Nudo Noodles, Low Friar Street, Newcastle

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FAST food took on a new meaning at this authentic noodle bar.

Desperate for healthy grub and a change of scenery between Christmas and New Year, we headed to Nudo looking for taste-bud inspiration which didn’t come out of a selection box.

Nudo opened almost exactly two years ago in Newcastle city centre.

Its menu is full of traditional Asian food, and its ethos is order a selection of dishes and eat as they arrive at the table. Simple.

Our meal started well with a selection of sushi so freshly made you could hear the nori wrappings crunch.

A grilled eel hand roll and prawn sushi for me, packed with flavour and freshness, while my sushi virgin dining companion went in at the deep end with tobiko (flying fish roe) and cucumber maki.

There was plenty of nose-scorching wasabi paste, bright green and full of the searing heat of horseradishes, with a bottle of tangy soy sauce for dipping.

I tried out a traditional chrysanthemum tea – almost syrup-like in its sweetness, with a few flower petals bobbing gracefully around the glass.

Also due to arrive was a bowl of seafood in udon noodles for me, and a Sichuan chicken in udon noodles for the accomplice.

Steaming bowls of exciting dishes piled up at the busy tables around us, but there was no sign of our meals, and after 40 minutes and a cinema date looming, I grabbed a waitress.

Many apologies and the food arrived, but after a couple of mouthfuls we had to ask the staff to box it up and sprint round to the Tyneside Cinema.

It was torture sitting in the cinema with my dinner in my bag, even through the fantastic film Winter’s Bone, and the noodles didn’t make an reappearance until we returned to the car.

My udon noodles were suitably fat and studded with squid and prawns, but the lack of heat robbed my partner’s chicken dish of its bite.

Despite the slip up, we’ve vowed to return to Nudo, hopefully blessed with more time to enjoy its authentic menu, which seems to be a hit with Asian students and local people alike.

Sushi, two bowls of noodles and a soft drink each came to £27.90.

Check out nudonoodles.co.uk for menus and opening times.

Jane O’Neill