There’s nothing I love more than trying out new eateries on date night, so one Saturday evening the other half and I ventured to The Merchants Tavern that’s situated in the picture-perfect marina of St Peters Basin, in Newcastle.
The Merchant Tavern is a traditional British eatery that serves modern, British-inspired dishes using the finest regional and seasonal ingredients. From the fields to the foragers, and the fishermen, the restaurant prides itself on using the best produce that the North East has to offer.
Luckily, for us there were two menus available to choose from; its autumn menu and a special Spanish-inspired menu. This Saturday in particular The Merchants Tavern hosted a Spanish themed evening with a live salsa band, and to complement the atmosphere they were also offering tapas dishes. Although they sounded divine, I was craving some good, wholesome English grub.
I went for the Merchants ale battered north sea market fish with triple cooked chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce, while Corey had chuck steak burger on steamed brioche with cheese, burger sauce, pickles, baby gem and fries.
The restaurant boasts industrial-inspired decor, which is a combination of rustic touches and simplistic, modern aesthetics, and has gorgeous views of the marina. While we waited for our food to arrive, we were given freshly-made bread with a selection of olive oil and butter. I particularly liked that the butter looked like a ball of ice cream (I’m easily pleased!)
Soon after our food was being placed in front of us and I was amazed at the size of our portions. While Corey’s burger was on the brink of toppling over, my fish was hanging off either side of the plate.
My fish was cooked to perfection. As soon as I cut into the crisp coating the fish just fell to pieces and was incredibly tender. The battered shell was crunchy and light, and didn’t leave a greasy feeling in my mouth. I was intrigued about the triple cooked chips. Although they looked and tasted the same as normal chips they were much more crisp on the outside (I love crispy chips).
Once Corey had managed to tame his bustling burger, he said it was delicious especially the sauce that came with it, which was some kind of relish. I couldn’t resist dipping a few chips in it, and I too liked the creamy but zingy flavour.
Since my eyes are bigger than my belly, we ordered two sticky toffee puddings for dessert. Now, I’ve never tried sticky toffee pudding before because it’s just not a dessert I usually go for. I’m normally all about the chocolate, but it’s one of Corey’s favourites and he swayed me and I’m so glad he did.
Although it doesn’t look like much on my pictures, the pudding was incredible. The mixture of gooey texture, sweet toffee sauce and creamy ice cream was just divine. I actually can’t believe I’ve been passing this dessert up for years!
Have you been to The Merchants Tavern before? How do you rate sticky toffee pudding?
Sarah Jayne x
(I received a complimentary meal in exchange for a review. My review is completely honest and all words and opinions are my own)