I was recently asked by Travelodge to write about the best kept secrets in the North East. I was having a hard time deciding on a place as recently Middlesbrough has had an eruption of fantastic new places to eat and drink and so I was really spoilt for choice. A few nights ago me and Adam registered our daughter Eleanor who is now three and a half weeks old! After we registered her we decided to go for some dinner together to celebrate the beautiful little girl that we created. It was then that whilst on the way to another place, we stumbled across this little beautiful eaterie which looked too interesting to walk past.
Welcome to Oven.
The biggest thing that actually attracted me over to Oven was the outside decor. The place is really stunning. The outside is glass fronted with faux grass on the floor which is lined with plants in giant pots and cute metal tables/.
The inside is even more stunning with dark, distressed flooring, beautiful wooden tables, a stunning black ceiling with spotlights and recessed spaces filled with ornaments and other trinkets and an exposed brick bar with spot lighting.
We were a bit dubious when we read that the menu was A la carte as that generally means tiny bites of things that leave you wanting a McDonalds afterwards, but we decided to try it anyway. We were not left hungry.
We arrived around half four-ish which meant we could still order from the Lunch menu which had one course for £8.95, two courses for £11.95 or three for £14.95 which is fantastic value. The menu is small but there’s a good selection of dishes and I was debating on a few. In the end I decided on chicken liver pate which came with onion and chilli jam and fresh bread.
I then went on to have the chargrilled Philadelphia steak which was served with a Diane sauce, onion rings, a basket of fries and fresh vegetables.
(The sides came beautifully presented.)
I then had sticky toffee pudding for dessert which melted in the mouth and was the perfect ending to the meal.
Adam really enjoyed his meal too.
He started with the calamari which I tasted and was beautiful. He then went onto his second course which was a steak and rib burger topped with cheese, salad and a sauce. This was served with fries and was delicious. The burger was perfectly seasoned, juicy and very tasty. He also finished with sticky toffee pudding.
We definitely loved Oven and can’t wait to return. The only downsides were the drinks came in glass bottles and I prefer drinks on tap. £2.75 for 330ml of coke seemed a little expensive and I actually prefer the taste of dispensed drinks. Also, we paid for a bread basket as I had the pate and it only came with two tiny pieces and then other people were offered complimentary bread. I wish we had been brought it first before we ordered some but again, it’s not a big deal.
So you might want to head over before everybody hears about the place and fills it up! It went from dead to busy within an hour of us being there so get in whilst you can!