As part of Restaurant Week (4th - 10th August) in Newcastle the boyfriend and I visited The Fat Hippo Underground last night with the amazing offer of 2 courses for £10! As the name suggests, this restaurant is underground so the photographs are affected by the artificial lighting and instead of heavily editing them so they don't look real I've just tried to make them a little brighter so you can see what is happening.
The Fat Hippo was established in 2010 and was but a lovely little restaurant in Jesmond. I remember hearing a lot about it so one day the boyfriend and I visited and it was love at first bite. Since then we've returned on many occasions and brought family too. My mum describes the one in Jesmond as a student-y type of restaurant which is partially true because of the area and the night we visited had a party of 15 students or something. No, this is definitely a something for everyone type of place with the most amazing food.
The offer is two courses for £10 so we did what we normally do at restaurants: share a starter and a dessert to sample a little bit of everything. The offer applies to most things on the menu and we were informed upon sitting what was not part of the deal. So, we started with some Jalapeno Poppers (normally £3.90 and are vegetarian) which are "breaded cheese, red pepper and jalapeno bites with sour cream" (Fat Hippo Menu). Even though these have jalapenos within they do not have that much of a kick - but this isn't a bad thing, I just prefer more of a spicy kick to it! They are very tasty with a lovely crisp breaded shell and a warm cheese centre. You are served only 4 which is the perfect amount (especially when sharing) because you need to save a lot of space for the beasty main.
When I first visited The Fat Hippo I couldn't finish my first burger. Over time I have trained myself to finish the burger because it is too good to waste. I had myself a Hangover 3 (£8.90) which is a "breaded chicken with bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce" (Fat Hippo Menu) and my classic choice when visiting. Opposite me, my boyfriend went on a little food adventure and ordered The Candy Man (£9.50) - "a double patty topped with candied bacon, cheese and onion jam" (Fat Hippo Underground Menu) and if it wasn't the nicest taste I've sampled. It is surprisingly sweet for a beef burger, and even though I tend to favour chicken over beef I will definitely have a go at The Candy Man on my next venture.
The way the burger is put together is divine on every level. Both buns, although different, are high quality, tasty and able to hold the whole burger together (so no mess or falling apart). The meat is prepared on a daily basis so is fresh and succulent and a generous serving. The fries, although I can never finish the fries and burger, were light and crispy and go down so well with The Fat Hippo's BBQ which is the best BBQ I have tasted. I've even tried to recreate it when they posted the recipe online but I can not come close to their brilliance. If they sold it by the bottle I would definitely own five or more in my home at all times.
Then a shared dessert to finish it off. Even though I was full to bursting I had committed to the dessert (and you know, there is always room for it!) so went for the Belgian Waffle (£4.50) with "vanilla ice cream and topped with homemade butterscotch sauce" (Fat Hippo Underground Menu). There are four options on the menu including the waffle: a lemon sorbet, a selection of ice creams and a warm triple choc brownie. Now, I am a brownie girl through and through but I knew that it would be too much after such a filling meal. The Belgian Waffle however was light and delicious. It's that butterscotch sauce, it was sweet and combined with real vanilla ice cream and a warm waffle you couldn't not like it. A true winning combination.
We only spent £27 (not including tip) for all that food which I can't get over. If you haven't heard of it I highly recommend jumping on the offers available for Restaurant Week because this is a really good deal.
To us, The Fat Hippo is ranked one in the area for it's delicious food and amazing service (and not to mention that price! Even without the offer they have happy hour, which is 5pm-7pm Tuesday-Friday, which always takes off a nice chunk of the bill.) Thinking about all the places we've ever eaten we put The Fat Hippo second in the world, only The Bird in Berlin beats it and let me just tell you now, we eat at a lot of burger bars.