Jessica Angus sits down to lunch at The Dyke Neuk near Morpeth
For years a food destination, it is fair to say The Dyke Neuk has of late been through a dark patch. Indeed, it was in danger of becoming another sad pub statistic until two locals took matters into their own hands and moved from drinking pints to pulling them.
The décor’s been given a revamp, new staff brought in, and the kitchen taken on by no less than former North East Chef of the Year Michael Hall – who also leads the kitchen at The Granby Inn at Longframlington, which has been in his family for 50 years.
Where The Granby’s food is classic British with a fine dining twist, The Granby Inn @ The Dyke Neuk’s offering is very much in traditional pub mould; fishcakes and chicken liver paté on the starters board, hearty main dishes for big appetites, and comfort puddings for the sweet-toothed.
We can confidently recommend the grilled pork chop, the seared lamb’s liver, and the 8oz Northumbrian rump steak, which caught the eye of our 11-year-old companion, who is blessed with expensive tastes and, thankfully, a bottomless pit for a stomach.
He committed his thoughts of the steak to paper, thus: “No gravy with the steak. Like the Jenga-stacked chips but they look lonely on the side of the plate. Had to ask for a steak knife. Steak bathed in its own juices; lots of flavour. Yum. Tenderness: very soft. Overall, 9/10.”
A word of advice. If your appetite isn’t the healthiest, forgo breakfast – the portions are big. The pork chop was huge, succulent, and nicely partnered by a good apple sauce. The pink liver was blanketed in crispy onions and served with a smoky pancetta jus. There followed generous helpings of sticky toffee pudding, apple crumble, chocolate torte, and a bill of just over £65, which, considering the colossal size and quality of our lunch, was excellent value. The Neuk (‘neuk’ is an old Scots word for corner, it seems) is back.