THE LIVING ROOM, NEWCASTLE

The Grey Street bar and restaurant wins us over with its tempting cocktails and new, variety-packed menu...

Hang out

The Living Room has been around for ages, regarded by many as one of Grey Street’s coolest, slinkiest bars. A place that comes alive at the weekends, offering the city’s slickers, young and old, a well curated menu of classic and inventive cocktails, tasty two-for-one deals and fabulous fizz. But it’s also a place for social gatherings, parties and food – really nice food at that. Make your way through to the restaurant, dig in and celebrate.

Decked out

It’s a modern and chilled-out; sleek like the bars and restaurants you might find in downtown New York. At least that’s what it reminded us of. Lots of dark mahogany wood, plush curtains and intimate nooks and crannies for cosy, candlelit dinners. But it’s also a lot bigger than you might think, giving you space to enjoy a quiet spot of dinner without that awful feeling of being practically on top of your fellow diners.

Sip

You’ll find a good-sized, but easy-to-navigate menu of cocktails, centred around gin, rum, vodka, whiskey and fizz. So go with what you fancy. Great names, too. Things like Big Sky Lemonade (a mix of Tanqueray gin, Galliano, Blue Curaçao, sugar syrup and lemon juice, topped with a dash of lemonade), French Kiss (Grey Goose vodka, Chambord, vanilla syrup and pineapple juice) and and Old Fashioned Monkey (Monkey Shoulder whiskey, Marie Brizard Banane, maple syrup and orange zest). All your usual wine and fizz.

Food matters

No real theme with the menu – it’s a fusion of flavours from all over. A bit Italian, a bit American, a bit French, a bit Asian and also a little bit British. Oh, and Spanish. Thankfully, though, it isn’t an big, overwhelming mishmash. And a bit of variety at the dinner table never hurt anybody! We liked the mix of calorific comfort food (things like loaded mac ‘n’ cheese, beef and ale pie and southern-fried chicken burgers), sophisticated plates, such as seabass and king prawns, veggie risotto and fillet steak, and healthy options, including ‘superfood salad’ with halloumi and grilled chicken.

What we ate

We kicked things off with a trio of sharing plates (£5.95 each). The first, a hearty tomato and goats cheese salad, was very pleasing; bigger than we’d anticipated and packed with tastebud-tingling texture and flavour. Think sweet, juicy tomatoes, crumbly, tangy bites of cheese, crisp leaves, a salty scattering of mixed olives, red onion for crunch and a good glug of olive oil. The calamari was also better than expected; panko-crumbed strips of delicate meat, served a with chilli, spring onion and a zingy citrus mayo for dunking. The prawns (or shrimp as they’re called here) were a winner; big black tiger things, pan-fried and fluffy on the inside, smothered in garlic butter. Things stayed fishy for mains, as we tucked into a good-sized fillet of grilled, flaky seabass (wonderfully fresh) and yet more prawns (£15.95) – the best of both worlds. Ordering this dish means you also get to try the ‘superfood’ salad, which didn’t disappoint either; a good-for-you, tastes-like-summer mix of seasonal leaves, creamy avocado, baby spinach, cucumber, mixed peppers, edamame beans, mixed seeds and more, drizzled in a light lemon and olive oil dressing. Our dining buddy went for the New York chicken (£12.95), which did what it said on the tin; two chargrilled escalopes topped with gooey mozzarella, crispy American-style bacon and lashings of BBQ sauce for plenty of smoky tang. We didn’t need dessert, but ordered it anyway. Our chum was delighted to find his favourite on the menu – a rich wedge of sticky toffee pudding (£5.75), soaked in a thick butterscotch sauce that’d finish any sweet-tooth diner off, and a to-die-for chocolate and orange torte, with a case made from dates and mixed nuts and a smooth-as-can-be dark chocolate, coconut and blood orange filling. Super indulgent and oh-so-naughty, finished off with a slick of raspberry coulis. We wished we could’ve eaten three.

 


thelivingroom.co.uk

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