REVIEW: Marco Pierre White Bar & Grill, Newcastle
Posted on June 22nd 2017 by Whats on Northeast
Words and Photos: Laura Brown for Proper Scrumptious
You’d be forgiven if you immediately think of a big, juicy steak selection when you think of a Marco Pierre White restaurant. The steaks are absolutely incredible.
But there’s much more to the MPW Newcastle venue than just being a steakhouse. Head Chef Paul Amer is a talented man who was passionate about showing us the other side of the menu. Whilst the main menu at MPW Newcastle is created by the legend himself, the Market Menu is Chef Amer’s brainchild. The Market Menu changes often, embracing hand selected seasonal produce and ingredients to create unique dishes. It was exciting to be invited to a private dining experience with Chef and his five course sample menu.
The evening began with freshly made bread and richly marinated olives. The olives were addictive, natural and ripe, still with the stones firmly in the middle – the best way to eat olives. Before the first plate arrived, we were introduced to Paul Amer and got to quiz him about his inspiration for the menus, his experience and what it’s really like to work at MPW. His answers and replies made me even more anxious for what was to come…
The first starter was a rillette of smoked mackerel and pickled vegetables. Mackerel is a strong tasting fish, and not always everyone’s cup of tea but, of course, little old me who’ll scoff absolutely anything edible adored it. The pungent fish was complimented well by the sweet pickled vegetables. It was salty and fresh, with a bittersweet kick from the pickle.
Starter number two was the slow roasted tomato soup garnished with herby, garlic pesto and fresh basil. Not always a soup fan, I found this delightful. With a thick slice of warm and crusty white bread to scoop up the rich and smooth soup, I almost didn’t want it to end. I’ve never even considered the idea of drizzling tomato soup with pesto either, yet I don’t think I’ll eat it any other way now.
Dish number three was a lightly curried smoked haddock risotto. Curry and risotto are certainly two styles of food I’d never think about combining, but this was fantastic. I love white fish with curry, so the flaky chunks of haddock worked perfectly with the soft risotto rice. It had a light aftertaste of natural yoghurt which paired well with the salty parmesan crisp that decorated the plate.
Each serving had been cracking so far, exciting my tastebuds with new and unusual flavours. However, since being presented with the menu, I’d thought about nothing else but dish number four – pork belly with black pudding, potato puree and roasted cauliflower. It didn’t disappoint either. The pork belly was crisp on top and fell apart below, seasoned beautifully too. The black pudding, you could tell, was finely sourced and produced to an incredibly high quality. What was even better? Most people weren’t entirely keen on the idea of black pudding, so guess who piled there plate with the leftovers…?
By this point, I’d had to undo my trouser button. But with a raspberry and passionfruit panna cotta number still to arrive, I was fighting the food coma like a trooper. The panna cotta arrived with mini meringues and a raspberry sorbet. The whole dish just worked. The bitterness from the raspberries, the sweetness from the passionfruit, the creamy panna cotta teamed with crumbling meringue and the cold sorbet created a little mini heaven in your mouth.
Every single serving had impressed beyond my expectations, especially when you’ve had an MPW steak – it seems almost impossible to measure up. But I hadn’t thought about those lovely, thick steaks once and I’m not even sure I will again.
I do know that when I return, my eyes will most definitely wander away from that side of the menu, looking for something that little bit different, something carefully created and perfected by a passionate and talented Chef. And I think you should too.
Find out more about Marco Pierre White Bar & Grill in Newcastle on their official website. Read more of Laura Brown’s food blogs on her site, Proper Scrumptious. See more of her photography from the meal below.