I took a little trip to Italy earlier this week when I headed along to the Metrocentre to visit the latest addition to their food quarter – Doppio Malto!

Known for its motto ‘un posto felice’ – a happy place – Doppio Malto offers a beautiful, vibrant setting with vivid coloured walls filled with art, cosy botanical corners and bright lights all around. A smile graced my face the moment I arrived, and I can tell you now it stayed there til I left.

I was invited along for an exclusive evening of beer tasting and menu sampling and let me tell you, I was not prepared for what went down…

The evening started with a fun activity of beer tasting!

Eye masks were worn and with the help of some staff members, we were given 3 glasses of beers to taste and asked to try and identify the key ingredient in each one. It was so much fun and I managed to get 2 out of 3 correct!

Doppio Malto have breweries in Italy where they produce over 15 craft beers using only the best raw materials and attention to detail. Two of the drinks that we tried were the Summer IPA and the Zingi Ale – they were both so refreshing and if I didn’t have the car, I’d have treat myself to a large glass of each!

If you’re interested in beer tasting, Doppio Malto offer a beer experience where you can try three proposals: a hop, malt or aroma tour for £11, or if you can’t choose you can try them all for £30!

Now to the food…

For starter we were given the Fritto Assoluto which included Pollo Frito (fried chicken wings), Mozzarella in carrozza (breaded and fried mozzarella slices filled with cooked ham) Anelli di cipolla (fried beer-battered onion rings) and Rondelle di melanzane (fried aubergine rounds breaded with corn). Each of the elements on the plate were packed full of flavour and, somehow, made even better with the addition of their very own beer mayo. Honestly if they sold that in bottles, I’d have bought a lifetime supply!

For main course Vicky, my partner in crime for the evening, was given one the vegetarian Italian Gourmet Burgers – Mais e Provola affumicata. A veggie corn burger, smoked Provola cheese and salad served with skin on fries.

Myself the meat eater was presented with what I can only describe as the greatest mixed grill I have ever seen in my LIFE! The Brace mista. Sirloin steak, Honey IPA glazed rooster, pork ribs and Mantuan salamella sausage, as well as skin on potato wedges. My mouth is drooling all over again as I’m writing about this. Usually this is a sharing platter with a min of 2 people, but I was lucky enough to be given a singular portion for the event…although I couldn’t eat it all but was cheeky enough to ask for a doggy bag! All four meats were cooked to absolute perfection and incredibly moreish.

Next up – dessert.

At this point I also decided to treat myself to one cocktail which had Malfy pink gin and cranberry in – so sweet and super tasty. As well as craft beers, Doppio Malto also offer an extensive cocktail menu and also delicious craft soft drinks. Sicilian lemons and oranges are used for both the Lemonade and Orange soda, both incredibly refreshing.

Anyway, back to dessert. We were served their Birramisù – signature homemade Tiramisu with ladyfinger biscuits soaked in their Black Stout beer and sprinkled with chocolate flakes.

I’m a bit of a talker and because we were one of the last tables, one of the staff decided we should try a SECOND dessert – the Mini cannoli siciliani. 6 cinnamon and marsala flavoured DIY cannolis to assemble yourself, served with a creamy ricotta cheese, ground pistachio and chocolate flakes! This was the perfect way to end the night, even though I definitely had to be rolled to the car afterwards…

We had an absolutely wonderful visit to Doppio Malto. They boast an excellent menu covering any and all of your Italian cuisine needs from pizza, to fresh pasta, to burgers and mixed grill. I absolutely can’t wait to visit with the family because I know they’re going to love it just as much as I did. This is only the second Doppio Malto restaurant in the UK with the other being in Glasgow, so I think we’re very lucky here in the North East.

A huge thank you to the wonderful staff who were so passionate and friendly – they made the visit even more enjoyable!

Doppio Malto Metrocentre is open 11.30am – 11pm, with the kitchen closing 9.30pm Sunday-Thursday, and 10pm Friday-Saturday.

** Full disclosure: All food and drinks were kindly gifted to us by Doppio Malto. (AD)

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