Mr Petit is one of Newcastle’s hidden secrets. This bijou restaurant in Old Eldon Square serves world tapas. Expect unique and unusual dishes delicately served in a dark and mysterious atmosphere. If you are looking for somewhere different for lunch or dinner Mr Petit is for you. Read on to find out about our visit.
The food scene in Newcastle is always changing with new and exciting restaurants appearing all the time. Recently we got an invitation to come along for an evening at Mr Petit and try out their tasting menu. Mr Petit is not somewhere I had been before. After finding out the menu consists of world tapas, as they put it “Petit tastes of the world created for you”, I was looking forward to visiting.
Mr Petit is part of a couple of restaurants which have been taken on by the St Camillus Leisure which is part of the St Camillus Care Group. This is a charity which supports young people with learning difficulties.
We have been lucky with the weather recently and it was a warm night when we set off to find Mr Petit. The restaurant is in Old Eldon Square, which is also affectionately known as the hippy green. It is a green oasis in the busy city centre with Eldon Square Shopping Centre surrounding a central lawn. The statue of St George and the Dragon stands proudly in the middle.
You can find Mr Petit at one side of Old Eldon Square. It is a downstairs unit so you need to go down some narrow steps to gain entry. There are some tables outside which are ideal for eating at on a warm summers day.
Entering Mr Petit is like stepping back in time to an old fashioned parlour in an Edwardian house. A large range features at one end of the room. On the other side is the bar area. With just two small windows the place is naturally dark and the decor embraces this. Mirrors with dark metal frames adorn the walls. The walls are a dark purple shade and the place is dimly lit with tea lights on the table. It gives the room a Gothic mysterious feel.
The dark wood tables are set mainly for two and it feels welcoming and cosy. There is space for larger groups as well. Mr Petit is not large so it may well be worth reserving if you want to visit.
The menu at Mr Petit features small plates of well presented food inspired by cuisine around the globe. If you are a fan of tapas style dining but want to try global flavours Mr Petit is perfect. As well as small plates they also offer large cheese and charcuterie boards for sharing. We were trying a tasting menu so we had small samples of everything on offer.
Mr Petit has a good selection of drinks with craft beers, cocktails and wines to choose from. They also have a selection of spirits and mixers or you can choose a jug of sangria to enjoy while you eat. Rather predictably I had a glass of white wine while my husband enjoyed a beer. He did a little globe-trotting, starting with a glass of Asian Tiger Beer and then moving to Italy with a Biarra Mortetti. The wine was perfect whilst the beer could have been a little colder to suit my husband.
Small dishes of appetisers came with our drinks. The olives are marinated in oil laced with rosemary, thyme and lemon. The nuts are cajan spiced and pack a bit of a kick. Olives are one of those things that you either love or loathe. When I was younger I couldn’t stand them but my tastes have changed with age. These had a lovely herby taste which made a lovely complement to the spicy nuts.
For the main we got a selection of different tasting items from the main menu. The menu has a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian plates which you can mix and match in tapas style. This allows you to share plates or just order your own. The food was beautifully presented on a large slate and was almost too pretty to eat.
The slate contained the following items:
Our favourite was the lamb brik, a spiced tomato and lamb samosa. The lamb was fragrantly spiced and wrapped in crisp filo pastry. These are delicious and I could have easily eaten a large pile of them.
The open beef tacos with its slow cooked beef, Mexican slaw, tomato salsa and lemon aioli were also little morsels of pleasure. Plenty of taste in each mouthful. The sweet potato fish cakes are unusual. White fish and sweet potato cakes have a little spice from a mango and chilli salsa and hot sauce. This works really well to add a touch of sweetness and spice together. The kedgeree arancini are also worth a mention. This is a new take on traditional kedgeree. Spicy rice surrounds soft boiled quails eggs to make a scotch egg with a difference. This works really well and tastes amazing.
I was unsure how world tapas would work but the taste and flavours work really well together to make really tasty food combinations. You really do feel like you are travelling the globe as you work your way round the dishes. The one thing we could have done with was a couple of napkins, but as this was a tasting evening I am sure this was an oversight.
Our desserts were quick to arrive on the slate board which was a theme for the evening. The two desserts were a raspberry and prosecco Eton mess and a peanut butter brownie. Our favourite was the peanut butter brownie which was a morsel of gooey chocolate with peanut butter cracking on top. It just melted in the mouth.
The raspberry and prosecco Eton mess came in a meringue shell with the raspberry cream on top. Whilst delicious the cream was a little runny. This was probably due to the evening’s heat but it made it a little messy to eat.
Both were a nice way to finish the evening with a little touch of sweetness.
We had a really enjoyable evening at Mr Petit. The taster menu was lovely and the place has a lovely atmosphere. The food is unusual, I love the world tapas idea. The combinations and flavours could not be faulted. If you are a fan of tapas and sharing menus then this could be the place for you.
Whilst the taster menu does not give a good idea of regular portion sizes the food on the menu does look good value. Look out for the special offers – for example 3 plates for £15 from the meat, vegetarian and fish world tapas sections.
Mr Petit is downstairs so may not be accessible for all. The outside terrace is a welcome addition and would be perfect on a hot summer day. The decor is unusual but it does make for an intimate dining experience.
Overall we enjoyed our visit to Mr Petit and I would be happy to go back and try the regular menu. I would definitely pop in for a lunchtime visit if I was shopping in town. It is ideally placed if you are shopping in Eldon Square.
You can find Mr Petit at
4 Old Eldon Square
Newcastle upon Tyne
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