Irvins Brasserie – North Shields
Spending so much time on social media (too much, if you care to hear Mr. Canny’s opinion on the matter) means plenty of food-related chatter. I am asked for advice on where to eat, especially now from vegans and vegetarians in the groups I’m part of on Facebook. One area that seemed not to offer many options was North Shields. Keen as I am to always recommend The Staith House (see here for a mention in our Top Sunday Lunches), they have a very meat-focused menu. I telephoned up one weekend to secure a table and there was a lot of confusion as to what a vegan could and couldn’t eat. We were told they would get back to us if there was an adapted dish, but we’re still awaiting that call. I digress…
One restaurant that seemed sure they could accommodate our particular dietary requirements is Irvins Brasserie. It’s not somewhere I’d eaten in recent years, although the Teen reminded me of Fish & Chips there one afternoon ‘as a treat’ in the dim and distant past. If he can recall a meal from 4 years ago, it must have been canny!
As you’d expect from a restaurant on the Fish Quay, there’s lots of dishes starring our finned friends available. Apart from a Cepe Burger and mention of Souffle, I wasn’t really sure what we were going to eat. When I mentioned this, we were given a selection of meals that the chef could rustle up as an alternative. So far, so good.
We started with a bread board to warm up our stomachs for the main event. We were offered some balsamic because the Mr. couldn’t have the butter, but we all ended up dipping the warm bread in it.
Mr. Canny’s main course of a Cepe and Red Onion Burger was well received, especially the proper chips it was served with. As you can tell by the photo I took, it was packed with beans and very filling.My choice of Pearl Barley Risotto, which had locally foraged Trompette and Salsify, was vegan too. Dinky quite happily helped me eat it 🙂 Beautifully presented, it was a well-balanced dish.Irvin’s Souffle was a first for the Teen, but I suspect not his last. It was perfect too, with its cheesy sauce still bubbling as it came to the table.
There was thankfully still room for dessert, especially as there was such a lovely selection to chose from. With Chocolate & Almond Torte, Stem Ginger Cake, a fine selection of cheeses and some other tasty bits and pieces, I was set on having the Creme Brulee. I opted for Lemon Sorbet as a side, although you can have ice cream if you wish.
I hoped Mr. Canny might ‘help’ me with the sorbet, but he said he was still feeling full after the burger. More for me! The sorbet was light and refreshing, while the Brulee was spot on. I also enjoyed watching them blowtorch my pud at the other end of the restaurant.
The Teen wolfed down his Baked Cheesecake, which was rich without being too cloying. Once the plates were cleared and the bill was sorted we took the opportunity to look round the newly installed grocery section of the restaurant. It was nice to see such a variety on offer, including Booja Booja dairy-free truffles. The Almond & Salted Caramel version they stock is my particular favourite.I was told they’ve put a lot of thought into sourcing these products, like this organic and bio-dynamic Olive Oil pictured below from Spain, which is evident from the selection available.
On Wednesdays and Thursdays there’s a deli counter serving a selection of mixed salads to also takeaway which, from the photos on their Facebook page, look delicious. We certainly won’t leave it so long between our visits to Irvins, especially now we know they happily cater for vegans and vegetarians without much fuss. I still always advise to notify when booking of any dietary requirements but, at the very least, have specific veggie meals on their menu to begin with.
Thanks for reading,
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