Asian Food and Cocktails at The Purple Peacock, Yarm*

6 Jul 2019

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, one of my favourite things about living in the Teesside area is the constant development and launches of brand new companies. It means that there's always something new to see or do, so I'm very pleased and excited to be telling you all about the latest restaurant addition to Yarm's glittering line up - The Purple Peacock. Alex and I were invited along to the VIP night* so that we could get the scoop on the newest venue to hit the market and try out their food, but before I jump into that, let me tell you a little bit of background about The Purple Peacock.

You can find this restaurant nestled inside the plush Parkmore Hotel, just down the road from Preston Park and Eaglescliffe train station, so it's ideal if you've had a day out and need somewhere to eat. Or if you've travelled to the area, you get two in one - a place to stay and a place to eat! The idea behind the restaurant was to create something that hadn't been seen before in the area, drawing inspiration from the famous Plum restaurant in India, so the whole place was decked out in gorgeous jewel tone furnishings, dangling flower garlands and bespoke pieces to bring an 'Instagrammable' quality, while the menu draws on Asian flavours to add a touch of spice. Sonali Craddock, Marketing Director of the High Street Group, told us that "The Purple Peacock will become a brand and more restaurants will be opening in the North East in areas such as Durham and Newcastle," so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for those!

Sonali also mentioned that the restaurant will also develop into much more of an experience, rather than just somewhere to go for your dinner. When you visit, you'll be able to enjoy the array of cocktails and the scrumptious menu, but if you love a particular piece of the bespoke furniture, you'll be able to hop on to their online shop and purchase the piece! At the VIP night*, we were sat at a purple-edged table that featured tons of peacock feathers trapped in resin on the top and it was just stunning, so that would eventually be available for purchase. It's such a unique concept and an exciting way to develop the brand, so I'm looking forward to hearing more about the development of that area.

The restaurant also prides itself on its unique cocktail menu, which features new twists on cocktail classics, like the Purple Pornstar and the Asia Style Daiquiri, as well as a signature Purple Peacock. If you're a fan of a cocktail, this might well become you're new watering hole!

I think that's enough about the restaurant itself, so let's have a chat about the food.
During the lead up to the event, the restaurant were pretty secretive about their menu. I'm the type of person that loves to pick out what they're eating from a restaurant hours in advance and even though I knew that this would be a tasting event where I probably wouldn't get to pick, I really wanted a sneak peek! It wasn't until the day of the event that the menu went live, so I jumped on to the website to have a quick snoop before getting ready - and I wasn't disappointed!

When I first heard that The Purple Peacock was going to be an Asian-inspired restaurant, I was a little bit worried. I am someone who doesn't like spicy food - even a korma can be too hot for me sometimes - so I was worried that I'd be really iffy about trying things out. But I gave absolutely everything that was put in front of me a go and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.
The way that the VIP night* worked was that small samples of almost all of the menu were brought out, so that we could get a feel of how everything tasted and a basic idea of how everything would be presented. As Sonali told us, The Purple Peacock's food is all about the presentation, so there was plenty of colour and even edible flowers to add an element of fun.

From the starter menu, we were able to sample the Braised Thai Beef Salad (as seen in the image above), the Crispy Goats' Cheese Fritters and the Miso Fishcakes, and to my surprise, it was the fishcakes that stood out to me. This completely took me by surprise because fish and I don't really go together, but these fishcakes were so flavoursome and not overwhelmingly fishy. They had a crisp, breadcrumb outside and a sensational side of chilli tomato chutney, and the pair worked so beautifully together. I would quite happily eat the dish time and time again, however, I'm looking forward to trying out the Steamed Duck Dumplings (paired up with a soy and orange sauce, what could be better?).
While the starter menu holds some particularly exciting dishes, it's definitely all about the mains. There's classic favourites with Asian twists and delicious Eastern delicacies that will add a hint of warmth to the area. Each dish is sectioned into either 'From the Sea', 'From the Butcher' or 'From the Earth', so there's something to suit everyone's tastes. Operating Manager, James Leeds, explained to us that the sides menu is also pretty unique. "We're giving the customers what they need, so what they're getting is a main dish and the ability to select their own sides. The server will offer you recommendations to go with that dish and if you don't fancy that, you can choose your own." While we didn't get to sample much of the sides menu, I love this concept as it gives you a much more personalised dining experience and the opportunity to try out foods that you might not have had otherwise!

There's even the option of sampling some of the mains menu as small plates, so if you're in a group or if you love the tapas-style of eating, this is the way to go for you.

From the extensive mains menu, we tried the Aromatic Curry with King Prawn Corn Chowder, the Delicately Spiced Lamb Cutlets, the Wild Tandoori Duck, the Slow Braised Shortrib of Beef and the Hearty Cauliflower and Chickpea Korma, so as you can tell, we had an amazing selection. And because we had so many dishes, it's so difficult to pick just one, but if I absolutely had to, it would probably be the Slow Braised Shortrib. I am a sucker for meat that just falls apart and melts like butter, and that's exactly what you're getting with this beef. It was also served with a side of herby mash, which was so creamy and flavoursome. It was basically like an Asian-inspired Sunday dinner, which is always a win with me!

It's also worth me mentioning that I was totally pushed out of my comfort zone with the Hearty Cauliflower and Chickpea Korma (as seen in the image above). I'm really not a fan of cauliflower, but I was determined to try everything. I ended up completely loving the korma, which took me by surprise, but honestly, it was so freaking good. I was also floored when I found it was vegan, so like I said, there really is something for everyone!
Last, but certainly not least, it was time for my favourite course during any meal - dessert. You guys know me and my raging sweet tooth, so I was absolutely gasping to try out some of The Purple Peacock's sweet treats. Yet again, I wasn't disappointed in the little dishes that were brought out to us.

We had a huge selection of dessert samples, which included Pink Lemonade Cheesecake (this might have been a VIP night* exclusive), Dim Sum Mango Pudding and a delicate pot of Buttermilk Pudding. I also saw that there were samples of the Boozy Chocolate Espresso Cups going around, but we didn't get our hands on one, unfortunately. Out of this line up, my favourite has got to be the Buttermilk Pudding (as seen in the image above). There's just something about biscotti that has my heart and these particular biscotti biscuits were much softer than typical biscotti, giving them quite a cake-like texture. They were also spiced with just enough cinnamon, which contrasted beautifully against the tang of the Buttermilk Pudding. Honestly, the whole thing was dreamy.

To summarise, if you were to ask me who The Purple Peacock is for, I would have to say it's for the foodies. I can't think of anywhere else in our area that is similar or offers food quite like this new addition. With twists on firm favourites and beautiful spices that transport you to the East, it's perfect for those that want to try something new. It's great for groups and couples, or even people that just want to get a sassy selfie with a cocktail and a gorgeous backdrop.

I'd been so excited to go along to The Purple Peacock's VIP night* and it certainly didn't disappoint. I couldn't recommend the restaurant enough, so please, if you're ever in the area, make sure you check it out!

The Purple Peacock (636 Yarm Road, Stockton On Tees, TS16 ODH) is open every day until late, including breakfast til 10AM, lunch until 2PM and evening from 5PM.

To book your table, click here, or for more information, click here.

This taster event was hosted by The Purple Peacock and the High Street Group in exchange for a blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Whould you like to comment?

  1. Oooo this looks lovely, Olivia. Definitely going to pay them a visit! X

    1. Laura, you would LOVE it! It's totally up your street x