If you’ve visited Newcastle recently you’ll know that we’ve been treated to two new container villages in the form of STACK and By The River Brew Company. Stack takes pride of place in the city centre on the former Odeon site at the bottom of Northumberland Street’s Shopping District and offers a whole host of local independent boutiques on the outer shell as well as local eateries on the inner shell.
The black containers have been adapted to house static bars and fast food joints aplenty, and just recently the group behind this venture opened their first sit down restaurant within STACK (and have given it the best name ever) Cluck Cluck Moo. I was asked if I’d like to dine at Cluck Cluck Moo on a Sunday lunchtime with my family, in exchange for a completely honest and unbiased review with no placed wording at all and my first answer was, “Is it called Duck Duck Goose?” followed by “Most definitely.”
So off we troped. We made our way to the container village which despite having been there for a relatively short period of time, has been very much accepted as part of new Newcastle. If you haven’t been yet, basically the premise is this, the outside is filled with local boutiques, trinket shops, barbers etc. and the inside is where you eat, drink and be merry. There’s a ‘seasonal space’ inside too which will change, you guessed it, seasonally – right now it’s occupied by Hadrian’s Tipi, something we’ve come to know and love up here in the run up to Christmas but there are plans for a Sub Zero ice Bar in January.
Because nobody visiting STACK at this time of year can resist the lure of the Tipi, we swung by and cosied up on some throw covered benches in front of a pretty awesome singer whose banter was as good as his singing. After warming up, we headed upstairs and into the furthest corner and the newest unit to find Cluck Cluck Moo, an industrial, modern looking restaurant with a simple premise: pick one protein, one or two sides and a sauce. Job Done. Think Nandos, but better. Yeah I said it.
The menu layout is easy, meat first, the name gives the game away, (providing you didn’t think the place was called Duck Duck Goose) basically you’re choosing either steak or chicken. The price is in the meat section of the menu and is inclusive so includes your meat selection, one side and a choice of sauce, you can add a second side for £3. Prices range from £10.95 up to £17.95 or if you’re feeling extra brave you could opt for the Tomahawk Steak at a whopping £49.95 which comes with it’s very own two person minimum warning. Sides are plentiful and range from Dauphinoise Potatoes to a simple Tomato Basil salad, there’s actually a pretty huge selection and we were advised that often people choose a range of sides as a main course in lieu of a meat dish. Sauces are as you would expect, with the addition of a risque little BBQ.
After placing our orders, we received the pleasant surprise of complimentary Yorkshire puddings, and pork crackling sticks with dipping gravy on trays which we thought might have been special treatment but we were later advised that these are served to all Cluck Cluck Moo diners as their meals are being prepared in the open kitchen. We thought this was a nice little touch and actually really, really tasty on a Sunday afternoon.
The drinks menu at Cluck Cluck Moo puts most cocktail bars to shame, with a selection of weird and wonderful cocktails and mocktails to chose from as well as all the usual cold beers, soft drinks etc. that you would expect, you’re kind of spoilt for choice, but it also makes Cluck Cluck Moo a viable choice for late night dining too. Because the drinks aren’t run of the mill and boring.
Food is cooked fresh to order but that doesn’t mean you wait forever, my Rump steak (£13.95) arrived cooked perfectly medium, trimmed with lightly braised tomatoes and rosemary and we all ordered a different type of potato chip to share. Bo’s chicken parmesan (£11.55) was the smallest portion and devoured in around five minutes and the best value for money without a doubt and probably the tastiest dish of all, was Plankton’s Flatiron Chicken. At £10.95 it’s the cheapest dish on the menu, the largest portion meaning he couldn’t finish it and it was boxed up for him to take home.
Looking at the menu it’s easy to get carried away and order more than one side but portions at Cluck Cluck Moo are big, sides are bigger than you might expect so order with caution. Our recommendation would be the Flatiron Chicken, priced at £10.95 (side and sauce included but you can add a second side for a further £3 if you’re extra hungry) and you’ve got yourself a decent Sunday dinner with a nice little appetiser beforehand in a great location in town. You don’t need much more than that for a great little Sunday in Newcastle.