Deli-ghtful meal in stylish setting
Barluga Deli, Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth, Tel: 01670 505000
VARIETY, they say, is the spice of life â€¦ and you get oodles of it at this recently opened bar restaurant. Not only do you have the menu proper, you also have a seasonal selection which changes monthly, taster plates and a deli assortment to check out too.
It seemed only right to mix and match our dishes to sample as much from the menu as possible.
You will be familiar with the name Barluga as it has been one of Newcastleâ€™s most popular bar restaurants on Grey Street for years now.
Barluga Deli, which opened in November, should prove just as popular judging from our experience there.
It is in the Sanderson Arcade which oozes style, sassiness and charm.
Occupying two floors, with 120 covers, it is large but has been tastefully decked out and certainly has that Barluga feel about it.
Assistant manager Michael looked after us superbly throughout the evening, but all staff were exceptionally friendly and chatty â€¦ a good start.
We were seated upstairs in a corner table that boasted comfy leather seats next to a wonderful â€śclocks of the worldâ€ť projection which fills one of the stair walls.
First up was the choice of wine. I decided on a Gavi de Gavi which had a wonderfully dry finish to it.
For starters I could not choose between the seared scallops on spiced cauliflower puree with an Asian pear and shisho salad and the mussels.
Michael told me both dishes were superb but his personal favourite was mussels. That sorted I then had to choose between classic, Thai or Spanish chorizo.
Again it was over to Michael who convinced me if I liked spicy food then the Thai was the one for me.
Great choice. The mussels (ÂŁ4.45) were delicious and the Thai sauce certainly was spicy but complemented the shellfish terrifically.
Included were several large chunks of bread which came in handy to lap up that hot sauce.
Fusspot had a trickier decision to make.
The â€śchickentarianâ€ť decided to go veggie proper this night and could not make a decision. I suggested he try out the padron peppers fried in olive oil and salt (ÂŁ5.95) which came under the deli sharers section of the menu.
When they arrived it was easy to see why they were meant to share, there were heaps of them.
He managed to polish the lot off â€“ bar the one I tried â€“ and enjoyed every mouthful.
The peppers were sprinkled with manchego shavings and the salt added that extra something to the overall taste. It was unusual but extremely tasty at the same time.
By the time you read this, there will be a new seasonal menu in place for March.
We were there just earlier this week, but as it was February, the menu will have changed a little.
I couldnâ€™t resist the Northumbrian beef (ÂŁ16.25) which was braised in red wine, baby onions, mushrooms and pancetta, along with some mashed potato.
The taste was rich as can be, and all the better for it. The beef was to die for and the accompaniments simply perfect. I also ordered some seasonal vegetables which were cooked al dente but to be honest they werenâ€™t really needed.
If Iâ€™m honest, the menu is slightly lacking on the veggie options and a wider choice would have been preferred. Fusspot felt he might have to go down the chicken route but both myself and Michael convinced him to give the vegetarian lasagne a go.
This is something he steers clear of most of the time as he believes a veggie lasagne is somewhat bog-standard.
How far from the truth he was as this lasagne of French wild mushrooms (ÂŁ12.95) was as far removed from standard as you could get.
Perfectly layered it came served in a vegetable and mushroom cream and white truffle oil.
The pasta sheets had a somewhat al dente texture to them which made the dish better. Chunky chips were also ordered, but like my greens, werenâ€™t really needed.
For dessert I enjoyed an assortment of cheese and biscuits while Fusspot had three scoops of pistachio ice-cream. A top-notch meal from start to finish that neither of us could fault.
As the website says it certainly is an imaginative menu created by Barluga Newcastleâ€™s head chef David Blackhall, freshly prepared on site in the open kitchen using the best local suppliers and fresh produce.
Barluga Deliâ€™s head chef Andrew and sous chef Jono are serving up meals to be proud of.
With service like this and food to match plus a lovely ambience itâ€™s hard to see how this could possibly fail. Keep up the good work.
byÂ Gordon Barr, Evening Chronicle,Â March 2nd 2012
Wed, 7 Mar 2012 16:08:33 GMT (updated: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 16:10:52 GMT)