|The dining room at The Broad Chare|
The reason I was looking forward to a top-notch feed in the first place is that I've been before and had a fantastically cooked liver and onions dish, which seemed to sum up what The Broad Chare is about; hearty British classics, accurately cooked from well-sourced ingredients. The bar snacks menu is also great, full of deep fried things and porcine bits and bobs; Stuff That Goes Brilliantly With A Pint, basically. It's a nicely done-out room too - plenty of sturdy wood everywhere - and feels like a suitably relaxed place in which to get thoroughly acquainted with some premium scran.
|Lots of Enjoyable-sounding Things To Eat|
|More promise on the specials board|
Unfortunately things went steadily downhill from there on. I plumped for the burger as I had it on excellent authority that The Broad Chare's was up there with those available in Lahndon Tahn. Encouragingly, it was offered cooked pink. Hurrah. Discouragingly, when it arrived it was cooked through. Boo.
|Ain't no pink|
More problematic yet was Kasia's rib-eye steak. Asked for rare, it was delivered more like well-done, with just the merest suggestion of pinkness at its heart. It had a good char, and was pretty tender, so clearly well rested, but had a slightly odd texture inside, as if it had been cooked off then rested somewhere far too warm. We were asked by the waitress if everything was alright, we reluctantly pointed to the overcooked steak. In fairness, the restaurant manager did offer to replace it, and maybe we should have taken up the offer, but we were halfway through by that point, and conscious of having to make it to the Sage Gateshead for a gig in due course.
|Rib-eye, onion rings, watercress. Criminally overcooked interior not pictured.|
Not completely disheartened, we shared a treacle tart for pud, but no redemption was found here. It was served cold, which struck me as odd, especially when it came with an ice cream. The filling tasted more of breadcrumb than jaw-achingly sweet syrup, which is the exact opposite to what I want from a treacle tart. The pastry wasn't a short, sweet affair, but was actually quite hard, and not pleasant.
|Looks quite good. It wasn't.|
Before we ordered, we fleetingly considered the char-grilled rib of beef for two (£48), but decided to keep our powder dry for a special occasion. I'm not sure we would now, but if we do I'll be hoping for In Rainbows rather than King of Limbs.
The Broad Chare Website