For those who haven’t been to the new Food Hall at Fenwick, it is a veritable, well, smorgasbord, of delectable culinary treats and libations – presented in ultra sleek surroundings worthy of an art gallery. One visit and you’ll be fighting the urge – or not – to empty your purse or wallet and fill your larder with the best produce from around the globe.
Siting proudly at one end of Fenwick’s new foodie quarter is Fuego, which offers Mediterranean-inspired tapas, charcuterie and hand-stretched pizzas.
The lunchtime I visited with two colleagues, the sophisticated eatery was already heaving with diners. Admittedly, the clientele seemed to be more shoppers and families than business folk. This could be because there was no phone reception or WiFi signal (meaning a few trips outside to make calls and check emails for me and my dining companions). Or it might simply have been because it was the half-term holiday.
Fuego has been created with the help of Terry Laybourne, one of the North East’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs, as well as Fenwick’s executive chef, Kelly Richardson, who has previously worked at Girasol, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Moraira, Spain.
Fuego’s menu promises to take you on an exciting journey around the Mediterranean, whether you want a snack or a full meal.
What’s evident is that Fuego’s creators want the quality of the ingredients to shine through, with simply prepared dishes on offer including 24-month aged Jamon Iberico and 16-month aged Manchego Gran Reserva from Spain, and 28-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy.
The wonderfully friendly and helpful waitress suggested we try four tapas dishes each and we were happy to hear her recommendations.
To ensure we sampled the full range of Fuego’s menu, we opted for six tapas dishes, three antipasti plates and a pizza to share – followed by three desserts. Even for our healthy appetites, this proved far too much for the three of us and, regrettably, we had to send a significant amount back to the kitchen.
Next time we’ll choose less. And there will be a next time. The opportunity to enjoy such high-quality ingredients, during the day, in the heart of Newcastle city centre, is just too tempting. I recommend you do the same – treat yourself to some fine Mediterranean produce for an hour or so. Even switch off your phone; you probably won’t get a signal anyway.
Jamon Iberico de Bellota served with Spanish grilled tomato bread £7
Manchego Gran Reserva £4.70
House baked breads £3
Prosciutto di San Daniele £5.50
Pizza Rosso with chorizo, piquillo peppers, sundried tomatoes and chilli £10
Broad beans, Jamon Iberico and quail’s eggs £4
Spicy meatballs with harissa and tomato sauce £5
Courgette, apple and Monte Enebro salad with truffle dressing £5
Seared lamb cutlets with salsa verde £7.50
Crispy calamari with saffron aioli £5
Patatas bravas £4.50
Panna cotta with raspberry balsamic £5
Churros (Spanish doughnuts) with chocolate sauce £5
Fenwick Food Hall, Northumberland Street, Newcastle NE99 1AR
0191 232 5100 www.fenwick.co.uk