Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle, Restaurant Review

So yes, I may have written a brief little something on the scotch eggs The Broad Chare does here and rhapsodised about how great a pub it was but I went back for food somewhat accidentally and of course have to write about it again, and I promise they aren't even paying me (although hey if you wanna give me a free dinner I think I could be ok with that)

And you will be pleased to note that the burger hunt has continued.

As I said before The Broad Chare is the first pub in Terry Laybourne's successful string of ventures. I had spent the day writing about pork scratchings for work and I had a craving for some - the other half's office is just by The Broad Chare so we thought we'd go for a quick after work drink. Whilst supping on my pint of Trashy Blonde the man next to us violently attacked a homely looking steak and kidney pie with the sort of dead stare an account must have after a hard day of looking at sums and I knew at that point I wasn't going home for potatoes and chorizo as planned.

Luckily for us we managed to book in for a table in half an hours time. In the mean time I snacked on a few pieces of their Pork Crackling with Bramley Apple Sauce, £2.50. I say a few not for a vague casual description but because we literally got about 4 pieces of scratching. Yes a bar snack and yes obviously made fresh and with high quality pork but I did however expect a larger portion for my £2.50, the brambly apple sauce they were served with was delicious but we ran out of crackling before we could eat most of it.

The upstairs dining area was larger than I was expecting and didn't feel cramped, we got a cute little wooden table by one of the deep set windows (it's a shame The Broad Chare faces the way it does as we got a lovely few of the back end of a Travelodge) and ordered a bottle of red (cheapest on the menu at £16 a bottle) and surveyed the nicely limited menu.


This was half cause I quite fancied a good burger, a quarter because I wanted to continue my quest for a good burger and the last quarter was me refusing to get the most expensive thing on the menu (steak at £18.50). I was very pleased I did get it as The Broad Chare's Ground Rib Steak Burger with Northumberland Cheese, £10.50, its a thing of bloody beauty - bloody because I got it medium rare and was sufficiently juicy and red in the middle. Even better the meat had such a wonderful flavour as it was made with freshly ground rib steak and had a delicious chargrilled edging to it. And I actually let out a squeal when I saw a glazed brioche bun, something severely lacking on the north east burger scene. The other half was embarrassed at this point because the refined middle aged clientele around us gave me a 'look'.

So if I had a little gripe about this it was that it could have been a bit bigger, it had a nice thickness but could have had a wider diameter (although this is the factually correct word to use I'm finding it slightly odd). The chips filled me up sufficiently however and meant I couldn't order pudding/cheese. By far the best burger i've had in Newcastle by a juicy, meaty mile, no question about it. I'm not even sure where to try next because I can't think of where will do it better.

The other half got the Calves Liver, Bacon and Crispy Onions, £14.50 which was cooked so it was pink in the middle, the mash was wonderfully creamy, bacon crunch but not dry and the scattering of fried onions added a great contrast of texture to the tender liver. There was also savoy cabbage and lovely rich gravy (his knowledgeable guess is it was made with port?). Again a nice sized portion and he was content, although moaned I didn't let him try my burger. 

Calves Liver, Bacon and Crispy Onions, The Broad Chare, £14.50

As with anywhere in the 21 Group the service was impeccable, friendly, well timed and unintrusive. The dining room was about 3/4 full when we arrived, mostly middle aged, most looking like they had come straight from work or after a day christmas shopping. Hint for any students reading, if your parents are visiting any time soon, take them to The Broad Chare.

Our bill at the end came to £45.60 including wine and service meaning The Broad Chare isn't somewhere you can afford to go every time the feeling takes you, but makes for a wonderful treat every now and then. For a spontaneous after work dinner it was above and beyond what I was expecting on a Thursday night and lived up to all the expectations their scotch eggs had given me.