D’Acqua Early Bird Menu, Sunderland

We love it to death, but sometimes we all give Newcastle a bit of a hard time. It’s our city, and we all want it to be the best in the world. In terms of food, it’s not up to Manchester’s standard or whatever, but christ there are foodie blackspots that are considerably less glamorous, I mean, some places aren’t even trying to copy what goes on in London(!)

Honestly, it’s rare we get to Sunderland. I think the last time was a specific venture to the Stadium of _____ to see Oasis.  There’s no two ways about it really, it’s bloody grim. I don’t imagine investors want to pour their £££ into the restaurant landscape when there’s not much else going on, but we’d heard good things about D’Acqua and made a special trip over. Cue reminders of how shocking both the one-way system is, and how shite the parking situation is – THANK YOU NE1’s “Alive After Five”.

d'acqua strawberries and cream Continue reading

Hop and Cleaver, Newcastle

We went down to Hop and Cleaver during it’s opening last week. All things aside, it’s really great to see loads going on down the Quayside. H&C is the latest case of Newcastle going crazy over something which elsewhere has been, everyone has got tired of, and moved on from, but I guess it’s better than another vacant quayside restaurant. The marketing hype train is powerful at the Ladhar leisure group though, so as the heaving launch night proved, people just can’t get enough of this sort of stuff. Serve it on a tray, use more hyperbole on the menu than Jamie Oliver, be just “quirky” enough, win-win, right?

hop and cleaver potato skins Continue reading

Semibreve Supper Club

Supperclubs – all the rage, yeah? Skip the pricey “same-old” restaurants with their rarely-changing menus, go to someone’s house/unique special venue and eat food from relatively unknown but passionate chefs – sounds good right? They’ve gone from fresh idea to done-to-death quicker than Newcastle has gotten sick of “artisan” burgers.

semibreve supper club platter

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Lunch at The Raby Hunt, Summerhouse

Our visit to The Raby Hunt (DL2 3UD) was long overdue. For the past couple of years, it has been, and still is the region’s only Michelin star restaurant, with rave reviews from foodies all over the country.

Last week we finally got there, wahey! We had the three course lunch menu, which was good value at £28.50 and although the final bill came to nearly quadruple that,  to be fair, there’s no better way to try Michelin star dining locally without spending ~£80 each (+ extras +wines) on a tasting menu. I’ll not delve too much into the intricacies of  each dish, but here’s what we had on the day.

the raby hunt cod skin Continue reading