Swedish chef Alex Nietosvuori brings the flavours of Scandinavia to the Tyne Valley with this precise, technique-driven destination restaurant
Hjem (pronounced ‘yem’) is both a Northumbrian and Scandinavian word for ‘home’, which makes it an apt name for this welcoming restaurant that sees the very best local produce come together with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques.
Tucked away within The Hadrian Hotel in the small village of Wall, Hjem is the dream project of Swedish chef Alex Nietosvuori, whose career includes time spent at Daniel Berlin’s eponymous restaurant in Skåne-Tranås on Sweden’s southernmost tip, the three Michelin-starred Maaemo in Oslo; and much-loved east London restaurant The Laughing Heart; and his partner Ally Thompson, a Northumberland native who has previously managed restaurants in Australia, New Zealand, Copenhagen and London.
After spending 20 years gaining experience across some of the top restaurants in Scandinavia and the UK, the couple felt ready to start realising their ambition of opening their own restaurant against a stunning Northumberland backdrop.
The restaurant serves an ambitious 15-18 course tasting menu created from ingredients sourced from surrounding farms and gardens, and cooked with Scandinavian precision and practices Nietosvuori has acquired over his extensive career. The wines poured alongside, meanwhile, are carefully chosen by sommelier Anna Frost from wine makers who work with maximum respect for the environment and minimum intervention in the cellar.
Dishes on the Hjem menu change constantly, but have recently included dry-aged pigeon with Hexhamshire Organics aubergine, and a spring onion and pigeon jus; Hexhamshire Organics onions and North Acomb Farm herb butter served with roasted oats and yeast; and eel on a celeriac crisp with shallots and egg yolk.