Feeling tired of being metaphorically chained to the cooker and dishwasher over the festive period I decided to take the smallest member of the family out for a spot of lunch. There’s only so much time you can spend with your nearest and dearest before going stir-crazy, however nice the Christmas ‘bubble’ is to begin with. I had an extremely long list of places to try, but Newcastle Quayside’s newest eatery/bar won out.
Shilling opened over the festive period in the old Rumpoli’s building. The work of Neil and Tim, who had both previously worked in Popolo, this stylish venture promises nose-to-tail dining and has an ethos centred on sustainability. I chatted to them as I was leaving about this subject, with my own thoughts focused on Veganuary and the transition over to being fully vegan in the near future. While the idea of a basement butchery and the fact they create all the meat products used themselves doesn’t appeal to a veggie like me, in terms of the carbon footprint and waste issues these guys are incredibly conscious of what they produce and I for one applaud this.
The menu features vegetarian dishes, although there is a definite focus on meat. Considering the effort put into creating the ingredients featured, I was expecting prices to be higher. I decided upon the Soup and Sandwich offer, which was just £7.95. Normally served with a ‘Butcher’s Sandwich of the Day’, I asked for a veggie version instead. Because the kitchen – like many we’ve recently seen pop-up in the area, The Patricia being a perfect example – gets fresh produce in daily, there will be some variation on the dishes available on any given day. My doorstop featured sweet roasted peppers, onions and mushrooms.
The velvety Cauliflower Soup was a hearty bowl in its own right, but I could resist ordering some Carrot and Onion Bhaji from the Bar Snacks to also try.
Their appearance was unceremonious, but what they lacked in Instagram appeal they made up for in flavour. As a vegan option, they were given to Dinky as part of her lunch too. I was nicely surprised there’s a high chair available for kiddiesquinks, although I didn’t check for changing facilities.
I was told that Shilling can cater for vegans, and dietary requirements are enquired about during the booking process. My sandwich and the Bhaji were suitable in any case, so if Mr. Canny had been dining with us he wouldn’t have starved. For the meat-eaters interested in trying this eatery out, the Beef Burger is topped with BBQ Pulled Pork too, while the Hot Dog comes with a selection of 3 delicious toppings. Those wanting lighter bites with their cocktails can choose from a Pork & Leek Scotch Egg or Oxtail & Potato Bon Bons, or there’s a Sharing Platter (£15.95) featuring a selection of all of their ‘best’ bits.
It would be great to see vegan and gluten-free dishes highlighted on the menu, if only because I personally know how off-putting it can be when there is no mention of accommodating dietary requirements. I’m looking forward to my return visit without the baby to sample the booze! I was a big fan of original Popolo and know these guys will be serving up the best Newcastle has to offer.
Thanks for reading,
Note: There are stairs at the entrance, for those with mobility issues.