I ALWAYS seem to forget about Thai China when it comes to choosing a place to eat in Sunderland.
I’m not really sure why, as it’s a place that’s got oodles going for it.
Bringing a slice of the Orient to Sunderland, it’s got a contemporary Far Eastern vibe going on with slick decor and a menu that fuses Thai and Chinese delicacies.
Then there’s the location. Situated at the front of the Roker Hotel, it’s got cracking views of the North Sea.
I visited on a Wednesday night with good chum Laura. She’s got a wedding to plan and this seemed as good a place as any to gas about her forthcoming nuptials.
Indeed, this is the perfect place for dates or intimate chats as the tables are well spaced out so you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of your fellow diners or ear-wigging in on their conversations.
We were seated in the bar area where we picked our way through the menu.
There’s stacks to choose from including Asian tapas, mussel pans, soups, salads, curries, wok dishes, fusion cuisine, Chinese classics and banquet options.
The latter start from a minimum of £14.95 per person, but on a Tuesday to Saturday between 5pm and 6.30pm, you can enjoy three courses for £8.95 with a free glass of wine.
Choices made, we were seated at one of the restaurant’s many tables with a view.
Despite the vast choices on offer, we went with a good old staple to start – chicken and sweetcorn soup (£3.50).
It was served promptly and with a smile and was predictably delicious – it’s hard to get this Chinese classic wrong.
For my main, I chose from the Chinese classics section where you can choose from a variety of meats and sauces.
For £10.95, I was presented with a generous portion of prawns in black bean sauce which was immaculately served.
It tasted as good as it looked and though I was stuffed to the gills, I set myself the challenge of finishing every last morsel.
My side order of Thai steamed rice (£2.50) was also well presented in a mound that looked too perfect to be demolished. But it had to be done.
Laura also savoured her choice of stir-fried chicken (£9.50) with wok-fried garlic noodles (£2.50).
Our waitress was keen to know we enjoyed our meal and made sure we were topped up with drinks throughout.
Like the food menu, the drinks menu is pretty extensive with a selection of white wines from Italy, France, South Africa and New Zealand.
The red wine choices will also take your taste buds on a trot round the globe.
Meanwhile, the big spenders can fill their expensive boots with a selection of Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
As much as we hanker after a champagne lifestyle, our lemonade wages meant we went for glasses of house white which will set you back £4.75 a glass.