Dean Bailey finds food to make you happy at Tomahawk Steakhouse, Ponteland
I’ve never been a regular orderer of steak in restaurants, which is interesting when you are tasked with reviewing a meal at the latest addition to the Tomahawk Steakhouse family.
While I appreciate quality produce and simply cooked dishes which allow their ingredients to do the talking, I tend to favour food that will wow; dishes that test preconceptions and allow the chef to dazzle. To choose steak – I used to think – was to limit that creativity.
I was wrong. Steak, done right, is food that can truly make you happier than just about anything else. It’s the kind of happy that sends you off to sleep with a smile on your face and sees you wake up with the same expression the next morning.
The meal that prompts this euphoria is exceptional, mind you – a côte de wagyu beouf from an animal raised at Warrendale Farms in York, beautifully marbled with thin ribbons of fat which lend a rich, buttery flavour.
Aged in a temperature-controlled Himalayan salt chamber for a minimum of 28 days to intensify the flavour and tenderise the meat before it is roasted on the bone, this is an exceptional experience which will stay with me for a very long time; and when it comes to the meal I’d request as my last, this will be right there.
While our 36oz sharing steak takes spectacular centre stage, we have four side dishes which are up to the task of accompanying it. The broccoli tossed in spicy chimichurri is the star for its bold, fresh flavours, while breaded chilli, bacon and cheese balls are packed with fiery heat. More traditional accompaniments – giant beer-battered onion rings and triple-cooked chips – sit perfectly alongside.
It’s easy to overlook everything apart from the steak – we don’t speak very much for the 10 or so minutes after it’s served – but a special mention to the front of house team; the service throughout is first class. Chatty and knowledgeable, we are looked after by Irishman Glen – an expert on our steak who chooses the Vidal Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which accompanies it.
It must be easy to be passionate about what you’re serving when it’s this good, and I spend hours talking about this steak in the days after the visit, all with that same smile on my face.
Dinner from the steak section of the menu, including sides and drinks, ranges from £25 to £60-plus per person depending on your choice of cut and extras.
Tomahawk Steakhouse A696, Higham Dykes Ponteland, NE20 0DH, tel 01661 881 440, www.tomahawk-steakhouse.co.uk