Malmaison Newcastle is an established hotel directly opposite the prestigious Millennium Bridge. Open throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their restaurant, Chez Mal Brasserie, is a stylish twist on French classics. The restaurant caters for all diners, whether a family gathering, a romantic duo or a business raising a toast. With what was already a celebratory night, my only question was – With quality opposition in close quarters, was Chez Mal going to wow or bow down to the competition? There was only one way to find out…
As you walk in, the essence of obsidian noir is reflective in scale. If you head upstairs, you will find yourself at the bar and restaurant area (right to the bar and left to the restaurant). We were sat by one of the enormous semicircle windows and we couldn’t have asked for a better table as the views over the Tyne were second to none. Smacking you right in the face, the luminous spectacle of the Millennium Bridge shines right down on you like the night sky itself had become lost in the bright enchantment. It is a wonderful, mesmerising view of the city. The interior in the restaurant is more subtle elegance; with sleek smooth seats and part classic brick walls.
Callum, our waiter on the night, introduced himself well and came across very politely. To drink we went for the house white wine Ugni, Blanc Colombard Vin Du France.
We decided to order from the Winter Menu which is available from Monday to Thursday daily, Friday and Saturday until 7pm. According Chez Mal it is ‘A contemporary collection of dishes showcasing this season’s finest ingredients, celebrating artistry at its best, all in unique Chez Mal style’. For two courses it will set you back £19.95 and for three courses it is £24.95.
To start, from a choice of four, we ordered Beetroot cured Scottish salmon, pickled cucumber, baby beets and Greek yoghurt and St-Maure goat’s cheese & blood orange, shaved fennel, radish, red onion and pistachio nuts. It was a plate of seduction, the cure salmon was a very light, delicate starter that was perfect with the beetroot and grape combination. With a mouthful of wine after too, it was a very refreshing opening. The goat’s cheese was just as refreshing although it was lacking in something that would bring the whole plate to life.
For our mains, from a choice of four once more, my colleague and I went with Callum’s recommendation and decided on Slow roast brisket, Bury black pudding potato rosti, Madeira jus and Cotswold fried egg. When we were presented with our dishes, my mouth began to water. The chunk of brisket on the left and the layered rosti under the egg on the right, and the jus circulated around the alluring plate… My face lit up as light as the Millenium Bridge, I couldn’t wait to tuck in. Quite simply, special. The brisket was moist and uncontrollably tender. The rosti along with the egg was a win-win. Chez Mal was winning. The main course is definitely something I will be going back for more of!
Finally, as we were celebrating, we went all out and ordered desserts. Again, from a possible four, we chose Millionaire Valrhona chocolate mousse, shortbread, caramel and Valrhona chocolate mousse and Seville orange marmalade steamed sponge, homemade Cointreau custard. Hand on heart; I can safely say that the mousse was the finest I’ve ever tasted at any restaurant. I can still taste it. Yes, it’s naughty but desserts are meant to be right? The salted caramel was out of this world. If my sweet tooth had its way this would be eaten every day. The steamed sponge, treacle dripping from the top, swarmed in the creamiest custard… Our desserts were pure decadence, wow they were exceptional.
The night was over but the night was ours. With views of the Tyne, quality food and drink, a set price menu and lovely customer service, it is hard to deny that Chez Mal has it all worked out. We were wowed.