You must have heard of The Palm, right? Sunderland’s latest establishment to offer not just one, not two but five different bars and eateries – all in one place!
It’s a new venture by The Apartment Group, that clever lot behind Le Petit Chateau, Holy Hobo and As You Like It as well as many more of your favourite North East spots. I paid The Palm, Sunderland a visit on their launch night and whilst it wasn’t quite finished, you could tell it would be quite special.
Tropicuba is one venue, their Cuban themed bar and tapas number. Then there is Pineapple Cove, a laidback and incredibly Instagrammable cafe. The third is The Garden, an outdoor, street food filled section of The Palm that will be absolutely gorgeous in the warmer months and the fourth is the Liberty Brown, the Sunderland steakhouse.
I returned to sample Wildernest, my favourite (so far) of the venues, to sample their food offering away from the hustle and bustle of their much anticipated opening event.
Wildernest is a ski-lodge-esque, cosy little venue filled with fire, fur and lots of wood. It prides itself on an extensive drinks menu – including a gin tree, folks! But it also has a gorgeous looking food menu. It has everything from classic British pub grub to a full lobster and seafood menu.
Before we get into the scran, I want to give a huge shoutout to our waitress for the evening, Sarah. Full of stories, giggles and fabulous customer service. She couldn’t have been more attentive and recommended a new grapefruit craft ale to us, that was absolutely cracking…
The menu has something for everyone, a half lobster to mince and dumplings. Such a contrasting variety can sometimes feel out of place but it didn’t.
To start, we went for the Halloumi Fries – which in fairness, we knew would be pretty damn good after our visit to sister venue Holy Hobo. The second order was for the Salt and Pepper Calamari.
The portions should not be underestimated. Their was enough Calamari to feed two, if not more. But it’s so good, you really don’t want to share.
The halloumi was just as good as it was at the Holy Hobo, served with aioli and pomegranates. Just enough seasoning, if not bordering on the salty side, but definitely to our taste.
The calamari had a cracking peppery kick, but not enough to disguise the taste of the squid.
For the main, I ordered the rump steak which was served to my liking. I opted for rare (always) and it arrived carved. The steak was melt-in-the-mouth delightful. Cooked well with a definite char-grill taste.
Daniel went for the Steak Burger (again, always) and said, that whilst the patty itself was a little dry, teamed with the smoky bacon, mayo and fresh salad it was very, very tasty.
We were also super naughty and got two sides of mac and cheese. The original number for DK and the lobster mac and cheese for me.
I’m going to be super honest… it rivalled Miller and Carter. The lobster chunks were huge, the mac soft and the cheese plentiful. I could have ate a bowl of it on it’s todd.
We were just a little too full for desert, but after everything else had been so bloody good, we decided to go a step too far and order a Sticky Toffee Pudding to share.
And my goodness were we pleased. I’m not even joking, I would order a glass of the sticky toffee sauce to drink it was that good. Soft yet sticky sponge with a creamy vanilla ice cream made the perfect combination. Despite how stuffed we were, we regretted not ordering one each – literally fighting over the remnants of toffee sauce.
I’ve actually been back to The Palm a couple of times since for drinks and it’s just a cracking little spot. Fair enough, it’s slightly out of the way of Sunderland City Centre but you could spend a full day here and feel like you were bar hopping.
I’m desperate to go back and spend an evening with tapas and wine in their Cuban inspired Tropicuba. I think it would make such a gorgeous little date night.
Have you been yet? Please give it a whirl if you haven’t, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop me a tweet @ProperScrummy.
Lots of love, LB x