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Booking may avoid scowls.

Byline: By Sarah Knapton

Heartbreak soup, 77 quayside, newcastle, (0191) 222 1701

Heartbreak Soup is a strange restaurant. For such a seemingly right-on and tree-hugging eaterie the staff are strangely uptight.

We made the heinous mistake of not booking on a weekday night and were treated as if we had committed some shocking social faux pas.

Despite there being plenty of free tables, the waiter tutted, scowled and grumpily led us to our seats.

If my partner and I hadn't been slightly tipsy we probably would have walked out right then, but we remembered how good the food was and decided to stay put.

Heartbreak Soup has been around for more than 15 years. The decor is a throwback to the caring, sharing early 1990s with bright murals on the walls and a would-be laid-back atmosphere.

On the ground floor it has a no-nonsense square dining area which seats about 30. In the cellar there is room for 40 more.

We opted for a shared starter of sushi for two people which comes with tofu and a delicious shark soup.

The platter is easily big enough for two and so tasty that my partner and I were fighting over each of the seaweed-wrapped titbits.

For the main course my partner had steak and chips and I went for bangers and mash. This might sound like just pub grub, but the presentation was immaculate and the taste worth the extra cost.

The steak was thick and juicy and the spicy sausages melted in the mouth on a bed of fluffy and buttery mashed potato in a yummy gravy.

Most main causes are a little more than pounds 10 and starters begin at about pounds 5.

The service was quick and efficient, but we got the impression this was because they wanted us to leave rather than any concern that we might miss the last Metro home.

Our meal, for two, including wine and starters came to pounds 37.65, pretty reasonable for the quality of food. But we drew the line at leaving a tip.

Heartbreak Soup is yet another restaurant in the Newcastle where the delicious food is let down by the service.

My advice? Don't forget to book.

Value for money: Very good. The food is excellent.

PARKING: Newcastle Quayside gets very busy at the weekend but is fine during the week.

TOILETS: Could do with some updating.

DISABLED ACCESS: Lots of seating on the ground floor.

ATMOSPHERE: Good

SERVICE: Disappointing
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 16, 2003
Words:412
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