The Broad Chare is a 'proper pub' on Newcastle's Quayside. Often regarded as one of the best places in Newcastle to enjoy Sunday lunch or grab a beer, it's certainly a popular spot. The pub was awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin guide this week which recognises good food and good value and is high praise indeed.
Steve and I have often popped into the bar for snacks (we recommend their scotch egg) and a pint but had yet to venture upstairs into their restaurant so this was to be a whole new experience for us. We had heard very good things from friends.
First things first and we ordered a German beer from the bar. I am no beer connoisseur and asked the barman for his recommendation - he was happy to let us taste a few and Steve and I settled on two of the German beers on offer during Oktoberfest. Lowenbrau Oktoberfest and Spaten Oktoberfest were both very easy to drink. I would have LOVED to have ordered a stein (£9) however I'm not sure I'd be fit to look after the kids if I did so we had to settle for a half pint - some other time though.
The dining room upstairs is stripped back and warm and thanks to the exposed bricks and naked light bulbs it has a sprinkling of hipster about it.
As with the beer, I wasn't sure what to order and I think in this situation it's always best to ask the staff and just go with it. Our server recommended Obatzer to start (beer cheese with radishes and pretzel - £6). I would not have normally ordered this but his recommendation was spot on. I could easily sit and eat a double portion of this with a couple of beers. So morish!
For our main course we decided to share the Bavarian 'Wurst Platte' which is a plate of mixed sausages with sauerkraut and potato salad for £22.
I will be honest when the plate arrived as I was disappointed by the sausages that looked like the kind of hotdogs I occasionally serve the kids from a tin for less than £1. Steve convinced me to try one and I'm so pleased I did - I can confirm these ones were much nicer! My favourite was the larger sausage that was chargrilled and tasted like it had just been cooked on an outdoor BBQ. If you love sausages, this platter won't disappoint. The dish is very substantial and more than enough for two - a special mention must go to the bread roll which was still warm, fresh from the oven and served with artisan butter. It's attention to detail like this that really makes the Broad Chare stand out.
Service was friendly and professional without being intrusive and Steve and I spent the whole lunch planning our future travels around Germany (Berlin here we come!) and felt very relaxed. It really was a lovely way to spend a rare afternoon together.
Now onto dessert. I had my eye on the Black Forest Gateau (or Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte) to give you it's proper name ever since the Broad Chare posted this pic on their Facebook page. WOW! This impressive cake is actually baked in 21's kitchen across the road by a specialist team of pastry chefs and transported across. I'm sure we've all been in the situation where we've ordered a pub dessert only to be disappointed to find it has been bought in bulk from Costco - you definitely won't get that here.
As I tucked in I was immediately transported back to my childhood in the 80's when my mum would often bake this treat for us on a Sunday. Sorry mum but the Broad Chare's version is 100 times better - there's just a light touch of kirsch and it is nice and light so doesn't leave you with that horrible bloated feeling you sometimes get when you order a full three courses. If I had to pick a stand out dish from the meal, this would definitely be it.
Steve ordered the Apple Strudel which always reminds me of one of my favourite scenes from Inglorious (tense!). It was also delicious and tasted just like Christmas in a bowl - in fact the dish has inspired Steve to cook his own version for Boxing Day this year. Personally though, I think I was the winner and would 100% opt for the gateau every time.
Need To Know
- These dishes (and beer) are available every day throughout Oktoberfest which runs at The Broad Chare until 16th October 2016.
- See here for The Broad Chare Oktoberfest menu.
- To make a reservation call 0191 211 2144 or book online here.
- There are also a selection of Oktoberfest snacks available in the bar which start at just £3.40 and are perfect with a pint or a glass of wine after work.
Disclosure: We received a complimentary lunch in return for an honest review.