With a chain of restaurants around the North East such as Blackbird Ponteland and San Lorenzo restaurants in Gosforth and Washington, Cyclone Leisure Group have added another to their collection in The Union Rooms. The huge refurbishment commenced in August 2018 and by November 2018 the latest chapter of the Union Rooms’ history began. After visiting both Blackbird Ponteland and San Lorenzo, naturally I was intrigued to dine in their new pub.
According to their website Food and Drink page,
The Union Rooms serves food every day. Try our authentic pizzas designed by our sister restaurant San Lorenzo and cooked in our open pizza oven, take your time with vegan-friendly treats in the Garden Room, or enjoy good, filling comfort food for lunch or dinner.
So, was I going to be part of the union or be opting for a room elsewhere?
On first sight, The Union Rooms has been refined marvellously; Dakota House of Design has done a cracking job in updating the setting especially as they have separate drinking and eating sections which makes sense.
Emily, our chirpy waitress, took us to our seats and made us feel welcome. As it was a Sunday evening, we were presented with their ‘Sunday Menu’ only which is all about roasts although it does include five starters, six mains and a choice of pizzas too. Having been so impressed by San Lorenzo’s pizzas and pasta gluten free options, I have to say I did feel let down as The Union Rooms couldn’t provide gluten free Sunday Roast. Therefore we went for mains that were poles apart in the UR Super-fuel Salad at £9.95 and my colleague went with the UR Burger at £10.95. As it was quite quiet, it didn’t take long for Emily to reappear with our bulging plates. Shimmering in all its elaborate healthiness, the lightly dressed salad had everything to make your day. With tri-coloured quinoa, soya beans, pomegranate seeds, candied beetroot, fresh garden herbs, roasted sweet potato, avocado, toasted seeds, chickpeas, pickled red onion, spinach, broccoli, citrus and a tahini dressing, it was magically revitalising and the best salad I’ve had in town in the past year. My colleague was taken aback by the sheer magnitude of his double beef burger, it was enormous! The bigger the better though right? Bursting from the toasted brioche bun was grain mustard mayo, pickles, Emmental cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion. Alongside it were the crispiest beer-battered onion rings, slaw and skin-on fries. Struggling to hold it in two hands, my colleague enjoyed every mouthful and it was somewhat of a miracle how he accomplished it all. We were very pleased with our choices.
We couldn’t leave without dessert, so I went for the Tropical Fruit Eton Mess at £6.95 – passionfruit jelly topped with vanilla, lime and coconut liquor, whipped cream, crushed gluten free meringue, mango, pineapple, toasted flaked almonds and mango coulis. Sweet but with a hint of bitterness; the fruity, tangy concoction was new to my palette and refreshed my senses.
My colleague chose Homemade Sticky Toffee Sponge Pudding, butterscotch sauce, vanilla bean ice cream at £6.50. Dark, decadent and dreamy, my colleague loved the moist warmth and ice cold fruition. The springy pudding was a worthy winner of the desserts.
As we left, we got chatting to Phil the GM who has big plans for the future, a future that looks bright for The Union Rooms.