Marco-Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill
Fenkle Street, Newcastle
The Marco-Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill have been advertising that they have a discount for theatre tickets holders recently. The theatre is behind Newcastle’s Academy music venue and just a few minutes walk from the historic Tyne Theatre & Opera House.
There has been many an occasion that we’ve had to fit in a meal at other establishments, prior to seeing a show. We have had some great meals. We have had a couple of nightmares: 2 places that struggled to get us our main courses before the curtain went up. We have never returned to those places and note that one has since shut down. With this in mind we accepted an invitation to try out the new Marco Classics menu at the Fenkle Street venue. The North East Theatre Guide team love food and are willing to try new dishes.
The restaurant is situated in the ground floor of Hotel Indigo (http://www.hotelindigonewcastle.co.uk). We had our coats taken and we were quickly shown to our booth. Our waitress, Nicole, was willing to answer our questions and help us with making our decisions. There was the option of an early bird menu (available 5:30 – 7pm Fridays and Saturdays – 3 courses £25) and the new Classic Marcomenu (http://www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/steakhouse-newcastle/menus/sample-%C3%A0-la-carte-menu.pdf)
In the short wait for our starters to arrive we were able to take in the ambience. The eating area is adjacent to the hotel bar and hence we could hear the acoustic guitarist playing his versions of hits by the likes of the Eagles, Oasis and Green Day. The décor is along the lines of a modern interpretation of the 70s. The big lampshades and busy black & white wallpaper reminiscent of a visit to a department store restaurant 40 years ago. Somehow the clean lines of the colour scheme and crisp white table cloths work in 2016. We also noted that the booths are a new feature which don’t appear in the website publicity photos and they encouraged conversation in our group without feeling that we were being listened to by the other diners.
We ordered a bottle of South Australian Bonavista Pinot Grigio for the adults and apple juice for our son. The wine was a lovely crisp white full of citrus flavours including a nice lemon. The apple juice came in a large enough measure – a common complaint is how it often only lasts as long as the starter and we have to order again.
Our starters arrived quickly. We had asked for the bread and olives to come at the same time. The bread basket had a generous quantity in it and the olives were also tasty and plentiful. Some restaurants give these for free but here they are both are a paid for optional extra.
I had the Crème Du Barry, a piping hot cream of cauliflower soup with baby leeks and truffle oil. The soup was thick, creamy and well presented with viola flowers. Jo had the Salad of Beetroot, Goats’ Cheese, Candied Walnuts with a Merlot dressing. Again the viola flowers helped with the presentation. The walnuts were crunchy and caramalised and went well with the thin slices of beetroot. The goats cheese was creamy and had subtle flavours. This was in contrast to the strong flavours in our son’s Rillettes of Duck Au Poivre Vert. A pot of shredded duck was a real treat that went well with the toasted sourdough.
The starters had been popular with our group and we looked forward to our main courses. The staff remained attentive, topping up our wine glasses and promptly clearing our plates away. The room was now filling up with diners but it didn’t feel over crowded.
The attention to detail includes the simple idea of noting who had ordered which meal so you have the correct meal delivered without the waiter “who order the…?” We were sent complementary lemon sorbets in order to cleanse our palettes which was a nice touch.
I ordered the substantial 8oz Grilled Swordfish Steak á la Provençal. The fish was perfect and tasty, sat on its bed of new potatoes. I personally feel that the vegetables were covered in more oil than I prefer. Jo had the Grilled 8oz Salmon Steak which was moist and also cooked to her preference. The skin was salted and crisp and the flavours helped it go down well. The pommes frites were thin and arrived already salted. This may be more salt than some palettes prefer.
Our son is a big meat fan and he was determined to test the claim that this place serves the best steak in Newcastle. He ordered the 8oz Fillet Steak with the Peppercorn Sauce with eager anticipation. His verdict was that his meal was cooked to perfection. He even went to say that it was the best meat meal he’d ever had. After declaring it was “gorgeous” he added he was going to give the meal his full attention. The fries were served in a mini frying pan which is by far preferable to those venues that stack chips like Jenga bricks on a slate.
To finish we ordered desserts and coffees. My Box Tree’s Eton Mess was a work of art that tasted as good as it looked. Jo had Mr White’s Rice Pudding which was creamy, the rice was subtly al dente, and the apricot compote provided a lovely contrasting tang . Our son went for the New York Baked Cheesecake which he approved of with its nice biscuit and brownie powder under the ice cream.
The meal was a wonderful experience. The food was tasty and showed that a real effort had been made. The staff were always courteous and helpful without being intrusive. We plan to return! Many thanks to Marco-Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill for your kind invitation.
See below for the details of their theatre offer.
This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo.