House of Tides … a high watermark

When I visited: April 2017

Location: Newcastle

Team: Kenny Atkinson (Chef Patron and co-owner), Danny Parker (Head Chef), Laura Stephenson (restaurant manager), Abbie Atkinson (co-owner)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: 1 star

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 5/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Edgy, exposed beams

Course of the meal: Dark chocolate with hazelnut and gold leaf

If I could change one thing: A few more vegetarian options on the set menu

Review:

House of Tides is truly a great addition to Newcastle’s food scene. It’s innovative without being pretentious, you could dress up or not bother, the staff are really friendly and the range of food is impressive but still has plenty of traditional favoured English dishes.

We enjoyed a cocktail in the downstairs lounge while looking over the food menus  – mine was a great Cosmopolitan. We decided to go for the lunch tasting menu, which began with some tasty canapés: duck with parsley, carrot with fennel in a meringue, an onion, cream cheese and truffle bite, and mackerel with gooseberry and mustard. We also sampled some gorgeous warm fermented rye bread with cultured butter.

The starters began with Lindisfarne oyster served with cucumber, ginger and caviar. Restaurants often throw caviar into a dish when they are trying to look impressive, but in this case it really enhanced the dish. Next came sea bass with asparagus and mussels, one of my favourite dishes as it was very tender and well-balanced. The ‘main’ was lamb with ‘hen of the woods’ (a type of mushroom) and lovage. My dining companions then enjoyed a cheese selection and raved in particular about the truffle cheese.

The pre-dessert was a great palate cleanser – Gariguette strawberries with curry leaf. The dessert of dark chocolate with hazelnut and gold leaf was stunning, on a par with Gauthier Soho‘s Golden Louis XV, and that is saying something. With our coffees and teas, we were given more chocolate truffles as a ‘treat’.

The waiters were very friendly throughout, even stopping to chat to us about theme parks in Orlando, and Kenny Atkinson was there as we were leaving – Chef Patrons don’t always actually spend a lot of time in the restaurants that bear their names so it was good to see him there.

I would recommend House of Tides without any hesitation and can guarantee that you would enjoy a meal there. There is a vegetarian set lunch menu which I would also really like to sample – if it is as good as the meat menu the restaurant could even work its way up to being a solid 2-star on a par with Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in the future.

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