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Originally posted December 24 2005 at 19:12 (which was Christmas Eve) under General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled. Last modified: 25 October 2006 at 02:19

Treacle Moon, Bum De Bum De Bum


I feel that Treacle Moon ought to be a song (like Blue Moon I suppose, but tastier). It’s actually a restaurant in Newcastle upon Tyne, at which I ate last night (with Rachel—yes that Rachel—well, if your going to dinner then go to dinner with the best company, that’s what I say). This is a sort of rambling review to mention that it’s nice, but not cheap.

The restaurant itself is small (it only holds about 30 maximum) and friendly. It’s also not the sort of thing you expect to come across in quite that location. Nestled down almost on the quayside, more or less beneath the Tyne Bridge, it’s not actually a bad view through the window. The problem lies that on a Friday night (or most nights come to that) the quayside isn’t the quietest place, so while it wasn’t bad when we arrived by the time we left there was quite an amount of boisterous activity (including one intoxicated gentleman repeatedly coming close to falling through the window), not aided by a taxi rank being quite close by. For most of the evening the restaurant was undisturbed however; diners oblivious to the world around them (and probably it would have been better to have chosen the table on the slightly raised level further towards the back). The interior is very smart, with a well received purple colour scheme and seats which are actually comfortable to sit on for a few hours. It’s obviously a restaurant with pretensions of being up market, so it is being spoiled by that location. We did lose ourselves in the conversation easily enough though, undistracted by surroundings, which is what you want really.

The wine list seems reasonable enough (they have their own cellar apparently), though given that our knowledge of wine isn’t exactly huge we simply had the pretty acceptable house Merlot (at least there’s a choice of house wines, beyond simply red or white, which probably tells you something). The waiters could be described as attentive given how eager they were to top up glasses with the stuff (I really can pour my own wine when I feel like more). Having ordered (eventually of course, because deliberation must occur), the bread which arrived was very tasty. Unsurprisingly Rachel went for the Hot Charred King Prawns, with Asian salad as starter. I had the slightly less exotic smoked salmon salad. Both those promised much (though Rachel inexplicably doesn’t like smoked salmon; but then I find prawns too fiddly).

Main courses followed starters with quite some swiftness (although we didn’t feel rushed). I was unable to resist the 5 spice Gressingham duck breast whilst Rach opted for pan roast saltimbocca of turkey (in a festive mood). Unfortunately the main courses didn’t really live up to the promise of the starters. Whilst the dishes themselves were fine (lovely might even be used) the accompaniment was less so. A few strips of carrot and green beans hid amongst my duck, whilst Rach had a similar lack of vegetable. As we’d begun to tuck in a small bowl of mainly broccoli arrived somewhat late at Rachel’s side (perhaps the menu’s offer of a Panché of buttered vegetables as a side order should have been a clue but still one expect something to eat the main dish with). It was still enjoyable, though not as much as the starter (I wish the salmon had been writ large as my main actually). Onwards to dessert.

My dark chocolate tart with ice cream was OK, though personal preference means I would actually have preferred it cold rather than warm. Wish I’d had Rachel’s iced cinder toffee parfait with roast bananas though. Anyone who knows me knows how highly I rate the desserts of Cafe Concerto in York (well, it’s all good but the desserts really are amazing). Well, the cinder toffee parfait was up to that standard. They also did a good job of meeting our request to bring the (nice) coffee with dessert.

All in all probably it might have made four stars then (from five, that is). But for the price. Everything told it came in at a little under £50 a head, which means you want something a little more than we got. The main course in particularly let them down but even beyond that the food was very good but not the sort of spectacular you might look for (Rachel’s dessert excepted) if you’re going to charge that on Newcastle’s quayside. So it gets three stars. I’d go back, if someone else was paying ;-)

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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