Popular Metro Centre Lebanese restaurant opens its first Sunderland takeaway

A popular MetroCentre restaurant has opened its first Sunderland takeaway after noticing a gap in the market for Lebanese cuisine.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:50 am

Fattoush Lounge has already built up a loyal following at its base in the yellow mall in the MetroCentre and is now bringing its authentic Middle Eastern dishes to Chester Road.

Fattoush Express has opened after renovating a former fish and chip shop, creating five new jobs.

As well as classic shawarma and charcoal grill dishes, there’s a range of mezze available, such as falafel, hummus and tabbouleh, as well as Lebanese pastries, traditional dishes such as moussaka and a broad selection of vegan and vegetarian options – including the namesake fattoush salad, which is a staple dish in Lebanon.

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Fattoush Express in Chester Road

The takeaway, which will also have a small number of tables for dining in when permitted to do so, has been brought to the city by business partners Abdullah Aldarwech and Ahmed Kurkmas.

Abdullah said: “Fattoush Lounge has built up a lot of customers in the MetroCentre, and we will be reopening it when permitted. We noticed a lack of places doing Lebanese food in Sunderland, however, and when this unit became available it seemed a good location.

"It’s a busy road and we’re a corner unit with large windows so it’s good for catching people’s eyes when they’re passing. A lot of our MetroCentre customers are from Sunderland so they were really pleased when they saw we were opening here. Takeaway food is very popular at the minute, as it’s one of the only things people can do in lockdown, so, although it’s a risk, it’s also a good time to open.”

The business, which is open seven days a week from 11am to midnight, has only been open a matter of days but Abdullah says he’s already pleased with the feedback so far.

Abdullah Aldarwech (left) and Ahmed Kurkmas outside of Fatoush, Chester Road, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

"We’re still getting our name out there, but it’s gone well so far,” he said.

*Fattoush Express is available for telephone orders on 0191 3400 489, as well as on the standard delivery apps. Its own website will also be launching in the coming weeks.

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Preparing a chicken shawarma at Fattoush Express
Meats on the charcoal grill
Fresh food prepairted at Fattoush, Chester Road, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID
The takeaway is in a former fish and chip shop in Chester Road
Falafel from the mezze menu
Middle Eastern classic hummus from the Fattoush menu
Fresh food prepared at Fattoush, Chester Road, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID
Fresh food prepared at Fattoush, Chester Road, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID