D’Acqua, Sunderland Restaurant Week

Luckily enough, my big brother’s birthday fell on Sunderland Restaurant Week. And so, after much deliberation, trawling through menus and reviews of all the many eateries taking part in this wonderful event, we settled on celebrating at D’Acqua.

And am I glad we did.

D’Acqua is located on John Street, tucked under a row of Edwardian terraces. Ducking down into the basement, and entering the restaurant, it’s cosy with dim lighting and welcoming staff.

We were seated in the bar area with the Sunderland Restaurant Week exclusive menus as they brought us a round of drinks.

Naturally, I had decided what I was eating days ago. The small menu had a great variety and I won’t lie, it was a tough decision.

Food envy was inevitable, as it all looked and sounded incredible. However, I stuck to my guns and ordered the Crab Cake, Confit Duck and the Eton Mess. But not as you know it.

After our order was taken we were seated at our table, tucked in the corner of this lovely restaurant. To welcome us, there was a slate of bread with a subtle hint of sundried tomato.

The bread was flavourful and fresh. Five pieces between four turned into a fight for the last slice of homemade loveliness.

Then arrived our starters. And the food envy did commence…

My Crab Cake was beautiful. Meaty yet delicate and seasoned perfectly too. The French mayonnaise that accompanied it was the perfect addition.

However, Mama Jan ordered the Cheese Tart. Which was incredible. Flaky, light pastry with rich, gooey cheese.

Dan, went AWOL and ordered the Beans on Toast. Yep. Beans on Toast. Odd right? Even Dan admitted it felt wrong ordering it in such a beautiful place.

But as you can see, there wasn’t a tin of Heinz in sight.

Haricot beans, with smoky pancetta, a slice of grilled St Nectaire cheese and freshly baked ciabatta – it most definitely was not the classic we’re used to. I managed a bite before Dan guzzled the rest, and I must admit, I could taste exactly why he wasn’t coming up for air.

Excellent start. Now onto the main course and even more food envy.

My Confit Duck. The meat was beautifully cooked, fell off the bone and had a crisp, tasty skin. Drowning in a light garlic butter, I was thrilled with my choice.

Until I tasted the Chicken French Onion. Now the photo isn’t great, but trust me it was divine.

Breast of chicken filled with cheese and covered in a French onion sauce with cheese crisp and the best looking Dauphinois potatoes I think I’ve ever seen.

And here was Mama Jan’s enormous Cod and Chips…

Everyone tucked in and the compliments poured. D’Acqua and Sunderland Restaurant Week was definitely a perfect pairing.

Half way through the main dishes, we remembered that sneaky third course we’d all eagerly ordered at the beginning.

My brother and Dan still, quite rightly, never left a crumb. But Jan and I left a few chips. They were sizeable portions and tasted amazing, but we needed that extra room.

Look at that little number. A deconstructed Eton Mess. Panacotta, meringue shards and textures of strawberry. What a delight!

I love a fresh, light dessert. And this was absolutely dreamy. The perfect combination of flavours and textures. Sweet but refreshing. My favourite dish of the night.

And, I don’t have a sweet tooth in general. I don’t do chocolate or anything particularly rich. But Mama Jan…

The mint chocolate cheesecake. Not my brew but the rest of the table seemed delighted.

I’m so pleased I went along to the #EatDrinkSunderland event. Otherwise, I might not have discovered this little diamond.

We all agreed, if that’s the limited Sunderland Restaurant Week menu, and it was THAT good, we’re most definitely returning for their full main menu.

But, if you’ve got some time this weekend, Sunderland Restaurant Week is on until Sunday! Download the voucher for D’Acqua here.

Three courses for £15! I know! Or if you’re not a gluttonous greed like me, you can have two for a tenner. Tell me that’s not a bargain.

But make sure you book, I imagine this place is on everyone’s hit list.

And I’d like to make a special mention about the staff, who were wonderfully attentive, friendly and conversational. You know I’m a stickler for customer service and these guys nailed it.

So go, now. Go on.

Let me know what you think. Tweet me at @ProperScrummy

Lots of love, LB x


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