Cunningly disguised as a “coffee shop” hidden to the side of Pennsylvania Road, The New Horizon is a small cafe serving Arabic and Mediterranean food, and the internet-savvy may be aware that is happens to have great reviews on TripAdvisor – that’s how I got there, anyway.
“Owned by a kind old soul with a winning smile, the small restaurant is very welcoming and FRIENDLY”
Old hands say that the place once sported hookahs on which you could puff after your evening meal, but parliament clamped down on that a few years ago with a “no smoking in public buildings” law, so this practice is no more. However, all is not lost: the aforementioned reviews of the place are well-deserved, hookah or no hookah.
Owned by a kind old soul with a winning smile, the small restaurant is very welcoming and friendly. The menu is compact, but fortunately, the food’s great (try the falafel, it’s a real winner). Beware however that there is a second menu aside from the one already on the table that sports a few extra choices, and that you can ask for that if you’re not feeling anything on the default menu.
The Horizon is a surprisingly cheap option: dinner for two, with drinks, will set you back about £12. The portion size is perhaps a tad small, but it’s still definitely enough to fill a hungry stomach. It’s also just a stone’s throw from Sidwell Street if you feel like hunting down desert afterwards, which is a neat perk.
This comes at the price of a “no-frills” experience – drinks are served in cans unless you ask for a glass and so on – but really, you’re there for the food right?
While you’re munching away, you might take a moment to notice the venue itself, which is subdued at first, but offers plenty to look at for the wandering eye. Various gubbins line the walls, and at any other cafe I’d assume they were shop bought trinkets, but these looked like the real deal, as if they all had an interesting story behind them. I’d imagine if you asked the owner, he’d fill you in.
Worthy of note is the fact that the New Horizon is not “student-sanitised” – if you’re the type that never ventures beyond the Imperial and Mega Kebab, there’s not much for you here. Many (if not most) of the patrons are locals. There aren’t any “post-lash specials”, and (thought I didn’t ask) I imagine student discounts aren’t handed out either.
Then again, as mentioned, a decent part of the restaurant’s merit is in its value for money – rarely will you find such good food on offer for just over a tenner, and short of old-and-boring options such as your local Wetherspoons, you’re more of less getting your student discount included within the meal just for turning up.
As far as other perks go, it’s situated in an easy-to-reach location, although this is a doubled-edged sword: beware, if taking your sweetheart on a romantic night out, that you’re right on the side of a high-student-traffic road. But hey, proper planning prevents poor performance: make sure you lure them into a lash somewhere or something and you’ll be fine.
If you’re looking for the real deal however, give The New Horizon a look. It’s a satisfying place to eat, with great food and no frills.