Review: Private Dining at BALTIC

Wednesday evenings for me usually entail mid-week blues; hankering for the weekend and making plans.  So when an invitation was sent through from Six for an evening of wine and dine; my week suddenly picked up!

Along with the North East's blog-pack and press, I got to sample their Private Dining offering.  Now I'll admit it nice and early, I'm a great fan of Six, and all the other Fresh Element ventures (have you been for Afternoon Tea?!!), so my expectations were already high.

Private Dining at BALTIC is a little bit special.  On level 5 of the Baltic (in the viewing box no less), your eyes are immediately drawn to the gorgeous Tyne.  Like any other Geordie, I love a bridge - which is why I live on the Quayside to be honest.  The river Tyne flanking the greatest city on earth really is the best view you could hope for whilst enjoying great food and wine, so hats off to Baltic for using this space for all to enjoy.  We were welcomed with a glass of Champagne - in my eyes, the only way to start an evening.  As it was a school night, I declined a top up (bearing in mind I already had my eye on the red wine).

Although for all private dining events where you would need to provide a pre-order before the event, we were given the treat of choosing our menu on the evening.  Now with my background being events in hotels, I could feel the pain of the chef at this point - the kitchen must have worked like mad, especially with a full restaurant to feed and not just our off-the-cuff orders (well done Chef!).  The menu screamed fresh and local.  From the sounds of the dishes, I could tell I was in for a button popping good feed.  It was great Autumn fayre, offering Pigeon & Ham Hock Terrine, Treacle Cured Salmon, Duck Breast and Roast Fillet of Cod.  Desserts did not sound disappointing; Triple Layered Brownie Cake, White Chocolate Cheesecake or Lemon Posset.  I finally settled on my menu of choice;

Treacle Cured Salmon, Fine Bean and Raddish Salad, Wasabi Mayonnaise
Barbary Duck Breast, Roast Nectarine, Broccoli, Violet Potatoes, Lavender Jus
Triple Layered Brownie Cake, Peanut Butter Ice Cream

The Salmon was perfect.  Sweet enough to work with the Wasabi, and not too heavy before the main course.  I did the ultimate mistake of filling up on bread too.

The duck breast was cooked perfectly for me (maybe could have been served hotter - however I know how much pressure the kitchen were under, so this is by no means a complaint!), and served pink.  The roast nectarine was a good match with the duck, and just a very small hint of lavender meant it wasn't too overpowering, yet offered another layer of flavour to the meat and potatoes.

The winner of the evening (apart from the view) had to be the Brownie.  Oh my days it was chocolatey - and if you know me at all, you will know I love chocolate.  Not really a fan of chocolate cake as such, so this surprised me that I loved it!  I don't even like peanut butter, yet the ice cream was a perfect accompaniment for the chocolate.  I even ate too quick to take a photo - I'm not even sorry.

At the end of the meal we were escorted to the higher viewing box/lounge of Six for coffees and petit fours.  Delightful mouthfuls of white chocolate and cherry fudge and apricot jellies were offered around.  All in all, a great way to end a meal on a more comfortable seat (to start the food coma) before carriages home.

Overall, it was a fantastic evening, and I'm already wondering what occasion I can book an event for.

For those interested in having a similar great time, the room hire cost of the Private Dining Room is £250, which includes table stationery and simple floral decorations.  I would pay that just for the view.  The menu is 3 courses with tea and coffee (a pre-order is required), priced at £37.50 per person.  Added with wines, it would cost a canny penny, but you would by no means feel short changed.

If you've not been to the main restaurant, go.  You're missing out.

K x