New venue aims to be ‘best restaurant in Sunderland’

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A chef who’s worked in some of the region’s top kitchens is helping city students to cook up a storm in Sunderland’s newest restaurant.

Kelvin Linstead’s CV includes stints at Peace & Loaf in Jesmond, Jesmond Dene House and Slaley Hall in Northumberland.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.
Restaurant manager Himal Arachchi and head chef Kelvin Linstead

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant. Restaurant manager Himal Arachchi and head chef Kelvin Linstead

Now he’s taking on a new culinary challenge by heading up the kitchen at City Bistro, the commercial restaurant housed within Sunderland College’s new city centre campus.

Though it’s based within the college, the restaurant is open to members of the public and hopes to follow the success of The Lounge, the college’s former eatery at the Hylton Road campus.

Diners can choose from a seasonal menu which is devised by Kelvin and prepared, with his help, by the college’s catering students.

Kelvin said: “I’ve worked with apprentices before, but this is completely different. It’s a great experience for the students, I’ve worked in lots of kitchens but there’s not many that are up to the standard of this one.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

“I don’t like the term ‘fine dining’ but the food we’re doing here is of a really high standard and is different to any other restaurant in the city centre. We’re already getting some great feedback on social media.”

Dishes on the current menu include crispy pork belly with chorizo and butternut squash and seabass with sprouting broccoli, fondant and chive cream.

The 80-seater restaurant is open for lunch on Wednesdays and lunch and dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It’s run by restaurant manager Himal Arachchi who’s worked at numerous Hilton UK restaurants, as well as at a five star resort in the Maldives.

He most recently opened the Karbon Grill at Sunderland’s Hilton Garden Inn.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.
Head chef Kelvin Linstead

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant. Head chef Kelvin Linstead

Himal says that business is building steadily as people realise they aren’t just a restaurant for college students.

He said: “We really believe we have one of the best restaurants in Sunderland. We have really high standards here and want to make sure the service is impeccable and elegant and the food is proper, modern, British cuisine.

“Diners get great food at affordable prices, while the students are given a great platform to learn about the industry.”

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.
Head chef Kelvin Linstead

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant. Head chef Kelvin Linstead

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.
Head chef Kelvin Linstead

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant. Head chef Kelvin Linstead

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.

Sunderland College City Centre Campus, City Bistro restaurant.