First look around Borneo Bistro before the popular Sunderland takeaway cafe reopens - and this is what's on the new menu

It’s been a long 14 months for the owners of Borneo Bistro and customer’s are more than excited at the prospect of popular eatery reopening.

Saturday, 16th November 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 16th November 2019, 12:21 pm

In September 2018, the Hylton Road business was destroyed in a devastating fire and the owners Kevin and Remy Smith have spent more than a year rebuilding.

But now an official opening day has been set and staff will be taking customers orders from 9am on Monday, November 18.

Taking a look inside the completely refurbished build, Kevin showed off the brand new kitchen and the stunning artwork which graces every wall.

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Inside the the new Borneo Bistro

And it’s fair to say the community can’t wait for their beloved Borneo’s to reopen. In less than an hour, more than a dozen people stopped Kevin in the street, pulled up in their cars and even stuck their head under the shutters to ask when the popular restaurant would reopen.

The phone rung non-stop with customers asking the same question – and one even tried to prematurely to order the crispy chicken.

But it hasn’t been an easy journey for Kevin and speaking to the Echo he admitted at times he wanted to give up.

“There were times when I really wanted to just quit, I wasn’t going to open but it’s the customers that say ‘no you’ve got to get back, we love Borneo’s’. It’s the customers that made me come back – they’re the ones that make me excited,” said Kevin.

A selection of around 30 of the dishes on offer

“Everywhere I go I get stopped, it’s a nice feeling – people have been fantastic.

“Fourteen months to see it to go from an absolute burnt out shell to this, it has just been a lot of hard work. All the builders involved, all the staff, chef’s planning, my planning – there’s been a lot of hard work to get it right.

When the doors reopen on Monday, customers will be able to order all of their old favourites but there will also be a number of new items on the menu – with dishes from 13 nationalities.

New dishes on the menu include: Beef Flank Stew, Satay Chicken Nasi Lemak, Japanese Chicken Teriyaki, Japanese Chicken Curry, Taiwanese Braised Pork, Chicken Satay Stir Fry, Sambal Babi and Beef Stir Fry in a Hot Beans Sauce and even a Fillapino breakfast.

Borneo Bistro owner Kevin Smith says he almost quit but the support of the customers have kept him going

Kevin said: “I’m very excited about opening, nervous as well. It’s whether or not we can cope with the demand, it’s been absolutely crazy the feedback that we’ve had.

“[The decoration] has took four months to actually paint by hand. My friend who did it is a tattoo artist but he’s a local artist as well – so in between his job he’s been coming and doing this. I’m excited for people to see it.

“We’re keeping all of the same dishes, the crispy chicken, beef rendang, the lemon chicken – all of the favourites. But we’re going to be adding a Japanese chicken curry, Japanese teriyaki, a Borneo dish called Nasi Lemak, in the future there’s going to be a special al a carte menu.

“We’re also going to put the Filipino breakfast on the menu as well which you can get all day long.”

Borneo Bistro owner Kevin Smith delighted the eatery is due to re-open following the fire.

Borneo Bistro is set to reopen on Monday, November 18 at 9am.

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There's seating inside for 24 people.