Review: The Olive Cafe, Olive Street, Sunderland

The Olive Cafe in Olive Street, Sunderland.
The Olive Cafe in Olive Street, Sunderland.
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TUCKED away in the corner of the bustling Olive Cafe, I was suffering from severe menu envy.

Operation Bikini for a much-needed holiday is well under way, so I’m stuffing my face with healthy grub and packing in the exercise before I jump on a jet plane.

Luckily, the cafe offers a wide range of salads and a houmous, olive and rocket combination seemed just the job for a light lunch.

I even passed over an alluring range of luxurious hot chocolate in favour of a refreshing and naturally caffeine-free pot of redbush tea.

Since I’m flying solo, my partner had no need to rein in his appetite and went for a delicious combination of Wiltshire ham, sliced egg, salad, mayo and BBQ sauce, on brown.

This was accessorised in the calorie stakes by the fantastically-named Millionaire Hot Chocolate – hot chocolate topped with a decadent blend of honeycomb, cream and marshmallows.

My salad was served on a large, colourful plate and was well presented, surrounded by a swirl of balsamic vinegar.

The peppery taste of the rocket offset the smooth houmous and salty green olives, but I have to admit him opposite scored big with his sandwich choice.

Freshly-prepared fillings had been packed into a soft brown sub and it was full of flavour, with the Wiltshire ham giving it a definite edge over run-of-the-mill ham sarnies.

His Millionaire Hot Chocolate was so good I had to sit on my hands so I didn’t wrestle it from his grasp.

Not quite sated, he followed up with a slice of New York-style cheesecake, dolloped with fruit coulis.

Baked in the oven until it’s firm and creamy, this American dessert definitely has the edge over its biscuit-bottomed UK cousin.

The Olive Cafe serves up a range of sandwiches, salads, jacket potatoes, toasties and paninis until 4pm, with locally-sourced bacon and sausage breakfast butties before 11.30am.

There’s also a wide range of teas and coffee, as well as the aforementioned mouthwatering desserts and hot chocolates.

If you need any more encouragement, the decor is modern, but comfortable and the staff are welcoming.

Lunch came to £14.49, with a pop star sighting thrown in for free, as we spied one of The Futureheads also enjoying his grub.