The Muddler

Issue 69

On the return of "dine inside" hospitality, we were fortunate enough to visit The Muddler - Grey Street's glittering portal to the East which boasts one of the finest interiors in the city.

The restaurant serves a parade of Pan Asian cuisines and inventive cocktails against a brilliant backdrop of brown, black and gold.

For those unfamiliar, The Muddler derives its name from the pestle & mortar like implement used to bash cocktails with which means that cocktails here are something of a speciality. We took note and kicked off with a ‘Sesame Old Fashioned’ featuring sesame bourbon and chocolate bitters and a ‘Pandan Espresso Martini’ – a fragrant reworking of the modern classic featuring the South East Asian tropical plant. The menu looked equally inviting as we took up our table in an alcove of burnished gold. The team have created a winning mix centred around small plates of dim sum, chargrilled robata, tempura and Asian classics in addition to main plates and a sprawling sushi menu. Diners can order a sharing selection or revert to tradition with a starter and main course approach. Old habits certainly die hard for my son Jack and I, so we chose the latter. As is his wont, Jack kicked off with king prawns enlivened by lime, lemongrass, garlic, red chilli and sesame oil. These looked great nestled with an Asian side salad and tasted even better. Spring rolls meanwhile arrived for yours truly featuring aromatic duck, hand rolled with real aplomb and served with a dark, flavourful hoisin sauce possessing that telling depth of flavour. These small plates were of supremely good quality and offer great value on a Monday to Friday with three small plates available for £15.00 from 11am – 5pm. Main courses arrived shortly thereafter. Jack picked a stunning Massaman beef fillet. Beef skewers served with a curried puree with oyster mushrooms and crispy shallots. I meanwhile tucked into the Teriyaki chicken – a new favourite of mine done very well here marinated in a medley of garlic, ginger, sake, mirin and coriander. Totally replete, we swerved desserts in favour of two bracing espressos.

However, we did file a mental note away to return to sample the unabashedly calorific ginger creme brulee not to mention the Miso chocolate tart. This could be a little while as some readers may be aware I am about to make it a trilogy of Great North Runs!

Thankfully, The Muddler is leading the pack in luxurious, exciting, yet affordable dinning in the North East: delivering instagrammable Pan Asian food from its elegant base in the heart of the city.

This is a restaurant offering style and substance in abundance.

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