When I visited: February 2019
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Recommended (and Bib Gourmand)
What to wear: Could go casual
Ambience: Cosy, casual
Course of the meal: Treacle bread with brown butter
If I could change one thing: More dessert options
Route has caught the attention of the Michelin inspectors and it is easy to see why. It is tucked away on one of the streets leading down to the Quayside and has a casual, friendly, warm atmosphere, with cool music (I Shazamed a couple of songs while I was in there). The staff are lovely and the service was attentive throughout my visit.
The waiters explained that the format of the menu is ‘shared English tapas’. We started with treacle bread with brown butter (which was amazing, fresh and warm) and had 4 more savoury courses, a glass of wine each and dessert and paid £60 in total (justifying the Bib Gourmand (or ‘good value’) tag from the Michelin Guide).
Our wine was a lovely white Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with a great balance in taste on the edge between sharp and soft, which went well with our (mostly fish-based) food choices. We had the lightly breaded herring with kohlrabi and Granny Smith slaw, mackerel with miso, pumpkin seed togarashi and spring onion, and cod fish cakes with tartare and fennel. We also tried the raw hand-dived scallop with spicy tom yum, which was nicely balanced.
The dessert options were written on the blackboard – there weren’t many, but the chocolate fondant with milk ice cream which we shared was pretty good.
I would definitely go back to Route and would strongly recommend visiting if you want a good-quality low-key lunch or dinner in Newcastle.