Ko Sai is one of my go-to restaurants in Newcastle when I need somewhere serving quick, healthy and tasty food for lunch in a nice setting. Service is always speedy & with a smile and the Asian-style street food they serve up is both authentic and satisfying. It's the perfect place to head for a lunch meeting, during your lunch hour or if you need a break from shopping. My only gripe is that I can't get any phone signal in Fenwick food hall where Ko Sai is located - please sort it out Fenwick.
Last week I was invited along to try their Fixed Price Menu which is available every day (including weekends) from 11am - 3pm. This menu changes regularly and features a choice of fresh & flavoursome Asian Street Food at a set price of £14.50 for 2 courses or £16.50 for 3 courses.
I headed along with my friend Claire for a bit of a girly lunch and a long overdue catch up. I can't believe Claire had never set foot in Fenwick Food Hall and it might have been a bit of a mistake introducing her as like most people, she immediately fell in love and couldn't resist picking up a couple of delicacies for the weekend ahead.
I always order a fresh juice when I visit Ko Sai and today we tried the Carrot, Orange and Ginger plus Pineapple, Cucumber, Apple and Mint - if you do visit, both are recommended.
Claire ordered the Vegetable and Noodle Spring Rolls to start which are served with a Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce. Freshly cooked to order and packed full of vegetables, it was the perfect dish to start lunch.
My eyes were immediately drawn to the Salt and Pepper Chicken Bun. Salt and Pepper Chicken is one of my favourite dishes and although I found it a little odd to be served something in a bun as a starter, it actually worked really well and fits in with the 'street food' ethos. The perfectly spiced chicken was served with a little Asian salad in a steamed bun - the whole dish was light and left me wanting more which I guess is the whole point. This was my favourite dish from the whole meal and I'll definitely be heading back to try another - priced at under £5 on the main menu, I think this dish is a steal.
Service between courses is professional and prompt - the staff are really on the ball here and you're never left looking around trying to catch someone's eye for something.
Onto our main courses and Claire ordered the Stir-fried Beef with Pak Choi, Black Bean Sauce and Jasmine Rice. We were really impressed with both the quality of this dish and the portion size (which was substantial). The beef was tender and served perfectly pink. The whole dish was just bursting with flavour.
I went for the Seafood Red Curry with Wild Galangal and Jasmine Rice. Sometimes with Fixed Price Menus you are served smaller portions but this is definitely not the case at Ko Sai - my curry was packed with seafood including Salmon, Scallops & Prawns - I felt it offered very good value and devoured the lot. There are chop sticks & cutlery as well as additional sauces and seasoning on your table should you need them but we thought our dishes were perfect as they were.
I will hold my hands up and say I haven't tried too many Asian desserts in my life time - Gyoza, Dorayaki and Mochi from Yo Sushi are about as much as I'd tried so far. As desserts are included in the set menu, this was the perfect chance to try something new. The dessert menu is fun with Ice Cream and Monkeys Blood making an appearance - we went for something a little more sophisticated though and Claire was tempted by the Banana and Cashew Nut Spring Roll, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce. I'm not a fan of banana myself but Claire assures me it was delicious.
It was to be Homemade Coconut Sorbet for me which I will hold my hands up and say I only ordered as I didn't fancy ice cream and don't like bananas. I am so pleased I did though as the sorbet was the perfect palette cleanser and way to end my meal - I loved it and it's a dish I'm going to definitely look out for in the future.
We spent around 80 minutes at Ko Sai but we did have 3 courses plus coffee and were chatting A LOT. This menu can easily be enjoyed in less than an hour (especially if you only opt for 2 courses) if time is of the essence. Claire and I left making plans to bring our other halves back soon. A three course authentic healthy Asian lunch that has been freshly prepared at under £20 a head is not to be missed.
Ko Sai also offer quick Asian Tapas-style dishes that are perfect for sharing, delicious Asian salads, Taiwanese Steamed Buns, Soup Noodles, a selection of Thai Curries and Stir-Fried dishes. Check out our lunch review from last year over on Life As Mrs R.
Disclosure : We were invited to dine at Ko Sai in return for an honest review. All thoughts and words are our own.