Sunday, 6 January 2019

Route, Newcastle Quayside restaurant review

Route on Newcastle’s Quayside is one hell of a good restaurant.

In fact, it’s one of the best meals I ate in 2018.

All the signs were there that it was going to be good - from their Michelin Bib Gourmand and the Noble Rot posters adorning the wall to the creative list of wines by the glass and menu of well-priced seasonal small plates.

We gave the wine list a good workout. Highlights included stone fruit laden Sepp Gruner Veltliner, apple twanged Mád Dry Furmint and a cider-like skin contact orange wine. 

Everything we ate was delicious, different and exciting.

First rate savoury monegasque anchovies (£4) were drizzled with sherry vinegar. 

Dark crusted and soft crumbed black treacle bread (£2) was smeared with cleverly complex nutty brown butter. 

Salty, smoky whipped cod's roe (£5) sat on top of cubes of cleansing cucumber and was accompanied by a nice selection of crackers. 

A snack of brussels sprout fritters (£4.75) could have converted even the most vicious brassica basher. The nutty, slightly bitter sprouts were coated in golden batter and served with a beguiling spicy and smoky harissa mayo. 

A boulder of creamy buratta (£8.50) was paired with the crunch of spiced hazelnuts and seriously intense radicchio leaves poached in red wine. Everything was delicious in combination but the leaves were too potent on their own. 

Spreadably soft and savoury boudin noir (£8.50) was topped with melted cheddar and accompanied by sweet caramelised onions and the richness penetrating fiery hit of 'nduja. It would have been even better with some croutons or toast to provide textural contrast. 

A huge tranche of ray wing (£13.50) was soft and sweet of flesh. It was served with beurre noisette, meaty shrimp, briny capers, sweet raisins and wilted spinach. 

Crisp skinned pieces of meaty bream (£9) and slices of tender salsify were served in a duck liver veloute sauce of such brilliant lightness, savouriness and creaminess that it will live long in the memory. 

A gorgeously plump and caramelised hand dived scallop (£13) was accompanied by fatty smoked eel, sweet and acidic apple sauce, sweet baked onions, and soft and crisp pieces of jerusalem artichoke.

Desserts maintained the exceptionally high standard.

A selection of pristine Neal's Yard Dairy cheeses (£10) included Cropwell Bishop blue stilton, soft Winslade and nutty Lincolnshire Poacher. 

A dainty white chocolate panna cotta (£6.50) was uber creamy and wobbly. Cleansing poached pear, a thin layer of pear jelly and the lift of mint were cracking accompaniments. 

Creamy rice pudding (£6.50) was topped with spiced ginger biscuit crumb and a sweet and slightly tart plum compote. 

We had a superb meal at Route. If you like first class wine and food in an informal setting then I seriously recommend a visit.

The Details:

Address - Route, 35 Side, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3JE
Web -
Telephone - 0191 222 0973

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