1910 At Spanish City

Issue 51

Perhaps one of the region's most beloved projects in recent years has been the redevelopment of the Spanish City.

For Tynesiders of my generation and beyond, the former fairground and pleasure beach holds a special place in their hearts, immortalised by Dire Straits’ 1981 hit single, Tunnel of Love. Today, the site – dome et al – has been comprehensively transformed into a destination complex for food and drink. The dodgems and waltzers of yesteryear have made way for seven different options, including a champagne bar, waffle and pancake house, premium tea room, function suite with floor to ceiling sea views and a well-known fish & chip restaurant and takeaway.

The jewel in the crown however is 1910 Steak & Seafood, the site’s premium offering which derives its name from the year the Spanish City was originally opened.

A venue with that real “wow” factor, 1910 Steak & Seafood proved the perfect setting for my wife Lisa and I’s anniversary meal. As its name may suggest, the restaurant specialises in a parade of seafood and “from the grill” options served with a backdrop of coastal views.

Inside, the restaurant’s décor is quite minimal, as it is the views which assume centre stage. We were lucky enough to visit on a glorious day in high Summer, though this is the type of place which will impress all year round – especially when the weather becomes more dramatic. On arrival, we were welcomed warmly and treated to a bottle of fizz in light of our celebrations.

Its menu is exciting and varied in scope with a mix of dishes both classic and modern. Starters were primarily seafood-based and included Lindisfarne oysters with a range of dressings. I took due note and ordered a platter of three with a creamy thermidor sauce. Lisa meanwhile chose the beetroot cured salmon – wispy and fresh – and paired with tartare, crispy oyster, yuzu and horseradish emulsion.

Following up, I went “steak” with the 200g fillet whilst Lisa went “seafood” with the roast sea cod filet. My steak was cooked masterfully to my preferred medium and served with hand cut chips, slow roasted tomato, Portobello mushroom, onion and pancetta compote and watercress with the requisite peppercorn sauce.

Lisa’s cod meanwhile proved the real revelation. Milk-white and flaky, this was cooked to perfection and was served with pomme anna, baby gem and fish cream. To round off with real aplomb, we even shared a milk chocolate & caramel truffle which we enjoyed over coffees and liqueurs.

From this experience, it’s clear that 1910 Steak & Seafood is every bit the flagship venue that it aspires to be. On leaving the building, we reflected on that famous old dome – now gorgeously floodlit – and its new lease of life.

To borrow another man’s words: Spanish city, you look so pretty to me, like you always did.

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