The Shakespeare Inn is located on Upper Bar at the end of the High Street in Newport. It was recently taken over at the end of October and is now run by a local family business who have been in Newport for over 50 years.
Owner Raja Singh decided it was time for something different at The Shakespere and has relaunched with a new Bar & Grill venue. He is looking forward to welcoming back local residents and offering a warm welcome to new customers.
We visited The Shakespeare Inn on a Friday evening and the bar was already very busy when we arrived, we were shown to our table and given a menu to browse through. Our drinks order promptly arrived with a bottle of Sauvignon and a pint of Amstel. I was amazed at the prices on the wine menu, with bottles available from just £8.95, you can of course order by the glass too if you prefer. There is also a wide range of great cask ales, plus gins and premium spirits.
The menu offers a range of Indian dishes and they specialise in grill food, it has been well thought out and kept fairly simple – some menus can have so many pages it takes ages to read through it all. There are a variety of starters, mains including chicken, lamb, prawn or vegetable dishes, chefs specials and mixed grill sizzlers, as well as sides.
There were so many dishes we both wanted to try we decided to order dishes we could share.
For starter we shared Tarka Lamb Chops (£9) which were served on a sizzling hot plate. The lamb chops were so delicious, they had an amazing rich deep tandoori spicy coating and a great flame grilled flavour. The chops were served on a bed of sliced onions, peppers and tomatoes and sprinkled with coriander.
We really wanted to try one of the mixed grill sizzlers as we had seen a few coming out to other tables and they looked superb. We decided on the Boneless Sizzler (£17.50) which has a mix of Tikka, Kebab, Fish and Prawns – we asked to have extra prawns rather fish which they were happy to accommodate. This is a very generous size platter and again is served on a sizzling hot plate which keeps the food nice and hot. On the bed of sliced onions were large chunks of tender juicy chicken tikka, portions of lamb shish kebab and large battered prawns.
For our final dish we decided to try something different that we hadn’t had before, Raja recommended the Butter Chicken (£8.50) which we had with a plain rice (£2.00) and plain naan bread (£2.00). We also added a bowl of Nepalese chips (£2.75).
I have to say the Butter Chicken is one of the best curries we have ever had, the taste was incredible. A beautifully creamy dish and so full of flavour, we practically licked the bowl clean. There were large pieces of tender chicken in a delicious golden sauce, what a revelation – this is a dish we would definitely choose again! The Nepalese chips had a spicy chilli sauce coating on them and were a real change from just plain chips, they were a little on the warm side with the kick of chilli but I couldn’t stop eating them, they were very moorish.
Food is served everyday between 5pm to 10pm. There are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu and special dietary needs can be catered for where possible.
Children are most welcome here, there isn’t a separate children’s menu but the sharing platters are great for families to share and gives children the chance to try something new.
There is a car park at the rear but if this gets full there is parking in the main high street or on the old Co-op car park behind the restaurant.
The pub will be undergoing a refurbishment in the early part of next year. The planned refurbishment will tastefully combine modern finishes with period features and will reposition The Shakespeare Inn as a standout pub, catering to the whole community. There will be some exciting new additions after the refurb so be sure to come back and check out the changes. Food and drinks will be served as normal until the refurbishment, so pop in and discover Newport’s only grill restaurant, serving great quality delicious food!
Reviewed by Fleur & Nik Abel