
The Teen and my sister had no such issues with the dishes on offer and were both reasonably quick to make a decision on what to order. We shared a portion of Vegetable Gyoza to start while waiting for our mains.
The concern for me was the understanding of what was suitable for vegetarians and vegans upon seeing the menu firsthand.
I’m giving Boat Noodle the benefit of doubt that the mention of ‘minced beef’ in the Bean Tofu Soup was a typo and should have read mixed beans. Things like this can undermine confidence, however. I enquired as to what my options were and was told that I could order one of the many tofu dishes like Spring Onion or Salt and Chilli and pair with rice or noodles.I’m a big fan of soup noodles at the moment and ordered a bowl alongside the Salt and Chilli Tofu. What actually arrived was a bowl of noodles cooked in soy sauce that looked suspiciously like the egg variety. The waitress went off to check when I queried its suitability. I’d possibly have just eaten the food to avoid waste had they been vegan friendly, even though they’d gotten my request completely wrong, but these had to be taken back as they were egg noodles. Good job I didn’t eat any!
I added some of the table condiments to the broth when it finally arrived as it was quite bland, disappointingly. It was filling, however, and the Chilli Tofu was decent.
The Teen thought his Mapo Tofu was super spicy and found it difficult to eat. He’s normally not adverse to his food having a kick so this was a surprising turn of events. Many of the options at Boat Noodle are popular Sichuan dishes that you’ll not find on the menu of the local takeaway, which sets them apart from other eateries in the city centre.
My sister’s choice of Chicken Satay Skewers is obviously something familiar to the masses.
The meal and soft drinks was just shy of £45, which I felt was quite expensive considering we’d only had three main courses. Those wanting a more purse friendly option would probably do well to visit somewhere like La Yuan or VietCafe in Newcastle instead. The errors made with my meal means I’d be reticent to recommend Boat Noodle to those with dietary requirements and would be hesitant to return again.
Thanks for reading,