Ever since House of Tides opened on the Quayside I’ve wanted to visit. Then they got a Michelin star and I was desperate to go. MrJ, knowing me so well, booked a table as a surprise for our 5 year wedding anniversary (how have we been married for that long?).
I didn’t intend to blog about it, as it was a special occasion, but ended up taking pictures of each course to show our parents what we ate, so here is a little post, featuring mainly images and a little commentary on the evening!
Firstly, the building is stunning and the interior gave me serious design envy as it’s everything I love – muted colours, soft lighting, open beams, lots of wood. It’s very nice!
We started by sitting downstairs in the bar area with drinks and this gougère (savoury choux pastry) stuffed with cream cheese and truffle oil. They were addictive.
Then, we were shown to our table upstairs, where we enjoyed 6 dishes. I loved the upstairs. As the building is so old, the wall is slightly tilted, and there are lovely Northern pieces of artwork on the wall. There’s also a private dining room, if you wanted some more privacy, but the tables in the main dining area are spaced well apart so you don’t feel like you’re infringing on other people’s personal space.
Also, the atmosphere is great. I thought it could have been a bit quiet or sombre, but it felt quite informal with music playing in the background, so it was easy to chat and there was a buzz and hub of noise when we were there which I liked.
Also (final one!), I like how the menu changes every month. Now that I’ve been, I just want to go back!
Onto the dishes….
Dish 1. A carrot meringue with carrot curd, raw Lindisfarne oysters with caviar, ginger and cucumber, the little cone was filled with chicken liver parfait, sultana and curry, and the bowl of tomato and basil compote was to be enjoyed last as a cleansing of the palate. I must admit, I was a little scared of that raw oyster. I enjoy seafood but this was new territory for me. I even asked our friendly waitress how to eat it so I didn’t look silly. But it was delicious! It tasted salty like the sea and the other components helped disguise it’s more slimey texture. It sounds unappealing, but it was lovely to eat.
Dish 2: Scallop with chives and variations of apple. This was MrJ’s favourite dish of the night, and I have to say, it was incredible. (I feel like I’m using too many adjectives here. Let’s just say that all the positive adjectives apply to all the food…and I’ll calm it down a bit). It was fun trying apple in lots of different forms and as expected, the scallop was cooked to perfection.
Dish 3: Pan-fried sea bass with artichoke, broad beans and peas. This was my favourite of the night.
Dish 4: Goosnargh duck, cherry, spring onions and morteau sausage. This dish was fun to eat as each bite was different depending on the combination of ingredients you put together.
Dish 5: This pre-dessert was made up of variations of raspberry (jelly, fresh, sorbet and freeze-dried). The sorbet was hidden beneath the meadowsweet foam.
Dish 6: Last, but by no means least, was this stunning pistachio cake, goats’ milk ice cream, strawberry shards, strawberry ice cream and fresh strawberries. The different textures worked well together with a dense pistachio cake lightened up by the cold ice cream.
Afterwards we were offered tea/coffee, but we were quite happy basking in the dinner we had just had. As we left the restaurant, two lads walking past muttered as they glanced through the window, “It looks dead in there. There’s nobody in”. Nobody in the bar area maybe. But that’s because the restaurant is upstairs, where it was packed with happy diners…and it was a Tuesday night. Pretty impressive. Just like their food.