Posh for North Shields, but…
UPDATE: The New Exchange is now closed.
A recent (sold-out) Groupon voucher gives us two steaks and wine for £16, not a bad deal – so we walked into NewcastleEat’s hometown to try a couple of courses from the latest in town on North Tyneside…
We visited this grade 2 listed building (NE30 1SE) on a Saturday night – it is quite pretty inside and out, and certainly a nice change from most dreary small restaurants in the North Shields/Tynemouth area. The courtyard area in particular looks like it would be nice for a summer evening drink.
We try the black pudding, poached egg, bacon, and apple puree (pictured) for starters, along with some bread. The black pudding is passable but does little to excite the taste buds (see here or here for examples), and the single rasher of bacon is more crumbly than crispy, adding nothing to the dish. It comes with a nice poached egg and is garnishes with what looks like bagged salad – no thank you. Bread is OK, not warm, and as ever, a shame to not be included as we sit down to read the menu.
For mains we ordered 8oz t-bone and sirloin steaks (~£14, t-bone pictured) – both medium-rare. Both arrive very quickly, but sadly, both very much medium-well. The meat itself is fine, just not blow-you-away as you always anticipate when ordering steak, and especially when somewhere tries to get a reputation as a steakhouse. For this kind of a la carte price – there are better options a few miles afield, for steak at least.
They are accompanied by onion rings, obviously home-made and very decent, grilled tomato, and a huge mushroom. We get a peppercorn sauce to share (£2.50) which is fine, but unspectacular in flavour and texture. Would have to guess that chips are of the frozen kind. They are nice and golden and crispy, but it’s always a shame when somewhere can’t put the effort in with home-made chips. Drinks are average, if reasonably priced.
Service is friendly but not particularly knowledgeable and somewhat slow tonight – we have to request the bill twice and then just give up and go to the bar.
So good luck to the New Exchange, surely there is the market for something nicer in the area – just hope they can up their game if they are to be known as a go-to steak restaurant. I assume some of the 750+ Groupon customers will be happy to return – but at the New Exchange’s a la carte prices – not for us.
Visited August 2011 8PM.
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