On May 1st, 2019, Swedish chef Alex Nietosvuori and his partner Northumberland-born Ally Thompson unveiled a new restaurant promising to delight and ignite the palettes of fine diners in the Tyne Valley.
Restaurant Hjem (pronounced ‘yem’) brings the best produce from Northumberland together with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques to offer a menu of beautiful and innovative dishes, wrapped up in an ambitious tasting menu people want to travel for.
Appealing to those with a hunger for unique and memorable gastronomic experiences, the opening of Restaurant Hjem marked the realisation of a dream for Alex and Ally who wanted to create a destination restaurant in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall country representing the very best of their respective backgrounds.
The name itself, Hjem means ‘home’ in both Northumbrian and Scandinavian.
“I grew up in Northumberland and didn’t appreciate how beautiful it was until I left. I want to show off the best of the county and its produce to the rest of the UK and beyond.” Ally
“I have a real passion for developing new dishes and menus and love finding new techniques for working with ingredients. Northumberland is an amazing place for sourcing top quality produce and I’ve loved developing a whole range of dishes.” Alex
From day one, diners at Restaurant Hjem have been treated to a glorious tasting menu. Some of the courses are small bites, others are larger dishes. Wine pairing and juice pairing is also available.
All ingredients are sourced from surrounding farms and gardens and diners can see their food being prepared in the open kitchen before it’s served by Alex, Ally and their handpicked team, including Sommelier Anna Frost (formerly of L’Enclume and Braun in East London) and Sous Chef Marek Diezdiec (formerly of Principal Hotel Bloomsbury).
The arrival of Restaurant Hjem on the North East's fine dining menu was met with much interest from local, regional and national media, including The Sunday Times, The Journal and Chroniclelive, The Hexham Courant, Appetite Magazine, Olive Magazine and many more.