See inside Catch 22 as we review the quirky new chippie in Seaburn
One thing the seafront isn’t short of is chippies, but newcomer Catch 22 is reeling in diners with its quirky take on the Sunderland staple.
The unit in Seaburn, part of the Shore Amusements arcade, has long been a fish and chip shop – but never quite like this.
Catch 22, from the people behind nearby Martino’s, stays true to its chippie roots, while also providing some more unusual seafood options and a keen attention to detail in the decor.
For the fish and chip faithful you can still order your chippie tea at the counter and eat it on the promenade, but for those wanting to sit in there’s a quirky dining space that seats around 20 people, as well as four-legged friends.
With its corrugated iron walls filled with seafaring images and ceiling festooned with fishing nets and lobster pots, it’s trendier than your average chippie whilst fitting in with its locality.
The menu too batters some of the opposition with a range of tacos, half a local lobster (£13.95) and pan fried sea bass (£8.95) available on top of the classics such as cod (£4.80), tray of chips (£2), spam fritter (£1.80) and Whitby scampi (£4.80). The only Catch 22 situation you’ll find yourself in here is whether to break your January diet on the classic or quirkier options.
I was tempted by the sounds of pepperoni pizza-loaded fries (£4), which looked as sinful as they sound, but ended up falling hook, line and sinker for the tacos.
You can choose from fish, beef, chicken, halloumi, prawn or squid tacos, which all come with chilli mayo, salad, coleslaw and chips and are made fresh to order so you can adapt it if you don’t want any of the extras.
Prices start from £7.95 (two for £10 on Wednesdays), which sounds on the pricey side but you get a huge portion for your pounds.
You order at the counter but it’s brought to your table and it wasn’t long before we were tucking into our huge taco boxes which bear the stylish Catch 22 branding.
I went for the halloumi option and got three huge slabs in a soft, flour taco with heaps of fresh salad. It would have been enough on its own to be fair, but the coleslaw, a perfect balance of creamy and crunchy without being heavy on the onion, was too good to leave.
The chip shop chips, fat but not overly greasy, were also just what I needed after a brisk walk along the seafront.
There’s no alcohol licence on the site so drinks-wise it’s the usual chippie suspects of pop, coffee, tea and Bovril. There’s no bathrooms either, but space is at a premium here and you can go next door to Martino’s to use the facilities.
With its trendy take on a chippy and its broader offering than some of its contemporaries, Catch 22 fits in well with the ongoing seafront regeneration, which will see the Stack shipping container village open in spring, bringing even more diversity to the area.