Review: Long Friday - Jesmond's Newest Culinary Hotspot

'Long Friday is a real little gem' - Jake Watson reviews Anna Hedworth's new culinary hotspot in the heart of leafy Jesmond.

Jake Watson
11th November 2021
Long Friday, Jesmond/ Image: Instagram (@_LONG_FRIDAY)

6 Brentwood Ave, West Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 3DH/ contact: 0191 281 5626/ Snacks £4-£6, Fish £8-£10, Meat £8-£9, Vegetables £6-£9 Pudding £6-£7

A few days ago, I was chatting with a man who’d come up to Newcastle for the first time on business. He’d sauntered down from Central Station to the quayside, and upon meeting him, he declared to me how impressed he was by the immense number of restaurants that he’d passed on his way down: "you’ve got a fair few of those red Michelin plats". I couldn’t help but beam with pride. As a Northerner who often feels that the culinary merits of Newcastle so often go unnoticed, it was nice to hear a little bit of praise for the great restaurant talent in my slice of the North. I’m not always the most ‘city proud' of folk, but when it comes to food, I’m relentless. Hence, I was ecstatic to learn of a new, independent restaurant emerging on the food scene of Newcastle and even more so when I learnt that it belongs to one of my favourite chefs in the city, Anna Hedworth. Cookhouse - Anna's other restaurant is one of my all-time favourites. The food is tasty and adventurous, trendy but not pretentious. She doesn't quite go in for the Gold Leaf T-bone, but rather, fine food, made with good ingredients, served in a relaxed manner. A perfect recipe for a fine night out with friends.

She doesn't quite go in for the Gold Leaf T-bone, but rather, fine food, made with good ingredients, served in a relaxed manner.

Long Friday is Cookhouse’s baby sister. Situated on Brentwood Avenue, one of leafy Jesmond's most frequented shopping parades, it is the perfect destination for fine food with friends without having to stray into sometimes-dreaded town - after all, it's no enigma that Newcastle's culinary capital is at its richest beyond the bounds of the city centre - take The Patricia, for example. Long Friday caught my eye when I noticed one of Newcastle’s insta food bloggers following their account and from that moment, I was hooked. Rather quaintly named after one of the patchwork of fields in West Jesmond that the street now sits upon, it’s a welcome nod to the community that the restaurant serves (and poetic license allowing, an anchoring to the quality produce that still comes from the North East). Having only opened in the second week of October, I had been eagerly waiting for my chance to try what I could only imagine was going to be fantastic food.

Image: Instagram (@_LONG_FRIDAY)

Arriving at Long Friday, you are greeted by a warmth not too different to that of a childhood friend’s home. Blush red walls and gentle lighting mark the space of the restaurant which is no larger than your average Jesmond living room. With space for around 12 tables, there is a comfortable intimacy about the place that underlines the exact reason that I love to dine in neighbourhood restaurants: a sprightful conviviality amongst patrons who are united by the place they live and a hankering for good food. The back wall is a museum of potions – shelf over shelf of Martini, Campari, Orange Wine, Red Wine, and perhaps most notably, house-fermented Kombucha, all of which are back-lit and give a merry glow to the place.

The menu offers a series of small plates, sub-divided into 'Meat', Fish' and 'Vegetables', as well as a number of snacks to start - we're talking Truffle and Pepper Popcorn and Beer Battered Sage Leaves. Our attentive waiter suggested that we order 2-3 plates each - you could certainly eat them alone but our intention was definitely to share. I wanted to score a mouthful of as many things from the menu that my stomach (and my wallet) would allow. Make no mistake, these small plates are not pompous servings of unthought out dishes that do well for Instagram. They are, rather, windows to an honest, personal love for food and a passion for serving it to others. This is not fine dining, it is fine eating. There's a difference.

This is not fine dining, it is fine eating. There's a difference.

Our food is ready, first to arrive is BBQ'd Minute Steak with Anchovy Butter and Bone Marrow crumb. I'm a sucker for anchovies and this deep, salty butter certainly hit the spot. Despite being a thin steak, it remains pink on its half a centimetre of inside and beautifully soft. Add to this the handful of Fried Squashed Potatoes with Miso Aioli and you're in some kind of infused salty, umami heaven. I don't have a clue how simply crushing a potato makes it so much better, but trust me when I say it does.

Up next, Burrata with Pickled Radicchio, which was delicious. The sharpness of the Radicchio is offset by the softness of the Burrata which interplays to create a really enjoyable food experience. This goes nicely with the Apple, Kale, Ginger & Oriental Green Salad which shares a similar sharpness, but the apple brings a cleansing freshness to the dish. The final dish we gorged upon was the Shredded Pork Shoulder, Crispy Shallots, and Pickle Red Onions. In what seemed like a dreamily endless bowl, the Pork Shoulder was absolute comfort, offering new flavours coupled with an old-school heartiness that any and every shredded pork should have. 10 out of 10.

An assortment of dishes from Long Friday/ Image: Instagram (@_LONG_FRIDAY)

Long Friday is a real little gem and a key stakeholder in the heart of Jesmond's ever-growing restaurant economy. It is a beacon of fine food meeting the 'everyday', and in under a month, has established itself as a paragon for others to follow. Perhaps a little above the average student budget, but believe me when I say it's worth every penny. We're lucky to have it.

You can view the current menu for Long Friday here. Walk-ins only, no bookings. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 12-late. longfriday.co.uk

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AUTHOR: Jake Watson
3rd year French and English Literature student at Newcastle University, with an interest in all things Arts, Culture & Food. Fran Leibowitz wannabe. @JMichaelWatson on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. What a great read.
    Well written Jake Watson.
    A great review. Yes we do have some great restaurants and eateries in Newcastle.
    “Not just fine dining, fine eating, there’s a difference”
    Top quote.

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