It’s that time of year again. Yep, Sunderland Restaurant Week has returned and I was lucky enough to e involved in a ‘Safari Supper’ – a walking tour of a handful of the exciting restaurants taking part in the event around the city, sampling a different course in each.
Sunderland Restaurant Week is organised by Sunderland BID and has almost 40 restaurants taking part, offering dining deals from as little as £5.00 per person during the 7 day event. You can see the full list of eateries involved on their website, but I’ve put together my own guide of recommendations based on the food we sampled as we restaurant-hopped across town and the venue who’s restaurant week menus has really tickled my pickle…
808 Bar and Kitchen
To kick the evening off, we headed to 808 Bar and Kitchen on St Thomas Street for our first course. This little gem has been open less than a month and is owned by two Sunderland local lads responsible for the popular club night, Haze.
The interior is just gorgeous. Asian inspired pink blossoms crawling across the high ceilings, bottle green booths and copper fixtures gives it that quirky, industrial style feel but with jungle vibes. Oh, it also has a vibrant leaf covered wall perfect for Instagram shots and the MOST AMAZING ladies loo.
Anyway, enough about the interior, you’re here for the food. Although, this is definitely a spot you can head to just for drinks and a buzzing atmosphere. 808 Bar and Kitchen are offering 2 courses for a tenner or 3 for £15 from a set menu throughout Sunderland Restaurant Week.
We were served a whole range of starters including calamari, ribs, nachos and burger sliders. There wasn’t anything the group didn’t enjoy but I certainly had my favourites.
For me, the halloumi fries were a dream. A crunchy panko breadcrumb coating and soft, salty cheese served with a moreish sweet chilli mayo. If you’re a halloumi fan, (who isn’t?) then you’re missing a trick if you don’t give this dish a go.
Most of the table also raved about the Spicy Garlic Pepper Prawns too! I thought they were slightly too strong, too much garlic and salt for my taste but they went down an absolute treat with everyone else. If you like garlic and a good kick, try these.
808 also has a extensive burger list, which can be ordered as sliders or a full main course. The ‘Enter the Dragon’ Chinese themed burger was a highlight around the table. A salt and pepper chicken burger doused in a Chinese curry sauce, the slider was just too small for something this good.
My favourite however was the Fat Bob’s Burger. As you know, I’m not necessarily a burger fan so this was a more traditional option with a thick beef patty, bacon, Gouda cheese, dill pickle, sautéed onions, American mustard and a burger sauce. Whilst it might not be as creative as some of the other menu choices (and there are some crackers amongst it!), it was still a huge stacked burger with well balanced flavours and not too much going on so that you can really enjoy the meat.
We didn’t get to sample a main course at 808 but I’ve been well informed that their pizzas are absolutely incredible. They have a mouthwatering wood fired pizza menu , many of which are included on their Sunderland Restaurant Week menu and will definitely be what I order on my next visit.
The Pickle was where we enjoyed our main course. They flooded us with a huge range of menu options including burgers, fried chicken platters and dirty fries.
Situated on Vine Place, The Pickle is another beautiful little venue with attentive, friendly staff and lush decor. Great for drinks from their funky cocktail and gin menu or to grab a bite to eat this week. They’re offering any burger, cake slice and a soft drink for just £5. £5!
There’s something for everyone on the restaurant week menu including a monster breakfast burger and Middle East inspired vegan burger. But I’d recommend the Southern Fried Chicken, tender chicken breast, ranch slaw and blue cheese dressing in a brioche bun and served with beef dripping fries.
I also highly, highly, recommend getting a side portion of their Bacon, Halloumi and Hash Brown bites. You may succumb to a painful food coma but trust me, they will be worth it. They are every bit as ridiculous as they sound, cubes of fried halloumi, tiny chunks of hash brown and stripes of crispy streaky bacon.
The lovely lot at The Pickle also gave us all a cute cupcake to take away at the end from Milly’s Cake Junkies. Check them out on Instagram, their bakes are incredible! The raspberry and white chocolate cupcake I tried was just divine. The perfect accompaniment to catch up on Bake Off.
The Looking Glass
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the last restaurant for dessert but I did pop my head in to the venue, The Looking Glass. It’s a unique little Alice in Wonderland themed bistro on Athenaeum Street. I am gutted I couldn’t stay but Deb from My Boys Club tells you all about it in her blog here. She also visited two different restaurants, The Peacock and The Governor Casino Restaurant, which I think might just surprise you! Dining in a casino isn’t something I’d normally consider but that salmon looks amazing and the deal they’re offering throughout the week is cracking – take a look.
There are so many Sunderland Restaurant Week deals and offers available, but after extensively eyeing up each menu I’ve put together the establishments that I’d most like to try during the event;
Bean and Grape
This cute and quirky venue calls itself a Caffeine House, Hydration Station and Baking Emporium using
locally sourced produce to create some incredibly Instagramable scran! They’re offering any sandwich or toastie and a hot drink for just £5.00.
The North East’s first authentic Egyptian restaurant, complete with furnishings and decor imported from the land of the pharaohs itself, I’m desperate to try their Sunderland Restaurant Week menu – two courses for £10 or three for £15.
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El Nido Mexicana
Specialising in tacos and cocktails, this Mexican restaurant has some hellish reviews. Tucked away on Fredrick Street El Nido Mexican are offering;
- Two tacos dishes and a side for £10
- Burrito and a side for £10
- or add a cocktail to either deal for £15
Sunderland Restaurant Week kicks off on Saturday 8th September 2018 and runs up until the 16th. Don’t forget to hashtag #EatDrinkSunderland when grammin’ your food too.
Let me know where you end up, drop me a tweet @ProperScrummy.
Lots of love, LB x