As you’ve probably noticed, I’m a big fan of the Apartment Group venues and especially their latest addition, The Palm in Sunderland. So, I was thrilled to be invited along to review Liberty Brown, one of five bars and restaurants within The Palm complex on Timber Beach Road.
This experience was complimentary in exchange for an honest review of the restaurant. You can read more about disclosure here.
The Palm houses Wildernest which is a lobster and cocktail cabin, Tropicana, a Caribbean tapas bar as well as the Pineapple Cove Cafe and Liberty Brown, a venue that was used to occupy the entire Palm site but has now been taken under it’s wing of the Apartment Group and rebranded as a stylish steakhouse.
You can read more about The Palm as a whole in my Wildernest review, but as I’m sure you can gather from the above it’s the perfect spot for catch ups, date night, celebrations, family fun and even a good old night out with thanks to it’s interesting and unique venue variety.
We took ourselves along on a Monday afternoon to finish off a lovely long weekend, so Liberty Brown was quiet. A few couples and one or two families whose children had not yet returned to school after half term. It was actually quite nice to be able to see the venue in full effect. I hadn’t been to the venue prior to it being a part of The Palm but I’m told they’ve done a cracking job in refurbishing it.
The decor is trendy yet comfortable and there’s a lush little terrace area overlooking the new Sunderland bridge, the Northern Spire.
We had a little wander out and because of the unusually mild February we’re having, we got a sneaky glimpse into how nice it would be sitting out their in the summer with a cocktail in hand…
Speaking of cocktails, the drinks menu is extensive and is consistent throughout all of The Palm’s venues. A huge and impressive array of cocktails, classics and traditional twists, a variety of quirky gins as well as local craft ales.
Now for the most important part, the food. To begin, I ordered the ‘Posh Mushrooms on Toast’ (£5.95); wild mushrooms served in a delightful rich garlic and creme fraiche sauce and topped onto toasted sourdough. It was really tasty although quite heavy, luckily the portion size was just right for it to not get too sickly.
Dan chose the Sticky Baby Back Ribs (£8.95). The meaty bones were coated in a sweet, almost BBQ-like, sauce. I tried the meat because I’m not a fan of BBQ sauce, and it was incredibly tender. Dan didn’t leave a picking.
And because you cannot visit a steakhouse and not get a juicy steak, I opted for the Picanha Rump Cap, a cut that is popular in Brazil and one I hadn’t heard of nor tried before, served rare. Dan ordered the Sirloin served medium.
Steaks are served with a sweet potato puree, mushrooms, vine roasted cherry tomatoes, onion petals and beef dripping cooked chips. You could also choose a sauce of your choice.
Dan opted for the Spicy Chilli Sauce and myself the Beef Dripping Sauce. We were slightly let down with the chilli number. It wasn’t at all spicy but rather a really nice tomato and herb sauce. It was lovely, but we both like a bit of heat so would have liked a good kick from this. The beef dripping however was amazing! Teamed with those brown, homemade chunky chips it rivalled Miller and Carter…
Everything on the plate was delightful. Both steaks cooked exactly how we requested them and the addition of the onion petals and sweet potato puree added a variety of welcome textures.
The Picanha Rump Cap, which was very similar to your usual rump steak cut, was tender and really juicy. Priced at £17.95 and £23.95 for the Sirloin, we thought they were average prices for a good steak and considering the additions and sides, it was well worth it.
We also ordered aside of Mac and Cheese which was a little on the runny side but had enough flavour. I had the lobster version at the Wildernest and it was spot on – but much to my dismay, Dan doesn’t do seafood…
After not being physically capable of stopping when it came to dipping those chips in the beef dripping and causing a premature food coma, we decided to share a dessert.
We opted for the Salted Caramel Brownie (£5.95) which was every bit as delicious as it sounds. Still warm and gooey and served with a toffee ice cream and lashing of salted caramel, it was the cherry on top of a really impressive meal.
I’ve dined at some incredible steakhouses and honestly, I wasn’t too sure what to expect with Liberty Brown. I’ll admit I was impressed. The meat was good quality and perfectly cooked, steak sides and sauces that you never want to end along with ridiculously indulgent desserts. I’d definitely go back.
Although, now I’m not sure where to choose – Wildernest or Liberty Brown? I do love me some lobster but that beef dripping though… I think it’s only fair that I give Tropicuba a go to make an accurate assessment of my favourite spot at The Palm.
The service must also be mentioned as you know how fussy I am about that. The waitress was lovely and the food timely and well presented, albeit it was a quite Monday afternoon but I haven’t been let down by an Apartment Group venue yet.
Which is your favourite venue at The Palm? Follow me over on Instagram and tag me in your foodie pics when you visit: @properscrumptious.
Lots of love, LB x