The Cheese Run opened at Hadrian’s tipi earlier this month, based this year on the site where the old Odeon used to be (opposite Tyneside cinema).
The cosy set up has a selection of food and drink stalls, open fires and tunes blasting out, it’s the perfect place for a night out or a break from sale shopping.
If you’re a fan of cheese then The Cheese Run is your dream. Clever owner David has taken a gondola ski lift and turned it into ‘the UK’s smallest restaurant.” Seating just 6 people, it’s private dining with a twist!
Getting into the cosy space we were told it had a Bluetooth sound system and we could connect our phone if we wanted. Drinks were brought over from Hadrian’s tipi and a massive chunk of raclette cheese was put next to a heater while we waited for the accompanying dishes. This Austrian tradition is one I hadn’t tried before and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
You can book the ski lift for your own unique private dining experience – £25 per person for 4 having dinner in ‘the bubble’ as they call it (if there’s 6 of you it’s £20 per person, and brunch is also available). For that you get a half wheel of cheese which you can help yourself to and a variety of dishes based on ski resorts around the world, as well as a bucketload of new potatoes. You can also buy single dishes from their stall next to the bubble which all come on a bed of crushed new potatoes (eat them at one of the nearby tables, or in the bubble if it’s free).
To begin with we were given some traditional Austrian accompaniment – pickles and gherkins. Then David brought us one of their brunch dishes to try – daily fresh bread toasted with a trio of garlic mushrooms (£4). He told us they source their garlic from France (rather than China, where most of the UK’s garlic comes from). Combined with a mixture of delicious mushrooms and the raclette cheese it takes brunch to another level!
Super-friendly David told us how he got started in the melted cheese business. He’s a massive snowboarding fan and he transformed the bubbe all by himself in the space of a week! He has big plans to take it around the North East and do a postcard series at various landmarks, so look out for it at food festivals throughout the year.
Next we were brought an Austrian dish – smoked bacon, onion, caraway seeds, paprika/chilli powder and parsley (£5). The combination of flavours in this dish blew me away, and they worked so well with the melted cheese over the top. I don’t know if anything is as satisfying as sliding melted cheese onto the awaiting dish if I’m honest, we enjoyed it immensely!
Next came a dish from Italy – ‘Nudja, an Italian fiery pork paste from Calabria with green peppers and onions (£5). David is serious about his ingredients and this ‘nudja was the real deal. It didn’t need much more than beautifully cooked veg so you could taste the flavours of this unique sausage paste, which is a little like the Spanish sobrasada.
Next we tried a tomato and corn stew from Chile which was prepared with onion, paprika, cayenne/white pepper and parsley (£4.50). The sweetcorn combined with the kick of cayenne was another triumph.
A chilli con carne (£5) completed the feast and had been cooked to low and slow perfection, creating a melt in the mouth dish.
We helped ourselves to a lot of cheese but we couldn’t get through it all, the creamy raclette was so delicious though and carving it off yourself makes the whole experience really fun.
We finished the meal off with a mulled cider for my friend CB and a unicorn hot chocolate for me from R Place – think pink hot chocolate, cream, marshmallows, glitter and multi-coloured sprinkles (£3).
As if that wasn’t enough David told us we had to try the chocolate kisses from another stall and I can confirm that the champagne and white chocolate marshallow and wafer concoction was delicious.
The Cheese Run is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some delicious food and have a bit of fun at the same time. They will be at Hadrian’s tipi until 7th January 2018 and after that they’ll be hitting the road – follow them on facebook or instagram for the latest updates.
For more info or to book out the UK’s smallest (and cheesiest) restaurant email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to David for the warm, fun and festive cheese-filled fun!
We were provided with a complimentary meal for the purposes of this review, however the opinions expressed in this article are honest and true to experience.