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Inside rebel – Heaton’s newest fine dining restaurant that’s already made it to the Michelin Guide

With a mission to make fine dining more accessible and serve an ever-changing, sustainable ten-course tasting menu, we caught up with the man behind the magic, head chef Lindsay, to discover the secrets behind rebel’s success.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 28.06.2023

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There’s a real infectious buzz in the suburb of Heaton – and it’s not hard to see why. New independent foodie spots are popping up here at every turn and one new restaurant we’ve feasted our eyes on is fine dining restaurant, rebel.

Why, we hear you ask? Well, rebel is all about making fine dining accessible (it’s about time, too) For too long now, fine dining has been known for having high prices and being based at uneasy-to-reach locations, but rebel is here to change that, all with a welcoming, sustainable and modern twist.

Serving sensational five and ten-course tasting menus with optional natural wine pairings that showcase the finest produce that the North East has to offer, you’ll be taken on a culinary adventure discovering new flavours you’ve never tried before. Plus, every visit will be different due to the menu continuously changing and evolving around the seasons.

If you love nothing more than a relaxed, intimate and immersive dining experience, then look no further than rebel.

rebel was born during lockdown in a home kitchen initially offering Sunday lunch kits before hosting pop-up events in the region. But after making a name for itself, rebel expanded into bricks and mortar, and they haven’t looked back since. And after just one year of opening, rebel successfully made it to the Michelin Guide. So, what’s all the fuss about? We caught up with the man behind the magic, head chef Lindsay, to discover the secrets behind their success…

THE FOOD

We’re so excited about rebel’s newly launched summer menu. From sourdough crumpets with poached lobster to pork and wild garlic kimchi and white chocolate and raspberry to sweeten things up, the five and ten-course menus are designed to showcase the best of sustainably produced food.

‘Our menu is creative, with the focus being on seasonality and locality, allowing us to showcase some of the amazing ingredients and suppliers that the North East has to offer,’ says head chef Lindsay.

‘The menus are constantly changing,’ adds Lindsay. ‘We’re researching endlessly about new dishes or discussing ideas we have. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But through this, it constantly improves.’

‘A tasting menu allows you to put your full trust in the chefs, meaning you try things you normally wouldn’t,’ says Lindsay. ‘I’ve had the joy of seeing customers who have left with a newfound interest. It gives you an experience instead of just a meal that we can curate from start to finish, having the menu mapped out allows for surprises.’

Not forgetting the largely natural wine flight that’s designed to bring out all the flavour fusions in each dish. Did you know that rebel is the only restaurant in the North East to offer a wine pairing comprised entirely of wines grown and produced in the UK? You do now.

HLN TOP TIP: The menu can also be altered for vegetarians, pescatarians, or vegans and other dietary requirements can be accommodated too, with 24 hours notice

THE VIBE

For a truly immersive dining experience at rebel, it’s all about visiting with an open mind and heart. The Heaton restaurant hosts up to 24 diners and offers an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. With a youthful team at the heart of rebel, this modern and fresh energy translates into its fine dining offering. As its name suggests, the quirky restaurant is a real rebel when it comes to following traditional fine dining destination expectations.

Although you’ll still be served the finest food in a stylish space with moody ambient lighting, rebel brings a modern twist with vibrant contemporary art on the walls and an exciting multi-genre playlist kept loud with the mission to make rebel feel like ‘the most elevated house party you’ve been to’.

But one feature that stands out to us is rebel’s Chef’s Table. This intimate two-person seating brings you to the forefront of the ten-course dining experience, with your meal personally served by the chefs.

THE ETHOS

rebel’s ethos is seasonality and locality, with a focus on minimal waste. With a menu that continuously changes and evolves around the availability of local products, this allows the team to use their creativity and imagination in creating their dishes.

Being a small business and recognising the importance of a thriving supplier repertoire, rebel prides itself on using ingredients from local suppliers and strongly believes in the importance they bring to a community.

We’re talking about meat from our friends at Block & Bottle, cheese from Grate, fresh micro herbs from vertical farming system, Fyto in Ouseburn and the finest vino from Guest Wines.

By choosing to dine at rebel you’re not only treating yourself to delicious food and wine but you’re also supporting the North East business community – it’s a win/win situation.

THE CHEF

With nearly a decade of experience in fine dining after working in Newcastle’s Michelin-star House of Tides and Jesmond Dene House, you can only expect the finest of food from rebels’ head chef and owner Lindsay.

‘My style of cooking is paired back and focused on having only a few elements to each dish,’ says Lindsay. ‘In my eyes, if you have 15 different things on a plate, you don’t taste 10 of them and the quality of each element suffers.’

‘One of our dishes that has been on for the longest is our potatoes and cheese course,’ Lindsay adds. ‘Jersey royal potatoes cooked in a Douglas Fir stock, BBQ’d, enrobed in an English Brie sauce and then dressed in chive oil. It has only three elements, but a lot of effort goes into each element to make sure each one is perfect.’

To stay up to date with new dishes and menus follow rebel’s Instagram.

150 Heaton Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5NR

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