Pan Haggerty, Queen Street, Newcastle

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Top-notch food with an order of top service

When dining in a restaurant named after a North East culinary classic, it seemed only right to choose the eponymous dish.

It proved to be a sound choice. A modern, stylish take on a dish that’s open to interpretation, this version used all the classic ingredients – layers of potato and onion – but presented in a fashion unlike any other I’ve had before.

The potato was ever-so-thinly sliced to create a chunky stack of flavour which was topped off with crisp smoked bacon and perfectly-poached egg that only took the lightest of pokes to pierce.

I was wary of its dressing as I’m not a fan of brown sauce. However, this concoction used brown sauce as a base to create a dense gravy that complemented the stack perfectly.

Despite its cordon bleu appearance, this gastronomic gem of a dish was a snip at £11.95 – especially considering that’s what you’d pay in the pizza shops just a stone’s throw away on Newcastle’s Quayside.

Like the restaurant’s namesake, other dishes on the menu celebrate hearty foods with a nod to British classics, such as corned beef hash.

My friend chose the pork belly for main – slow roast pork belly, cauliflower, seared scallop, braised scallion, mini- fondants, apple, watercress with a cider jus – which comes in at £17.95.

Being pregnant, she was concerned about the scallops, but the kitchen were more than helpful in replacing this feature with a meaty alternative.

Top service is a theme that ran throughout the night. Though the food is fancier than most, the setting is informal and friendly and the staff were attentive and relaxed.

The pork was another triumph and was a large enough portion to more than satisfy my friend’s pregnancy hunger pangs.

Despite being stuffed, we managed to talk ourselves into a cheese board (£8.50) which, again, had to be modified. “Not a problem,” said our waiter who replaced the blue cheese with more bump-friendly alternatives.

Visits to the Toon for food can leave you spoilt for choice, but Pan Haggerty is definitely one to keep on your radar.

Katy Wheeler