Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Staith House, North Shields, Tyne and Wear gastropub review

Not all restaurant awards are created equally.

Some provide a helpful guide for where to eat when you’re in unfamiliar territory, are handed out sparingly and judged by people who know their onions.

Others seem to be set up purely to extract cash (normally via tickets to overpriced award ceremonies) from restaurateurs looking to promote their businesses. To make matters worse, they're given out like confetti and therefore don't really provide any indication of the best places to eat.

Two accolades which I trust are Michelin Bib Gourmands, awarded to restaurants serving three courses of good food for £28 or less. And the Top 50 Gastropubs list, a who’s who of the UK’s best pubs including The Crown at Burchetts Green, The Hardwick and The Pony and Trap.

North Shields’ Staith House currently holds both a Bib Gourmand and is 11th in the top 50 Gastropubs list.

Located 20 minutes from Newcastle on the Tyne and Wear coast, this fish focused pub is a sister restaurant to Newcastle’s brilliant Route

Their well-priced menu incorporates a crowd pleasing mix of hearty comfort food and cheffier dishes. 

I’m always up for a four course meal so we kicked off lunch with a few snacks.

Monegasque anchovies (£4) were an exercise in first rate ingredient sourcing. The savoury, salty, oily and tender fish fillets were balanced by an acidic kick of sherry vinegar 

Beautifully blistered padron peppers (£4) were served with a good dollop breath threateningly good aioli. 

Onto starters and a creamy burrata (£8) tempered the fiery heat of ’nduja lying beneath. Cold sweet peas, fresh mint and wild garlic added fragrance and complexity. 

A big plate of bisected langoustines (£12) were sweet and tender with their bisque-like head juice pleasingly present and correct. A slick of wild garlic butter gave the dish a luxury garlic prawn vibe. 

Mrs G won when it came to mains. A delicately cooked meaty piece of cod (£16) stood up well to a huge flavoured chorizo and vine tomato stew with a good hit of smoke and spice. If there was any shortage of flavour, more of that honking aioli and herb butter left no doubt. 

My lightly crumbed ling fillets (£13.50) looked a little sparse on the plate and were a touch firm in texture. There were no faults with the accompaniments - earthy beetroot, citrusy shavings of fennel and warming harissa mayonnaise. 

I didn't manage to pilfer any of the beer battered fish and chips (£12.50) but it was a whopper of a portion served with proper marrowfat mushy pieces and thick tartare sauce. 

Desserts were as well considered as the rest of the meal.

Creamy warm rice pudding (£6.50) with vanilla twanged ice cream was a lovely pairing of hot and cold. Fruit compote brought vital fragrance and acidity to the dish. 

A unique bit of comfort food saw a big dollop of rich and golden cold baked treacle tart filling (£6.50) served with vanilla ice cream and tart poached plums. 

A textbook lemon posset (£6) was a perfect balance of smooth, creamy, sweet and sharp. It was topped with a super fresh raspberry compote and crunchy biscuit crumb. 

The Staith House serve well-priced and delicious seafood in a lovely seaside spot. It’s another win for the Michelin Guide and the Top 50 Gastropubs list.

The Details:

Address - The Staith House, 57 Low Lights, North Shields NE30 1HF
Web -
Telephone - 0191 270 8441

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