LOVERS of Asian cuisine packed a top North of England restaurant on Monday night to toast one of the country’s most recognisable landmarks.
Customers of Raval Luxury Indian Restaurant came together to pay tribute to Newcastle’s iconic Tyne Bridge on the 85th anniversary of its completion.
To mark the occasion, Raval chefs created a unique sauce featuring one of the world’s most famous beers – Newcastle Brown Ale, which itself celebrated 85 years in 2012.
Among the guests at the prestigious get-together was former Regional Minister Nick Brown, Labour MP for Newcastle East.
He said: “If you ask people what they know about Tyneside, along with football they will say the Tyne Bridge and Newcastle Brown Ale.
“Raval’s special evening was a great celebration of the bridge. It has come to symbolise Newcastle for everyone in the Northern hemisphere and for me personally, crossing it is like coming home.”
Newcastle Brown Ale is sold in more than 40 countries with 100 million bottles drunk every year in the UK alone. But never before has it been used as an ingredient in curry.
Raval manager Avi Malik said: “It was quite a challenge for our chefs to incorporate brown ale into an Asian dish, but judging by the reaction from our guests last night, we appear to have pulled it off.
“The feedback we received was tremendous. Raval has created a culinary world-first and I am extremely proud of that. It was a very fitting way to celebrate this special milestone in the history of the Tyne Bridge”
The evening also featured an exhibition of paintings by some of the region’s most talented artists.
The bridge was completed on February 25, 1928, and officially opened on October 10 by King George V and Queen Mary. A popular misconception is that its design was the inspiration behind Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was opened four years later in 1932. In fact, the reverse is true. Work started Down Under before building began in Newcastle.
Engineers Mott, Hay and Anderson based their design on the Sydney Harbour Bridge blueprint, but its construction took longer because of its size.