Sunderland Restaurant Week has returned, showcasing some of the best places to eat around the city centre with some great offers.
Running from 8 – 16 September, Sunderland Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to put the pans away and try a new place for dinner. With 2 courses for £10 across a range of venues (and 3 courses for £15) it can definitely make a midweek trip out the highlight of your week.
Taken on a safari supper (see previous ones here) I had the opportunity to try a few of the eateries on the list this time around. Here’s what I thought; and a few recommendations for you too.
We met at The Albert, a friendly pub on Fawcett Street. I’m told this used to be a key meeting place back in the day and it even had a light up dancefloor. It’s since been stripped back to the original brickwork and has a cosy, warm feel inside. Drinks are reasonably priced and there’s a quiz night too; which I’m keen to give a go – will report back.
Our starters were served at 808. This redevelopment of the old chinese restaurant overlooking Jopling is quite something. With comfy turquoise booths, a great atmosphere and some Wes Anderson inspired bathrooms (which I unintentionally coordinated with) I was keen to see how the food would be. The menu has a bit of variety on there and we tried a selection of nachos, garlic prawns, ribs, halloumi fries and potato skins. The nachos were great and served with a good amount of guacamole and salsa. A late addition to the table was the coconut prawns – a flavour I savoured and a dish I could see being made into a main meal, it certainly would be delicious with a side of rice or noodles.
Just before leaving we were brought a selection of their sliders too and being quite a burger fan, I was keen to taste these and compare to others I’ve had in the city and nearby area. The chinese burger slider was an immediate hit across the table and one I’m tempted to go back and try as a full sized burger. I like that with sliders you can order 2 or 3 and maybe try a wild card flavour. If you like it, great – it becomes an option for next time and if not – no worries, you’ve still got others left to eat.
For mains we headed up to The Pickle. Served a selection of burgers and platters there was a lot to go round. My highlight had to be the halloumi and bacon bites; these cheese and potato hash bites had just the right texture and something a little different to a usual side of chips. Any addition of bacon is a winner for me, so these went down a treat. Also talking of bacon, we were served the maple burger which – yep, you guessed it, has maple bacon. The Pickle are obviously keen to experiment with flavours as we were brought the morning after burger – this one features black pudding, bacon and a hash brown, so if you want breakfast in a burger then you want to give this a go.
Tea and cake wrapped up the evening at The Looking Glass. This quirky little cafe thrives on an Alice in Wonderland theme and not only serves some excellent homemade cakes and sweet treats, but it’s open later on Friday and Saturday evenings and would make a good stop for a drink or two.
Fancy a meal out this week? Here’s my recommendations:
- 808 – I enjoyed what we were offered to try and would be keen to go back myself. They have a smaller selection on their restaurant week menu but I’d perhaps suggest trying a burger for your main (and the halloumi to start? or the ribs)
- Wanting more burger choice? Try 2 Church Lane, or Fat Hippo (wed-sat down at Bonded Warehouse)
- If Mexican takes your fancy then El Nido on Frederick Street is the place to go. I’ve had their burritos and they’re very filling and full of flavour.
- Holmeside Coffee are on the list and if you’ve not yet checked out their new residence in the Winter Gardens then you should get along.
- The Funky Indian offers indian cuisine in a fun tapas way and is a real treat so if you like a mix of spices and flavours, this is one to try.
- The Fire Station offers hearty meals and has a nice vibe. I’ve been in on an evening for a drink and it’s got a friendly atmosphere, plus there was a jazz band. Whilst you might not get so lucky with the entertainment, you’ll enjoy the food.
If you’re headed out to Sunderland Restaurant Week, let me know where you’re going – always keen to know which dishes I should be sampling!
Fore more details on any of the restaurants I’ve mentioned or the event itself, check out Sunderland BIDs website.