Newcastle Food Month is about to kick off and one of the highlights has to be Plate Date.
Sixty cafes, restaurants and pubs have each created a $25 meal plus drink deal that is valid throughout April. That's a lot of great value breakfasts, lunches and dinners to enjoy, so it's worthwhile planning ahead. Here's a taste of what's on offer.
Estabar Gelato Buffet for Two: Four gelato scoops, two coffees. Monday to Sunday.
Edmonds & Co Hotcake & Coffee for Two: Ricotta hotcake topped with mixed berry compote, Chantilly cream and maple syrup. Monday to Friday, 7am to 2pm.
Mockingbird Cafe Any breakfast menu item with glass of bubbles or house spritz. Monday to Friday.
The Kent Hotel Braised artichoke with cauliflower bites and marinated portobello mushrooms, sweet potato and carrot purée, plus a Stone and Wood schooner or a glass of Stonehurst red. Weekdays from 5pm.
The Exchange Hotel Slow-cooked beef cheek with pappardelle, mushrooms and shaved parmesan, paired with a house tap beer or wine. Sunday to Thursday.
Overtime Cafe & Bar Pan-seared skin-on chicken breast with charred corn cob, zucchini and mango puree, plus a Briar Ridge Vineyard verdelho. Dinner, Wednesday to Saturday.
Sydney Junction Hotel Twice-cooked duck salad plus a glass of house wine. Daily.
Lotus Corner Crispy-skinned barramundi with a glass of Tyrrell's sparkling. Daily, lunch and dinner.
Nagisa Japanese Restaurant Beetroot and semillon cured kingfish, with a glass of 2020 Thomas Synergy semillon. Daily, lunch and dinner.
Nags Head Hotel Vegan burrito bowl and a beer or crispy skin salmon and a glass of house wine or beer. Daily, lunch and dinner.
The Delany Grilled Middle Eastern swordfish steak with a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. Daily, lunch and dinner.
Momo Wholefoods Banh xeo (Vietnamese rice flour pancake with tofu, zucchini, fresh sprouts and herbs) and a glass of kombucha or kvass. Daily, 8am to 3pm.
King St Deli & Bar Panini plus salad and a glass of Hunter Valley wine. Monday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm.
Bolton St Pantry Prawn, mango and chilli salad with a Pepper Tree 2018 Hunter Valley Chardonnay. Daily, 6.30am to 2pm.
Clarendon Hotel Crispy skinned snapper fillet paired with a Hart & Hunter semillon or French rosè. Monday to Saturday, lunch and dinner.
Customs House Paella with an Usher Tinkler verdelho. Lunch, Wednesday to Friday.
Rustica Lamb ragu, orecchiette and parmesan pangritata paired with a glass of Glandore Estate shiraz. Dinner, Monday to Thursday.
Susuru Ramen & Gyoza Salmon mizore ramen with a glass of Tamburlaine Petite Fleur rosè. Daily.
The Falcon Restaurant Smoked meat or vegan jambalaya with a Dirt Candy red blend or Grifter Pale ale, or Cowrie Hole crab cakeswith a glass of Glandore pinot grigio or a schooner of Young Henrys lager. Lunch, noon to 3pm, Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner, 5pm to 9pm, Wednesday and Thursday.
The Great Northern Hotel Crispy pork belly with cheese kransky, crispy fennel and apple puree, paired with a Great Haze lager. Daily, noon to 9pm.
Coal River & Co, Newcastle Beetroot pasta with roast butternut pumpkin, caramelised onion, goats cheese, baby spinach and creme friache, basil pesto and beetroot chips. Pair with a glass of wine or a schooner. Tuesday to Sunday, first sitting only.
The Autumn Rooms House-made crumpets with honey-roasted stone fruit, whipped lemon creme fraiche, honey and almond crumb; or cheesecake waffles with whipped vanilla cream cheese, meringue, summer berries and berry compote, plus a glass of prosecco. Daily, breakfast and lunch.
Nor East Bistro Spiced eggplant kasundi, or a Cajun clam chowder, plus a Hunter Valley semillon. Lunch, Monday to Friday.
Hotel Elermore Beef pappardelles with a glass of house wine. Weekdays.
The Burwood Inn Poached crab in sweetcorn alfredo sauce tossed through pappardelle pasta topped with shaved asparagus and parmesan, plus a glass of Margan semillon. Lunch, daily.
Hong Kong Chef Peking duckserved with six sliced spring onion pancakes and hoisin sauce, paired with a pot of hot traditional Chinese tea.
Lambton Park Hotel Jack DanielsBBQ pork ribs, fries and slaw, plus a glass of house beer or wine. Daily, lunch or dinner.
Too Hands Pan-seared Atlantic salmon with miso broth, wakame, soba noodles and edamame bean with a glass of Tyrrell's chardonnay from the Hunter Valley. Lunch, daily.
For the full list of Plate Date deals, go to newcastlefoodmonth.com.au.
Opera and ... beer?
For something completely different during Newcastle Food Month, FogHorn BrewHouse and the Newcastle Music Festival team are presenting two entertaining dining events: Bon Appetit! A Sweet Soiree (an operatic comedy depicting celebrity cook Julia Child baking a chocolate gateau) on April 20; and Berlin Electric Kabarett& Food (tenor Brad Cooper accompanied by pianist Bev Kennedy) on April 27. Tickets are on sale now and include a two-course meal and drink on arrival.
A cafe with soul
Soul Cafe's A Taste of Soul is a unique opportunity to dine in at the charity and enjoy not only a two-course meal and live music, but an insight into how the hub works to help our city's most vulnerable. It's on April 10, and a table of four costs just $150. Book now.