We’ve often highlighted how fortunate we are to live in Newcastle and around the Mourne’s, an area that is thriving in terms of it’s culinary scene, and the latest restaurant to get people talking around Newcastle in Brunel’s Restaurant. Head chef Paul Cunningham has worked in a number of local and national eateries and we had heard a lot of positive things about Brunel’s, so we couldn’t wait to get along to try out the food for ourselves. Located above the popular Anchor Bar, there is ample parking in the nearby Donard Car Park should you wish to visit Brunel’s. We decided to book a table for a Friday night and call in to see what all the buzz was about.
House beer and complementary soup
The evening started with a glass of the house lager, which was light and pleasant to drink. Having placed our order, we soon found the clock ticking by and as a result were presented with a complementary cup of the soup of the day – a simply stunning carrot and coriander. This more than made up for the relatively slow service but the waitress did let us know that it was a small team in the kitchen and meals did take time – it was part of the charm. In general I don’t mind waiting for food, so long as it is worth the wait, and I can tell you that with Brunel’s it certainly was. The interior of the restaurant is a converted flat that has a real rustic charm to it and an almost French feel to it. so we didn’t mind waiting that little bit extra for our mains.
Main course at Brunel’s
Rump of Mourne Lamb
Having been really impressed by the menu, Helen opted to go with the rump of Mourne lamb and the presentation screamed quality. Unfortunately for Helen’s taste buds, the salted wild garlic seed froth that accompanied the lamb was just a little too salty, but the lamb itself was perfectly cooked. This froth did take away a little from the dish, but if you are a fan of lamb and garlic then you’ll certainly enjoy this dish. The lamb bacon also added to the salt levels of the dish.
Cost – £19.95
Treacle Glazed Duck Breast
If the lamb dish was slightly salty, the duck breast main course hit the nail on the head. I do enjoy duck breast and it was clear the the chef treated this piece of meat with ultimate care as it was simply stunning. The glazed duck breast and confit duck leg lollipop was the nicest piece of duck I have enjoyed in a long, long time, perhaps even ever. The samphire and berry compote that accompanied the duck provided the perfect balance to the dish and the side order of chips just finished it perfectly. I would go as far as saying that this was the nicest meal I have enjoyed in a number of years and would strongly recommend the duck breast to anyone visiting Brunel’s in the near future.
Cost – £19.95
Dessert at Brunel’s
We do enjoy our chocolate desserts here at Pikalily and when we see fondant on the menu it’s hard to say no. Helen order this and it was served with a fresh vanilla bean ice-cream, homemade honeycomb pieces and amaretti cherries. These flavours just worked so well, and would be a great finish to every meal. Fondants can be tricky to get right but this one just oozed chocolate and class. Presentation again was top notch.
Orange and Passion Fruit Tarte
I opted for the orange and passion fruit tarte which came with a passion fruit sorbet, aero chocolate and a caramelised orange. There was also an orange powder for added effect on the plate although it also added a nice kick to the dish when eaten with the tarte. Again, I was nothing only impressed with this dish. It tasted great, looked great and was a great day to finish a meal and a night of fine dining.
Get yourself along to Brunel’s Newcastle
While there may have been some issues with the lamb and the length of time to get our food, overall we were thoroughly impressed with Brunel’s. The setting was great, the food in the main fantastic and there was a nice atmosphere around the place. It’s not a huge restaurant and this intimate setting adds something extra to the dining experience. We would strongly recommend getting yourself down to Brunel’s and think it’s only a matter of time before the restaurant starts to pick up a number of awards (it has already been awarded a Taste of Ulster).
Have you visited Brunel’s
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You can view the many Brunel menus including their new cocktail menu by clicking here.
Main image courtesy of Trip Advisor