We arrived at Hotel Indigo about 7:30, the perfect time for dinner. The hotel lobby also serves as a bar area and it was busy with guests enjoying an evening drink. Beyond the bar lies Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse, with an open plan kitchen overlooking the hungry diners. Our table, perfectly positioned in the middle of the restaurant, had an excellent view of the kitchen, while the restaurant’s decor added a sophisticated edge that gave it a not-your-typical-hotel-restaurant vibe.
With two ice-cold drinks poured, my dining partner and I were ready to ponder over the new menu. The extensive options for starters was enough to distract you, and by the time the waitress came to take our order, I was still debating over three hors d’oeuvres. However, I settled on the crispy calamari with sauce tartare and fresh lemon (£8.95), while my dining partner selected the tempting baked camembert with fresh herbs, roasted vine tomatoes and warm baked sourdough with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (£10.50). Cheese and seafood do not top the list of food combinations, however as our starters arrived it was clear we both had food envy and sharing would be required. The calamari was delicious; a crispy crumb paired with tender squid, unlike the chewy texture so often found with calamari. The melted camembert coated the sourdough beautifully and the addition of balsamic vinegar to the bread was a surprising, yet pleasant addition.
The main menu yet again rather overwhelmed us with choice. A steak would be the obvious option, however the main boards and burgers sounded equally as mouth-watering. My dining partner made it clear she wanted steak and nothing else, and so I decided it was best I opt for something a little different. The French steakhouse burger, with melted cheese, crispy onion rings and Dijon mayonnaise, and a side of pommes frites (£14.50) sounded perfect. My dining partner opted for the grilled 35 day aged sirloin 10oz steak topped with classic peppercorn and brandy sauce, and a side of triple cooked chips (£28.95). The two dishes were excellent. My burger towered over the wooden serving board, with my side of chips in their quirky metal bucket accompanied by an adorable miniature jar of ketchup. It was everything you want a burger to be: juicy, tender, and cheesy. The onion rings added a welcome crispy texture to the burger.
My dining partner’s steak, accompanied by a creamy peppercorn sauce, was perfectly cooked and tender, and the huge triple cooked chips could have been a meal on their own. We both made our way through our mains (there wasn’t much talking, the beef was just that good), and said yes to seeing the dessert menu, despite our waistlines having expanded greatly since we’d been seated.
Pudding, for me, really is the best part of dining out. It’s not often we enjoy an after dinner pudding at home, so I think it’s best to really indulge. I was instantly drawn to the Eton mess, which arrived in a tall, milkshake-style glass, with plenty of meringue chunks, berries and cream — a pudding that’s definitely worth the calories.My dining partner opted for a dark chocolate mousse, mainly because she knew I wouldn’t want to share. It was gone in an instant.
A restaurant in a hotel is not always instantly appealing, but this evening changed that opinion. It was chic and sophisticated, the food was excellent, and it’s clear why this place is packed with diners on a rainy mid-week evening.
What we expected: A typical hotel restaurant.
What we got: A chic steakhouse serving everything from seafood and steak to confit duck leg and gnocchi pomodoro.
What we wish we’d tried: The Governor’s Fried Haddock with triple cooked chips and mushy peas.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar & Grill
0191 300 9222
Hotel Indigo, 2-8 Fenkle Street,
Newcastle NE1 5XU