When I visited: February 2019
Location: Newcastle (Gateshead)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not in the Guide
What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress
Ambience: Informal, friendly
Course of the meal: Soy pickled eggs
If I could change one thing: Less salty food
Träkol is a welcome addition to Newcastle’s burgeoning restaurant scene, located right by the river over the bridge into Gateshead. The service is very friendly, there is a roaring open fire and the recommendation is generally to share smaller plates and starters and select your own mains.
We shared a bottle of red South African Cabernet Sauvignon wine, which was very good value at £30, and went well with all the food. The smaller plates that we tried were soy pickled eggs (especially good, with very well-balanced flavour), cured tuna (a little bland), octopus ceviche (delicious if a little chunky compared to most ceviches) and burrata with blood orange (lovely).
Between us, we had mains of whole grilled lemon sole with vegetables (a little too salty), the shellfish platter with bread and butter for dipping, the Barnsley chop with seaweed butter, cockles and samphire, and the venison with coal-roasted celeriac, wild mushrooms and sage. We also shared sides of grilled potatoes (which were particularly good) and beetroot.
There weren’t many dessert options but between us we tried the wood-fired figs with caramelised brioche and mascarpone as well as the peanut, chocolate brownie and salted caramel sundae (which was OK but not really spectacular), followed by peppermint teas.
Overall, I would say the atmosphere and service were very good but the food was more OK than excellent, although there were some high points (like the soy pickled eggs).