Sometimes when I'm studying Restaurant Week menus, somewhere pops onto my radar that wasn't even on my food list (shocking I know!) This time it happened with Quay 7 at the Copthorn Hotel after I'd read the rather lovely sounding selection of desserts.
The Copthorn isn't really somewhere that I've ever thought to visit, the hotel is on the Quayside but as it's beyond the Tyne Bridge I forget it exists. We decided this would be the perfect time to investigate and make sure we weren't missing out on a secret gem.
Quay 7 sits on the banks of the River Tyne with a perfect view of the river, something the restaurant uses to its advantage with cosy tables for 2 lined up along the windows. With your back to the rest of the dining room and views across the water these would be great tables for a romantic date. We were happy to bag ourselves one and spent an enjoyable time people watching, although at that time of night we mostly saw running club speeding up and down the Tyne whilst we were sat about stuffing our faces with food.
Unfortunately the décor of the restaurant and the hotel, is looking a little tired and shabby, leaving it leagues behind some of the other big well known hotels in the area. The restaurant is such a fantastic space and it would be lovely to see some time and love invested into it.
When we arrived the dining room was very quiet and peaceful which we found really relaxing and the staff were all lovely and very attentive which made for a pleasant experience. It was so quiet that I decided to take photos on my iPhone rather than my intrusively noisy DSLR!
The Restaurant Week deal was 3 courses for £15.00 so we made sure we were very hungry when we arrived. It's not often we go for the full 3 courses so this was very much a treat.
Simon opted for the Lentil and Chilli soup to start. It was thick and tasty but we were less than impressed with the uninspiring bread rolls and packets of butter.
I opted for the Creamy Garlic Mushrooms served on Toasted Bloomer Bread and again I was a little disappointed. The bread was so thin and looked more like a cracker. The salad it was served with wasn't any better and was wilting on my plate. My first thought when it was put in front of me was that it looked like something I could easily put together myself at home.
Simon chose the Tandoori Chicken Breast served with Onion Bhajis, Tossed Salad and Yoghurt Rhiata for his next course.
He enjoyed his meal and particularly liked the Onion Bhajis which were lovely crispy. Again the presentation wasn't fantastic and we were a little bemused by the wilting salad and the yoghurt being served in what looked suspiciously like a ketchup carton from McDonalds.
I went for Supreme of Cod topped with Brioche Crumbs and served with a Cream of Pesto Sauce. The presentation was certainly better than my starter and I enjoyed my meal although again wasn't really blown away.
The best part of the meal was definitely dessert which we were thankful for as everyone knows that's our favourite course. Simon had the Vanilla Cheesecake Topped with Warm Toffee Bananas. The amount of toffee sauce would have made it too sickly sweet for me but Simon really enjoyed it and had devoured the whole lot in seconds.
My dessert was White Chocolate and Plum Tart, and whilst I couldn't really taste the chocolate, the fruit tart was absolutely delicious and easily the highlight of my evening.
We finished our evening in the best way possible with a stroll along the beautiful Newcastle Quayside. At night the bridges light up in different colours and although I see it every day it still takes my breath away strolling along the water at night.
Restaurant Week didn't really give us any new favourites this time round which was a shame, but we'll just have to try harder with our picks when it comes back round in August.