THIS is the latest branch of top chef White’s chain which serves as the restaurant for Hotel Indigo In Fenkle Street, Newcastle.
Although it was a Tuesday, by 8pm, the restaurant was practically full and it seems word has spread fast since the steakhouse opened its doors a couple of weeks ago.
I started with the potted duck with prune compote and toasted sourdough. The duck was served in a little jar filled to the brim with the velvety slow-cooked flakes of bird.
My friend ordered the calamari with tartar sauce which she was kind enough to let me sample.
The squid rings were lovely and tender, not chewy which can sometimes happen if squid is in the slightest over-cooked. The batter surrounding the squid was crisp and slightly spicy and the tartar sauce provided just the right amount of freshness to combat the fried fish.
My dining companion and I both decided we couldn’t come to a steak house and order anything but steak so we both ordered the 8oz fillet for our main course.
The fillets were beautifully thick and came with onion rings, grilled tomato and a side of chips, cooked in beef dripping, which were huge crunchy wedges of potato, fluffy inside and crisp and salty outside.
We both ordered our steaks medium rare and they were cooked to perfection. Our knives slid through them like they were butter and the charred, smoky outside was a welcome contrast to the rich, meaty, pink flesh in the middle.
A helping of sauce on the side cost an extra £3 which I think should have probably come with the steak, but I had to indulge in the peppercorn. It was creamy and glossy and had the odd whole peppercorn in which provided a pop of heat to cut through the buttery sauce.
The steaks were very filling and neither of us managed to finish our whole mains, but the fillets took priority and were polished off in favour of chips and onion rings.
The meal came to nearly £96 for two starters, two steaks, two small glasses of wine a side of sauce with 10 per cent service charge included. The service was excellent, if a little over zealous.
Although the food was delicious, I think for those prices I expected something a bit more breath-taking. It felt like we were paying for the privilege of eating at a restaurant with Marco Pierre White’s name in the title.