Arta SM has recently opened in Byker (I know, I know, but please keep reading). It is a Middle Eastern restaurant not far from Byker metro. I want to say it’s on the high street but just know it’s on a road with lots of shops and you can’t miss it because the front of the restaurant is glaringly orange. I went there for lunch the week it opened not knowing what to expect, but it was B-E-A-UTIFUL.
The restaurant itself is decorated quite plainly but has a friendly atmosphere and there are pretty mosaic lampshades dotted about. As you walk in you pass the counter where all the food is displayed, giving the place a slight deli feel. In the corner there is a rotating spit - I googled this to see if I could find a more appealing way to describe it but the only thing that came up was ‘vertical rotisserie’. Personally I feel this is a bit of a fancy pants way to be talking about kebab meat (not that I have anything against kebabs, believe you me).
When I went, I had a wrap which was absolutely delightful – succulent pieces of lamb along with onion, herbs, fancy spices and garlic sauce wrapped in warm freshly baked Lebanese bread.
The menu offers an impressive variety of hot and cold mezzes, grilled dishes (including the Emperor Mixed Grill – I vow to try this one day), Lebanese wraps and meals consisting of lamb or chicken, rice and Middle Eastern spices. When I went, I had a wrap which was absolutely delightful – succulent pieces of lamb along with onion, herbs, fancy spices and garlic sauce wrapped in warm freshly baked Lebanese bread. I wasn’t even in the mood for a wrap at the time but I ordered it because it was only £3.50 and I am knee deep in my overdraft but it was one of the best choices I have ever made. Even now I think about it and give myself a pat on the back. (Heads up at this point – I should mention the wraps are strictly a lunchtime portion. Do not order as your main meal or you will be bitterly disappointed and achingly hungry).
The service is very friendly – they make a huge effort and can’t do enough for you. In terms of cost, main meals are mostly around the £8-10 mark.
For those of you who like your pastry, a selection of savoury pastries are freshly baked. I’m not really a fan of pastry myself so won’t harp on about these but even I can appreciate that they sound tasty – some are stuffed with minced lamb or cheese so what’s not to like. The other thing that deserves a special mention is the fruit juice. They offer various flavours including mango, which I recommend. You would be forgiven for expecting a normal half pint measure of juice but what I was presented with can only be described as a stein. I was bouncing off the walls afterwards but hey, at least I wasn’t dehydrated. Milk shakes are also offered which looked YUMMY. The service is very friendly – they make a huge effort and can’t do enough for you. In terms of cost, main meals are mostly around the £8-10 mark. If you’re not already hanging out in Byker and can’t bring yourself to make the ten minute journey (on paper that comes across as sarcastic but believe me – you have my deepest sympathies) then they offer their private delivery service and can also be found on Just Eat. Delivery is until 11pm for all those who fancy a late-night Lebanese (I can’t believe I just referred to 11pm as late-night – I am such a grandma). They have a 5/5 rating on Just Eat and can I just say – they completely deserve it. Foody Foddy thoroughly recommends.
128 Shields Road, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1DS