Review: Fat Buddha, 55 Degrees North, Pilgram Street, Newcastle. Tel. 261 1066.

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STRUTTING your stuff down a catwalk isn’t exactly how you’d expect to be shown to your seat.

But thankfully, I wasn’t the only woman who felt compelled to attempt their finest Kate Moss-esque walk as they were taken to their table in Newcastle’s Fat Buddha.

In fact, watching women sashay along the lengthy walkway flanked by shimmering, ceiling-to-floor decorative dividers that hide a collection of cosy booths, became our evening’s entertainment.

Of course there’s much more to Fat Buddha’s latest opening than the catwalk.

The dramatic transformation of the building has seen the Swan House roundabout venue change from chavtastic to super-swanky in one, grand £1million overhaul.

Now filled with suited-and-booted businessmen and glamorous girls, the restaurant and its ornate, baroque, high-domed ceilings coupled with contemporary furnishings is certainly impressive on the eye.

The food doesn’t let the sumptuous surroundings down either.

Billed as a Pan-Asian restaurant, the menu takes diners on a journey across Asia, tantalising the tastebuds with treats from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.

Mulling over menus is a problem I often have to overcome when eating out. However, when you dine out with the perfect partners, then sharing starters and mains makes sampling the menu a whole lot easier.

For starters, we opted for the spice-infused deep-fried angry soft shell crab (£6.70) and crispy samosas packed with the perfect amount of duck (£6.30), which were wolfed down.

The main course saw the three of us share the succulently-sweet roasted duckling with mango (£12.50), the tender pan-fried beef fillet in teriyaki sauce (£14.80) and salt and chilli squids (£11.80).

The duck and mango went together hand in hand and was by far my favourite, followed by the melt-in-the-mouth beef that was packed with taste.

With generous portions, there was plenty to go round and two portions of fried rice was plenty for the three of us.

So with our bellies full of fine food, we paid the bill, which was just under £75, including a bottle of red wine, and put our best foot first as we shimmied our way down the catwalk one last time.