REVIEW: Dining @ Colonel Porter’s Emporium, Newcastle
Posted on September 4th 2017 by Whats on Northeast
Words and photos: Laura Brown for Proper Scrumptious
The latest eatery to join Newcastle’s ever-growing food scene is Colonel Porter’s Emporium on Dean Street. A quirky, cluttered, magical bar and restaurant quite unlike anywhere I’ve ever ventured! Taking its name from the creator of Newcastle Brown Ale, the venue classes itself as a Tavern, Botanical Garden and Rhum Bar.
It’s rather dark and dim inside but that only adds to its charm. Every inch is covered with vintage props and old British trinkets and knick knacks – it’s mesmerising to take it all in. The low lighting and period decor is cosy and comforting. In addition to a team of incredibly pleasant staff, you feel entirely welcome and very relaxed as you slide into one of their mismatched booths and table settings.
You honestly can’t take your eyes off the walls, ceilings and floors in this place. There’s even a hidden room behind a bookcase. Yep! Some Harry Potter-esque brilliance! You can hire out the hidden room for parties and celebrations and it’s equipped with its own bar and restrooms. I’d (obviously) slobbered over the online menu for hours prior to visiting, so I was pretty sure about what I was going to choose. But as I finally peeled my eyes away from the wonderful furnishings and drew them to the menu, I suddenly became all undecided once again.
I certainly knew lobster was going down. I’d only munched on fruit for my lunch in preparation for such an event, but now that the idea of having a starter was on the cards, I didn’t know whether it would present itself in my first or second course. There’s an impressive array of dishes on the menu, from Parmos and Mac and Cheese to Beef Cheeks and Duck – all quite reasonably priced too! You can order a 1lb lobster, but the price isn’t specified.
Whilst we intermittently gazed at the menu and the scenery, we were brought a cute little teacup filled with goat’s cheese popcorn. A canny little touch and absolutely addictive! We eventually decided upon the Lobster Tacos and a cheeky side of Padron Peppers to start and the Fettuccine with fresh Whitby crab and the Lobster Roll for the main courses.
I don’t actually know how to describe the lobster tacos, but if you like lobster, you will appreciate this dish so very much. Fresh, juicy and meat chunks of lobster in a miniature thin, crisp taco accompanied by chunky guacamole and seafood dressing. The lobster was divine, and generously added to the tacos too. Everything on the plate worked so well, I quite frankly did not want it to end.
The side salad was actually a proper salad too, not just a few lettuce leaves. It had spring onion, cucumber, red onion, mini radishes and shredded carrot. The Padron Peppers were a new discovery for me. Salty, juicy and soft, they were a cracking addition to the first course. If this was anything to go by, the main event would not disappoint…
The fettuccine was seasoned to perfection. Once again, there was an abundance of chunky crab meat throughout the soft laces of pasta. I did, admittedly, have some serious food envy from the Lobster Roll knowing how good the tacos were. Served in a brioche roll with a mixed tomato salad and fries. Credit to the wonderful Lady from a Tramp for her photography of the Lobster Roll…
Colonel Porter’s Emporium certainly impressed. The menu has some intriguing and unusual dishes that I absolutely cannot wait to go back and try, but I also can’t wait to return to spend an afternoon making my way through their cocktail menu. It’s such an amazing establishment and the perfect place for drinks, catch ups and enjoying the acoustic background music that flows throughout the place.
It’s definitely the most unique newbie to arrive in Newcastle and purely to understand how mesmerising it is, nip in and have a cheeky glass of wine by the fire. Or at the bar. Or even there lovely garden terrace. Oh and don’t forget to ask if you can take a peek at the secret room behind the bookcase…
For more information about Colonel Porter’s Emporium, visit their website. For more food reviews and recipes from Laura, visit Proper Scrumptious. See a few more photos from Laura’s dining experience below.