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“Best In The Area - Superb Food, Great Staff, Excellent Location - **Try the Soup!**”
Review of Vanilla Restaurant

Vanilla Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 59 Restaurants in Newcastle
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Hi

Having both visited and reviewed Vanilla over a year ago & being in the area it was my choice for a casual business lunch return visit.

Unsure of the opening times we arrived a little early at 11:50am and parked just at the front door (Parking time limit 60mins)

First through the door at 12 noon we were made welcome by polite and attentive staff. Within 20 mins the restaurant was half full, so that can’t be a bad sign.

The lunch menu is well priced and offers just a little different from the mainstream in addition to sandwiches and soup of the day.

Not one thing wrong with sarny & soup though as this was our choice, the Mushroom, Potato & Leek soup was one of the best I have ever tasted, creamy, piping hot and served with pesto / tomato bread. The staff had no problem making up a ‘non menu item’ sandwich to my taste, try chicken, celery & mayo on brown bread sometime! Yum!

Menu prices:

Soup & Sandwich Combo £6.50

Sandwich £4.00

Diet Coke £1.90


Opening times:

Lunch 12:00 – 15:30

Evening
Fri & Sat 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Sun – Thur 5:00pm – 9:00pm (8:30 Sun)

Early Bird Menu Available
Sun – Thur 5:00pm – 8:00pm (Closed Wed evenings)

The service was prompt with the staff keen to offer any advice on local matters, the toilets were spotless, I think everyone has the use of one very large disabled facility.

I did not ask or avail of wi-fi, so can’t comment, the restaurant is licensed and would be a great first date venue, no doubt they were booked up that night as we visited on St Valentine’s day.

I can see why Vanilla is currently No 1 In Newcastle & No 3 of 314 in the whole County Down, since my last visit standards have been very well maintained and a credit to them. Keep up the good work.

A must visit if in the area, for any overseas readers Newcastle is a perfect base for exploring the whole of County Down & beyond.

Tip: Much more available Free parking is available on the parallel road to the Main St on the sea front with access available through a narrow pedestrian path.

Any questions feel free to ask me,

If this review has 'Informed' your decision please tick the 'Was this review Helpful' box.

Les

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4  Thank Further_The_Better
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanillanewcastle, Manager at Vanilla Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2013

Hi Les,

Thank you for taking the time to post your very generous and detailed review of Vanilla.

I would just like to take the opportunity personally to thank you for it, it was a pleasure to have you in the restaurant and even better to put a face to the reviewer.

The next time you are in the area please call in and say hello.

Best wishes

Regards

Seamus Rooney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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753 - 757 of 901 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

My husband and myself eat here for lunch on both days of our stay in Newcastle.Soup was so tasty that we had it both days ,with sandwiches.I would recommend this lovely place and will be back the next time we are in Newcastle but will try it at night as the menu was very good!!

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2  Thank Julesw43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanillanewcastle, Manager at Vanilla Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2013

Hi Jules,

Thank you for taking the time to review Vanilla.

We are pleased you enjoyed your experience and we will be looking forward to meet you on your return. Please remember if you are wanting to dine in the evenings you would be best to book in advance.

Once again thank you for your kind words. We will look forward to having you back with us in the near future.

Regards

Seamus Rooney

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Reviewed February 5, 2013

Discovered through trip advisor as we were staying in Newcastle for weekend and did not want to eat in the hotel. A very warm welcome great choice of food and every plate was fantastic. Book early as 3 groups were turned away when we were there.

Thank garryclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanillanewcastle, Manager at Vanilla Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2013

Hi Garry,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for your positive feedback, and I will forward it on to the staff.

Once again thank you, and we will hope to see you again in the near future.

Regards

Seamus Rooney

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Reviewed January 27, 2013

We booked here on the strength of the trip advisor reviews and we were not disappointed! The service was impeccable and the food was amazing. I particularly enjoyed my salmon and chorizo main. We will certainly come again as it is rare to get such fantastic food, wine and service for such great value. If you are staying at the nearby Slieve Donard, we highly recommend avoiding their evening meal offering in favour of Vanila, you won't regret it!

    • Value
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2  Thank lyngirl79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanillanewcastle, Manager at Vanilla Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Hi Lyn,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

It is great to see people taking the time to give positive feedback. It is a pleasure for me to pass this on to the staff as it is a reward to them for the hard work and hours they put in to making this restaurant a success.

Unfortunately we do not reply to enough of our positive reviews but, in moving forward with the times we will make the point of spending the same time as you have to compliment us.

Thanks again

Regards

Seamus Rooney

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Reviewed January 21, 2013

To be honest I'm never really one to leave a negative comment but I really feel that I never had the same positive experience in this restaurant that other trip advisor reviewers seemed to have had.

I must say I agree that the food is fantastic but that's as far as I can be upbeat about this restaurant.

My sister and I had taken my mum to Newcastle for a night away. We had chosen to go to vanilla for a meal as my sister had been before and was really impressed.

As soon as we entered the restaurant we were invisible. The waitress who i'm led to believe was the owner walked past us several times and collected glasses. The place is hardly what your call big but we stood there wondering if we would be acknowledged eventually. Well we weren't so my sister brought us to the bar where we were told we would have to wait on the table. waiting doesn't bother me but we did wait quite a long time and the barman was neither friendly or helpful.

The young waiter I have to say was lovely and the only friendly face we encountered the whole night.

We had to wait awhile on the waiter coming found to tell us what the specials were and to take our order. When he arrived at our table he was not what I would call professional. His attitude when we asked about the specials was quite surprising. He made us feel like we were annoying him by being there. We were also overcome by the smell of smoke from him.

We waited quite along time for our food for which I cannot fault but no one came near us to ask if we needed another drink, if everything was ok etc etc.

When we had finished we had to chase the waitress to get a desert menu again feeling like we were an inconvenience to this restaurant.

Really didn't feel welcome in this restaurant and we decided to not prolong our agony any further by ordering desert.

My sister then explained in a nice manner to the owner why we did not feel their service warranted a tip. she walked away and never apologised.

I have read all the good reports on this trip advisor and perhaps we got them on an 'off' night. I feel that maybe because they proudly display their trip advisor rating that alittle complacency has crept in. I am sorry to say that I won't be back to find out if the service would be any better second time round.

I'm really not hard to please but overall this put a real dampener on our night.

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5  Thank steph08297
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanillanewcastle, Manager at Vanilla Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Hi Steph,

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to post your review of our restaurant.

Understanding that this is your first review, it would suggest to me that your are very upset in regards to your experience and I would like to take the time to go through your comments and offer an explanation or an apology where required.

In regards to your comments about when you entered the restaurant, I personally met your sister at the door. I asked her the name of the booking and the amount of persons. The table was reserved for 7:30pm and you arrived at 7:15. I directed your sister to the bar where your party could wait until your table became available at 7:30. This may explain the wait you had suffered. I can confirm from our CCTV that your were brought to your table at 19:36.

While you were at the bar you had ordered drinks and were browsing the menu to my knowledge.
In reference to the bar person being unhelpful, I am unsure of what you spoke about to him but I can assure you he would not have intentionally been that way. He could have possible been quite busy either making cocktails, coffees or preparing other drinks.

In regards to you having to wait on myself to take your order, I'm sure you will have noticed the restaurant was busy. We try to make sure that on a night like that, one person will take the orders to spread the food orders out for the kitchen, this is aimed to keep adequate time for our chefs to concentrate on every dish to ensure the customers get the best quality we can provide from the kitchen.

On the same subject, and particularly in regards to my apparent attitude in regards to telling you the specials. I can assure you this is not how I would have meant to come across. The special that was available on the night was running very low. You would have been told about it as soon as you were seated but, I specifically instructed the staff not to be telling the special because there were 3 tables to order before you. It would have been a lot worse in my eyes to tell you a special, sell the last of it and then when you ask for it tell you there is none left. Also the reason for an apparent look of inconvenience, was not that you were annoying me in any way. It was down to the fact that after I had taken the previous order you were to be made aware of the special(s). Also in regards to the smell of smoke that I had apparently had, I can assure you that although I am a smoker, i do not have any during service.

In reference to your wait for your food, you did not order starters. As all food is prepared and cooked to order there can be up to a 20 minute wait for Lamb, Duck or Chicken. This is in our eyes not too long. While you were waiting you did have at your table a bottle of Prosecco in a chill bucket. I remember this quite well, as on 2 occasions when I was on my way to top it up, your sister was making it very visible that she was having to do it herself. When Matthew brought you your food, you were asked at that time could he get you anything else, so if you had of needed drinks this again would have been a perfect opportunity to ask for it. You table was also checked again by Matthew part way through your food, so if you had of needed drinks or anything else again this was another perfect opportunity.

Upon your request for a dessert menu, yes it was forgotten about. When you asked again, the lady (Who is Not the Owner) apologised for her error, and immediately retrieved the menus for you. As you had stated at this stage, you had basically had had enough and wanted to leave.

When your sister had said to the lady again who is not the owner about your experience, she did not in any circumstances walk away. Siobhan turned to me as I was standing behind her when this information came up. Your sister pointed out her displeasure, passed on her comments about her previous meal and walked off. I was never given the opportunity to rectify the situation there and then.

While I appreciate that you did not enjoy your experience, and some of the points you made are very valid and something we will need to work on. Maybe when your table was not ready, this started your night off on the wrong foot, and made everything else seem x10 worse. But please bear in mind you were 15 minutes early and yes your table was not ready on time anyway, but it was a matter of minutes.

Again I would like you for taking the time to submit your review, as I said there are some valid points for us. I had already thought this was coming so it's not a big shock. We obviously got the service and food right before with your sister so it is a shame that you will not be coming back to Vanilla.

I do apologise for the whole incident, but please trust me that this is not a transparent view of Vanilla. You obviously felt strongly enough to post it so if you would like to discuss it further please do not hesitate to contact me

Regards

Seamus Rooney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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