We were very kindly invited along to a baby-friendly performance of Tangled Feet’s Kicking and Screaming at Northern Stage last week, which was an enjoyable for us all. Dinky was amazingly well behaved and was transfixed on the actors throughout the performance. The use of light and music also helped engage the younger members of the audience, while the parents could relate to some of the emotions conveyed during the account.
We couldn’t pass McKenna’s without popping in for a beverage, which inadvertently turned into lunch. The spacious open-plan dining area had an appealing menu that featured vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes clearly labelled. Not wanting anything too heavy, we opted to share food from the Small Plates selection. With a Mediterranean Tapas influence clearly evident from the Stuffed Vine Leaves, Grilled Vegetables and Tortilla de Patatas, we picked Bruschetta (£3.75) and the-not-so-obvious Tempura Cauliflower (£4.25). Mr. Canny chose their Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas, which happened to be the only dish available on the Main Menu suitable for vegans.A bottle of Wylam Red Kite was his drink of choice. As usual, although the food items are clearly marked with (v) or (vg), their beverage menu was not. They did, however, list a gluten-free Pale Ale.
He said his entree was nice, although it was a tad carb-heavy pared with both potatoes and pitta. There also could have been more sauce to justify the bread. Still, £7.50 was a reasonable price for a main meal, and showed deft handling of spices with just the right level of warmth.
The description of Bruschetta on the menu was a little misleading when Crostini were served. Crostini means ‘little toasts’, whereas Bruschetta are usually created from a wide loaf cut into large, flat pieces. A minor quibble for a nice light appetiser.
The Cauliflower Tempura were delicious, especially with the wasabi mayo it was served with. I could have happily ate more than 5 we were presented with.
McKenna’s was extremely busy when we visited – during lunch – and it seems to attract a diverse mix of folk. Opposite Newcastle University, there were a few students in enjoying their scran. The service was on the slow side, but that was compensated by how absolutely lovely they all were. The sign on the wall says it all.
I’d definitely be happy to return for a pre-show supper here or in the mezzanine, which offers a more intimate dining experience compared to the Foyer Cafe Bar.
Thanks for reading,