One could forgive diners for feeling a little worried about eating at a Marco Pierre White establishment. The famously hell-raising chef has the shortest of tempers and has even shouted at diners who have criticised his food on the Hell’s Kitchen television show.
But there’s no sign of the big man himself at one of the opening nights of the latest in the Hotel Indigo branches. But Pierre White will be regularly cooking in the new Newcastle venue, as well as others which carry his name for Hotel Indigo, and he has overseen the menu, which focuses on good ingredients, well cooked. Michelin-starred chef Pierre White has also made sure all the finer details of the restaurant, and its staff, are just so.
The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill kitchen does bear a striking resemblance to the one in Hell’s Kitchen, in that you can see the staff at work and half expect to hear enraged shouts and crockery clashing to the floor, but in all other respects the new restaurant is completely harmonious.
When my other half and I visit the 100-seater restaurant, we are first seated in the cocktail lounge where we sip a Mojito and Passion Fruit Bellini while perusing the menu. The emphasis is, as you would expect, is on great quality, locally-sourced steaks. But there’s also a good fish selection and a separate vegetarian menu.
I dither between the calamari or the potage of mussels before opting for the mussels, which proves to be a delicious tomato-based soup with the seafood taken out of the shell. My other half goes for the asparagus with hollandaise sauce. For mains, we try the smoked haddock, poached egg, new potatoes and Burre Blanc and a Shallot Tarte Tatin. Feeling far too full for dessert, we go for it anyway, trying the chocolate mousse and the chessboard, all delicious.
It’s a welcome addition to Newcastle’s restaurant scene and a good match for the Hotel Indigo itself, which takes the local theme and runs with it. Artwork is designed around landmarks of the local area.
Situated in the city’s historic Grainger Town area, Hotel Indigo is a boutique concept by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which sets out to offer guests both luxury and individuality. The design of the venue is influenced by its setting and features bold geometric forms and repeating patterns to mimic the architecture and rows of columns that can be seen around the local neighbourhood.
It’s all part of a massive expansion plan by IHG, with 44 Hotel Indigos already open and 53 in the development plan. The chain already has venues across the world including in Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Edinburgh and Liverpool. Other Hotel Indigos are set to spring up in Atlanta and New York in the United States, London, York, Russia, Madrid, Germany and China.