As a true Northerner, I love my Sunday dinner... the Yorkshire puds, the potatoes and ohh all that gravy! So when I was invited to try out the first serving of Sunday Lunch at The Smeltery in Mima, Middlesbrough, I couldn't contain my excitement.
The Smeltery is owned by Luke and Emma, the brains behind much loved Vegetarian eatery The Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe and has been 6 months in the making.
Similar with the attentive and friendly service, attention to detail and quality ingredients from the same suppliers, however The Smeltery serves meat, and not just any meat, free range, organic, local - the best of the best.
The menu will vary week to week slightly, but there will always be a huge selection of starters, mains and desserts including some of The Waiting Room favourites, the classic roast and some new dishes.
If you've visited Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Mima) for food before, you probably won't recognise it... Walls have been demolished to make the space much bigger and brighter and there is a big open plan kitchen. The tables and chairs were handmade in workshops in the Mima building, as was the art work which hangs around the room.
The hand blown glass lighting which hangs above the tables is really simple, but gives a lovely modern vibe to the space and the bright red neon sign which shines outside above the glass wall at the end of the restaurant means you really can't miss it.
We got ourselves seated and ordered our drinks (two fresh orange juices) while we perused the menu, which had a paragraph of writing about the idea behind The Smeltery and the suppliers of the days meat and fish.
Although the starters all sounded delicious (I was so tempted by the North Sea Fish Pancake with Thermidor Sauce), I knew I wouldn't manage a main and dessert if I ordered a starter too, and as I have much more of a sweet tooth had to give it a miss.
For my main course I ordered the Sunday Lunch with Roast Upper Teesdale Lamb, sourced from Tom & Kay at Bail Hill Farm.
This came served with a huge homemade Yorkshire pudding, sesame potatoes, roast parsnips and carrots, red cabbage, cauliflower cheese, gravy and mint sauce.
The vegetables and sauces came separately so that I could serve myself and customise my plate to my own taste, which is always a selling point for me as I don't like all vegetables.
I was given three thick slices of lamb, which was deliciously juicy and tender, the potatoes were cooked to perfection and the sesame seeds added something different to the plate. From the veg I only ate the parsnips and carrots and both were really soft and packed with flavour, would only assume the other options were great too. Of course I piled on the gravy and mint sauce too, both of which complemented the meat perfectly.
It was nice to see a Sunday Lunch menu that wasn't solely roast dinners; This gave Robbie the option to order something different... He chose the Free Range Pork and Cider Casserole which came in a huge bowl with poached apples, carrots, suede, celery and potato - all perfectly seasoned and very hearty.
I had to have a sneaky taste myself and it really was delicious with the apples adding a lovely sweet tang to each mouthful... Robbie commented that he was completely blown away by the flavours and how delicious it was.
Thankfully I had plenty of space for my dessert and I opted for the Apple, Plum and Ginger Poached Pears Crumble with a scoop of Doddington's Gingerbread Dairy Ice Cream.
When this was served, I think I gasped in amazement at one of the most Instagram-worthy desserts I have ever eaten... It looked incredible! As someone who always goes for the chocolate option on a menu, it was so nice to have a change and eat something much healthier.
The fruit was served warm and the nuts and oats on top added a lovely crunch and contrast in texture to the soft fruits and ice cream.
I would without doubt order this again, especially throughout the Winter as it really warmed me up.
Robbie didn't have a dessert and instead ordered a cappuccino, made with Suma Organic Fair Trade Coffee, which he said finished off his meal perfectly, and as he works locally, he was really happy to see the coffee can be taken out too. (I have a feeling he's going to become a regular!)
The Smeltery is a place I can't wait to go back to, for breakfast, lunch or another roast. It is open Mima gallery hours, including the late night on Thursdays.
I can't recommend the food enough... Let me know if you're going to visit!
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