We were chuffed to hear that street food favourites Papa Ganoush were opening up a restaurant in Whitley Bay this month. Rather than having to wait until Sunday’s Quayside Market for a fix of their freshly made falafel we’d now be able to pop along to their permanent home.
We were invited along for a sneaky peek before the official opening on the 2nd of March, but unfortunately were in Barcelona at the time. We tried to book a table on opening weekend instead but found the restaurant was fully booked. As it transpires, Papa Ganoush have been experiencing a high demand since they opened their doors and many people are turned away nightly. We managed to get a table at 6:30, but by 7:30 they were packed. It is definitely worth booking ahead if you can.
The menu is helpfully labelled for those with dietary requirements. I was interested in seeing whether their falafel was as good as I remembered it to be. Gavin hadn’t tried Papa Ganoush out, so this visit was a first for him too.
The welcome was friendly and we were seated straight away. We ordered drinks and were decisive in our food choices. Any resolve to be restrained flew out of the window and we ordered everything labelled vegan to share. I enquired as to why the hummus wasn’t vegan friendly and was told it could be adapted.
This is where I have to be honest and say things went awry during our visit, although we weren’t the only ones afflicted. We waited over an hour for our food to arrive, although staff were apologetic about the delay. At this point punters were also being turned away as there were a glut of people also waiting to be seated.
When food arrived all was forgiven and forgotten. The falafel were freshly prepared and full of flavour. The light salad accompanying worked well, and we loved the spiced fries.
As compensation for the delay we were given our Panzanella style side dish with olives for gratis. I have to admit that we struggled to eat it, especially with the moreish hummus and warm flatbread we’d greedily ordered.
Papa Ganoush is a great additional to the North East dining scene despite the delay we experienced. The team have acknowledged on social media that service needs a little bit of work and that they are finding their feet. I don’t think they fully anticipated how popular their restaurant was going to be, even through the week.
It’s good to see they have been responsive to this feedback and this has clearly not deterred diners from turning up in their droves. Based on this, Whitley Bay was crying out for Papa’s unpretentious take on street food. Whether you’re looking for a cosy date night venue or somewhere to take friends, their Middle-Eastern inspired menu will be a sure-fire hit.
Thanks for reading,