Allard’s on the Quay is a new, opulent café and wine bar that has opened on the Fish Quay. Having not been there for a while, I was amazed at how the quay itself had developed into a thriving part of town, full of new bars and restaurants. According to Allard’s website,
Allard’s Lounge first opened its doors in the summer of 2011. Stealing its name from the early use of the very building we are housed in, our ethos was to be a small and cosy café, serving fresh tapas and a wide variety of Wines. It soon became clear that we would grow to be so much more…… Our property was known as “Allards Grocery & Provision Merchants” in the late 1800’s. It was locally famous for selling a unique ‘Golden Tip Tea’; it would have been blasphemy to not doff our hats to the buildings proud history.
Come and join us and see for yourselves, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
Did Allard’s on the Quay have the sophistication and panache to keep me away from town or their lounge in Tynemouth? It was time to find out…
Inside the new refurbished café and wine bar (formerly the old William Wight Store) it is a place fit for royalty with authentic imagery and the finest, most beautiful chandelier I ever did see – it reminded me of the Titanic scene where Rose walks down the stairs to greet Jack. The setup was a joy; Allard’s has romance written all over it and it was as if we were sailing across the North Shields shore. If you weren’t on Cloud Nine by the start of the night, you would be by the end. That’s rare, not just the steaks, but the initial feel. I enjoyed that. With an opportunity to drink and dine outdoors on two floor levels, Allard’s has created a setting ready to get busy and busy it was. However, even though it was rammed, it maintained such serenity and esteem throughout the night with the aid of subtle chilled music, reflective mirroring and dimmed-out lighting all on top deck.
Reluctant to ponder any longer, we were on our way and nothing was to stop us, not even an iceberg.
Chloe was to be our waitress for our night. Offering a twenty page diverse drinks menu, Allard’s on the Quay has you more than covered. In fact, I would go as far to say that it is one of the finest selections of drinks in the North East with various wines, champagnes, cocktails, spirits, beers and, hot and cold drinks available. I opted for a fine red wine in El Pugil, Tempranillo, Spain at £7.50 for a large glass which was packed with ripe cherries, raspberries and wild strawberries and was caressed by Oak. My colleague decided it was a night for fizz and went with on Il Baco da Seta Prosecco Extra Dry, Italy at £6.50 a glass which sparkled richness and cleansed the palette. Both were excellent.
The food menu itself is colourful, easy to follow for allergy sufferers and conveys vibes of quality over quantity with tapas the major contributor. Therefore, tapas from the land, sea and ground it was. For a couple, Chloe suggested we go for two to three each so we weren’t rude and went for three naturally.
As Chloe brought us each small plate/bowl our table began to shrink further every time yet become ever more colourful. As you can see, it was like a rainbow of tastes on the table.
First up from the land tapas were the Belly Pork Bites (gluten free and dairy free) at £6.50. Crispy chunks of tasty pork glazed in a sticky maple and balsamic reduction. Wow, they were special and my pick of the six. If you go to Allard’s, make sure they are the first thing you order.
Next up was Pulled Beef Brisket (made gluten free and dairy free) at £6.50. Cooked slow and low until moist and tender served with fiery horseradish mash. The brisket was tender but maybe a little too moist and could’ve had a little more seasoning or possibly cooked in a sauce. This is basically two plates that are huge together; I believe it should become two separate tapas dishes.
My colleague also went with two tapas from the land; her first was the Mediterranean Lamb Kebab at £6.50. Succulent lamb kofta nestled on a fluffy mini flatbread topped with crumbled feta, pickled red cabbage, apricot salsa and a tzatziki drizzle. The ingredients were a match made in heaven and this was my colleague’s favourite.
Her second tapas from the land was the Sesame Lemon Chicken (dairy free) at £6.50. Battered chicken breast strips tossed in a tangy lemon reduction blessed with crunchy sesame seeds. This was a dish that tantalised my colleague’s taste buds. Very enjoyable.
The sole tapas we ordered from the sea were the Salmon Bites (gluten free) at £5.95. Chunks of moist salmon pan fried and smothered in a spicy avocado and mango salsa. The combinations worked perfectly – my stomach smiled at this plate.
The only tapas dish from the land were the Chunky Chips (gluten free and dairy free) with dips at £3.95. Thick and just awesome, a big thumbs up.
Maybe we were over-adventurous ordering six tapas so unfortunately we couldn’t eat dessert but I’ll certainly return and try one then.
Overall, Allard’s on the Quay is the new chic, cool and luxurious place to be on the Fish Quay. It offers an excellent range of drinks and food, particularly their ensemble of special tapas. We went on a Saturday night but if you can, try to make it for Happy Hour (Monday to Friday between 3pm – 5pm and Sunday 6:30pm – 9:30pm) for four tapas and two wines or draught beers for £22! An amazing offer! I’ll see you again Allard’s on the Quay, well done for becoming part of the Fish Quay’s revolution.