The Broad Chare, Newcastle
Posted: 23 Apr 2012
Terry Laybourne does it again. It seems that every time the regionís leading restaurateur turns his hand to something new - from high-end fine dining to pop-up tapas bars - he has yet another success to celebrate.
This time itís a pub - but not just any pub. The Broad Chare on Newcastleís Quayside, fashioned out of an old building and given a new lease of life, is the first in the city to make the prestigious Michelin Good Pub Guide.
It is proving as popular for its beer and bar snacks in the crowded downstairs bar as for the food in the upstairs restaurant with locals and visitors alike.
On a recent visit for an early evening meal we were pushed for time so couldnít stop for a pint at the bar but were shown to a lovely table by a window upstairs.
As in all Laybourneís outlets, the staff were friendly, knowledgeable and highly professional, with our waiter suggesting what turned out to be an ideal wine for two confirmed drinkers of bold reds - an Argentinean Malbec on the specials list at £23. Not cheap, but the proof was in the drinking.
My dining partner started with soup of the day (£4.50). The winter squash and lentil broth was huge in portion, massive on depth and flavour and a big hit with both of us (as there was easily enough for two).
He followed this with the pork special - Iím ashamed to say I didnít make notes and two weeks down the line with a holiday in between weíve both forgotten the details. But he loved it and, as a pork aficionado, he knows his stuff.
I had fish and chips - another special of the day - and can honestly say this was the best battered fish I can remember eating: lovely flakes of delicate, moist haddock, perfectly fried and with the crispiest batter ever. I ate every bit.
There was no time (or room) for puds and coffee, and for that blow-out, the bill came to £53.50.
We are both keen to return ASAP and bring our out-of-town friends with us to show them that Geordie pubs arenít always just about necking down the Newkie Broon.
I donít think Carlsberg do pubs - but, if they did, theyíd do well to take a leaf out of Mr Laybourneís book.
The Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle, NE1 3DQ
0191 211 2144