Malmaison Newcastle Chez Mal Brasserie (2019)

Chez Mal Brasserie is a stylish restaurant in Malmaison’s Quayside Hotel that caters for all diners. According to their website,

Chez Mal Brasserie Newcastle is where French classics are reinterpreted with Malmaison flair. The portions at our Newcastle restaurant and brasserie are generous and the quality sky high, all thanks to our superstar chefs. The decadent décor will draw you in with its beautiful mash-up of extravagance, rebellious neon and vibrant chic. For all diners, whether a family gathering, a romantic duo or a business raising a toast, the delights on the menu and the electric atmosphere, along with the marvellous views over the Tyne as the day turns to evening and you admire the Millennium Bridge as its colours revolve – this is the heart of the hotel that you’ll fall in love with.

So having experienced Chez Mal a year earlier for my birthday, I decided to return again as I had been informed of their Gluten Free Menu which was music to my ears… Was it going to be special second soiree or a case of decline? Bring on Malmaison Returns…

Classy, enticing and extremely opulent, Chez mal is a wonderful setting. If you’re fortunate (or ask when you book) to get a window seat, the stunning, dazzling view of The Quayside will hug your eyes at every blink. Take it in and embrace it. Pure bliss.

Our charismatic host Don (Don La Grand Fromage), who I must say enriched our evening as he combined humour with meticulous service, was right on hand and gave us time to settle before ordering Rioja Crianza, Ramón Bilbao, Rioja, Spain – a sweet spiced, plum and liquorice red wine which was fabulous, so much so I’ve been searching for it elsewhere ever since.

Without attempting to sound too over-enthusiastic, on first glance of Chez Mal’s Gluten Free Menu I was shaking with stomach elation at what was on offer. To start, from a choice of seven, we ordered Pan-fried Sea Scallops, puy lentil, root vegetable and Citrus Cured Salmon, roast marinated beetroots, dill and horseradish crème fraîche. The scallops dish had me like I was a harvest field in the countryside over summer, brimming with life. I was gleaming at its radiant colours and how it was elaborately situated on the plate. Salivating at every bite, the scallops were cooked perfectly as the lentils and vegetables added texture whilst the golden sauce collated it all superbly together. The simple yet tasty salmon plate was a very light, delicate starter. The salmon was faultless with the beetroot and dill combination. Amazing start.

After a little humming and hawing, from a choice of eight mains, my friend and I went with Don’s recommendations of Lamb Shank Bhuna, pilaf rice, gluten free toast and yoghurt and Black Angus grain fed Fillet Steak 200g served with confit vine tomato and green salad. It was impossible not to be impressed by the plates. The succulent lamb just fell from the bone as it soaked up the bhuna’s heartiness. With pomegranate seeds adding crunch, it was sensationally balanced although I would’ve preferred the Bhuna fierier. The array of spices in the yellow pilaf rice was a perfect accompaniment for the curry and even though the gluten free toast was excellent, it was probably a step too far for me in terms of portion size. My friend’s dish I can only describe through personification as the sizeable, masculine fillet steak stood alongside the flowery presentation of the slowly cooked vine tomato; it was like they were husband and wife ready for a night out. Cooked perfectly for my friend’s palate, the steak was exceptionally tender; she was mightily captivated by the dish. Along with Don’s charm, Chez Mal was providing us with quality cuisine that tantalised our stomachs with love and joy.

Unfortunately, there was no room for dessert but I’ll certainly be back especially for Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Pudding, pecan caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream as it sounds divine. I would just like to reiterate there will a third time.

Chez Mal remains a special outing that satisfies in every sense of the word and fulfils in fashioning romance. With mesmerising views of the city, a wonderful substantial gluten free menu and charismatic customer service, it was a night where my heart was bursting with love. Chez Mal, we were yours.

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