Monday 14 July 2014

ORA, Front Street, Tynemouth, Tyneside

Towards the seaward end of Front Street, ORA is one of a new generation of aspirational eateries  taking over Tynemouth. The large windows open out on to a handful of tables on the street, surrounded by pot plants, creating a pavement cafe vibe when the sun is out. The fairly funky interior features a stylish metallic spiral staircase leading up a private dining room. ORA's lengthy lunch menu features a broad selection of tapas, plus some imaginative sandwiches served in your choice of bread - ciabatta, wholemeal bloomer or wrap. They can also be toasted - the brie, bacon and mango chutney on ciabatta is heated to the point where it is melting before your eyes, but it tastes great. The meatball melt, in a tomato and basil sauce, with cheese is also very appetising. The sandwiches are served with some lacklustre crisps, which really need the accompanying garlic dip, and could do with at little salad. But they are still good value at less than five quid apiece. The coffee is mediocre, but but can get jugs of tap water: Just make sure the glasses are clean. The table service by the cosmopolitan staff is slow, but assured and friendly. 7/10