The Newport Restaurant, 1 High Street, Newport-on-Tay, DD6 8AB, Scotland
Two chefs have joined forces to run this restaurant, sitting on the edge of the River Tay, south of Dundee.
The dining room has magnificent changing scenes from the views out of the floor to ceiling bi-folding wooden doors. The Tay rail bridge can be seen and the town of Dundee across the water. As the weather and the time fo day changes, the view changes. at night, the lights are spectacular and during the day, because it’s facing north, the sun wouldn’t be too much on the customers.
As you enter from the car park, you can see the clean kitchen on the ground floor as you approach the staircase to dining rooms and bar. When you enter the dining room, the tables are all wooden and very close together, with no tablecloths, making for a casual look. The bi-folding doors along the river wall allow for an amazing view for all diners facing that way. There isn’t access for elderly or disabled, as you have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the dining room. There are two dining rooms and a bar. The first floor and second floor. Wooden tables are close together, and there is a casual look about the place. Food is served on local pottery.
The food was most unusual and different to anywhere we have been before. Some items were out of our comfort zone, and many items were just amazingly delicious. Each course was served with an explanation of what it all was.
We had the 7-course taster menu with a flight of wines. This came with three courses of what they call ‘snacks’ beforehand and another snack (amuse bouche) before dessert.
We were certainly outside of our comfort zone for some of the items such as partially blanched mussel with many little flavours in spices, herbs and sauce inside the mussel shell. The same went for a black sludgy dip which was delicious, but we hadn’t heard properly what it was from the person who served us.
Also, some of the snack dishes had the little items served on top of inedible (raw) chickpeas and green pea pods. One of the party was worried that they could have broken a tooth biting on these, thinking they were for eating. However, this wasn’t explained when the dish was presented.
We had to ask for (and politely remind) staff to bring the glass of wine that goes with the flight of wines, 3 times out of 5 glasses. Perhaps because only one person was having the flight of wines, is possibly the reason why they kept forgetting. We thought it was lack of training of staff and that this really should be a priority and served as the food was served or served right before it.
Every dish was a work of art; Each had small parts of each item, such as cheek and shoulder, and interesting sauces and vegetables & garnishing. We found it hard to finish the dessert plate, as we were actually full by then. The night ended quite late, and we weren’t offered coffees. We were tired, as it was 11 pm and we had been there since 8pm, so we didn’t really mind we hadn’t been offered coffee. But still, especially at these prices you expect the staff to do the basics.
When anyone visited the unisex toilet, the view of the toilet seat up was seen by one of our party from our table. We thought, surely, that the law is that you must have two doors between an eating area and the loo.
The tables are quite close together allowing for not much privacy to diners from each other. The staff were often answering our questions in our discussion, even if we weren’t asking them.
All in all, it was a positive experience in a lovely setting albeit marred by some inconveniences and lack of staff training. A little bit of attention paid to these areas can make The Newport Restaurant truly fantastic.