Longbench is located on one of the busiest streets in Newcastle, 161 Darby Street, and I think it is therefore easy to overlook this enjoyable restaurant amongst the hustle bustle of some of the more busy establishments. However, i do recommend you consider it for your next Newcastle dining experience. I have visited Longbench twice for dinner now and both times was left with a yearn to return.
First and foremost, the service is to be noted. The waitstaff are highly attentive, friendly and able to anticipate my needs before even asked! The best customer service I've had in a long while. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, with a subtle suave and sophisticated vibe to complement. Aptly named, the seating indoors consists of a long bench against the wall, with seats on the opposite side, along with some regular chairs and tables. The restaurant also features an outdoor seating area for those warm summer nights.
The food at the Long Bench lies somewhere in the middle of pub food and fine dining. On both of my visits, everyone at the table was delighted by their meals and accompaniments. The menu is quite varied and extensive boasting choices of breads, tapas, pastas, salads and main meals. The lamb and goats cheese arrancini with garlic aioli was mouthwatering, and I always find myself appreciating their garlic sourdough. The meals were of a generous serving which unfortunately left no room for dessert, however their cheesecakes looked delectable.
Crispy skinned barramundi with pesto chats, steamed greens, white wine sauce and asparagus.