The Living Room: Grey Street, Newcastle

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LOVE food? Then you’ll love The Living Room.

Don’t let the fact that this is a chain bar and restaurant put you off.

Housed inside a listed building in Grey Street, this is a restaurant with a theatrical boutique feeling – and an impressive menu to boot.

Foods on offer change according to seasons and I’ve never failed to be impressed on my many visits here.

On this particular visit, Jack Frost was nipping our ankles as we made our way up Grey Street, so we were looking forward to some hearty foods to warm us up.

As we “ummed” and “arrghhd” over the menu, we nibbled on a garlic and herb bread laden with gooey Cheddar (£3.50) to aid our deliberations.

To start, there’s a good-sized choice of options from sharers, such as rosemary-baked Camembert with tomato chutney and toasted ciabatta (£8.25), to dishes you can keep to yourself such as scallops and Bury black pudding on a minted pea purée (£8.50) and butternut squash, Dolcelatté, walnut and honey tart (£5.25).

Spoilt by choice, we went with the easy option – the tapas sharing board (£13).

Such boards have become a staple in restaurants these days, but this was a little quirkier than the norm with welcome additions such as goats cheese and olive empanadas, gambas pil pil, chorizo in chilli and red wine and albondigas (Spanish meatballs).

We made light work of the mixed board and polished off every last melt-in-your-mouth morsel.

The star of the show, however, was my main meal.

I’d gone for the smoked haddock and mash topped with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce (£12) which was utterly divine.

Each ingredient complemented its neighbour perfectly and the egg was deliciously runny once I lightly pierced it into submission with my fork.

I couldn’t get enough and would make the trip to the Toon for this dish alone.

Georga also wolfed down her choice: chicken, tiger prawns and cashew coconut laksa with coconut rice (£11) which was beautifully presented.

Cara was a tad disappointed with her choice, however.

Although it looked like perfection on a plate and was tasty, she found the parsley fishcake which came with her pan-fried monkfish (£18) a little dry.

The monkfish itself though, I’m assured, was beautiful.

Katy Wheeler

Twitter: @sunechokaty