Pioneering Newcastle restaurant Harissa Mediterranean Kitchen is delivering a healthier diet straight to customers’ doors with the launch of its first ever takeout menu.

And with another academic year getting underway, university and college students are being offered a wholesome 20% off food ordered and collected direct from Harissa on presentation of a valid student card, until the end of October this year.

All other diners ordering and collecting in person can claim an ongoing 10% discount on the trailblazing eatery’s new Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired takeaway feasts, which are low in fat, sugar and salt.

Available for two, three or four people, menu highlights include a choice of tasty dips served with homemade flatbreads; spicy Lebanese potato Batata Harra; house salad; falafal and marinated chicken kebabs, and slow-cooked lamb and butternut squash and chickpea tagines.

Prices start at £24.50 for two people, with home delivery in eco-friendly packaging being offered via Deliveroo within a three mile radius of the restaurant on Starbeck Avenue, Sandyford.

The rollout of the more healthful takeaway menu comes as Harissa waits to hear if it has been voted The People’s Favourite in the national Food Made Good Awards 2017, which celebrate restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, hotels, universities, and contract caterers who go the extra mile in offering fare that’s lovingly, ethically and sustainably produced.

The restaurant, which is aligned to Newcastle-based social enterprise, Food Nation, only opened just over a year ago, and is one of four in the running for the prestigious accolade, with the winner due to be annouced in October.

Jamie Sadler, who runs Harissa and is the founder of Food Nation, said: “Launching a takeout menu was a natural progression. We deliberately chose to take the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean route when we opened Harissa because it offers a much healthier dining out experience using the freshest, locally souced, seasonal ingredients.

“It is the sort of food that also lends itself admirably to a takeout menu.

“Takeaway kebabs get a bad press, but they can be superhealthy. The problem is they are often sold as double portions, come with lots of unhealthy extras, and are more usually eaten late at night when people may already have had a meal.

“Ours come either as lean, protein rich chicken or homemade vegetarian falafals with cauliflower tabbouleh, pickled cabbage, and spicy harissa yogurt or tahini sauce dressings.

“Harissa’s locally sourced, homemade takeaway menu is proof that fast food doesn’t have to be junk food.”

Jamie is keen to appeal to students who often struggle to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

“At Food Nation we work with schools, businesses, universities, and individuals to help them make better food choices. Harissa works in a similar way by ensuring we have a positive impact on both diners and the local community we are a part of.

“By offering the 20% discount to students during September and October as they are trying to find their feet at the start of the new academic year, and an ongoing 10% concession, we hope we can encourage them to make more beneficial but still affordable food choices.”

Like Food Nation, Harissa Mediterranean Kitchen is run as a social enterprise and is committed to paying its staff a living wage. It also endeavours to protect the local environment by cutting down on food miles, reducing waste and, where possibe, using eco-friendly products.