REVIEW: Juniper’s at Justice, Bar Justice, Sunniside, Sunderland

Outside view of Bar Justice in Sunniside, Sunderland.
Outside view of Bar Justice in Sunniside, Sunderland.
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BRITISH classics fused with tapas-style tit bit dining sounded right up my street when I heard it was the plan for Bar Justice’s foray into good food.

So I arrived at the Sunniside bar last week on the first day of its new venture with Juniper’s Pantry with an eager knife and fork in hand.

The nice folk at Juniper’s Pantry in Barnes have long had my patronage due to their utterly delicious food which never fails to satisfy my taste buds.

But its Justice menu has a quirky character of its own.

The concept is “British tapas” so instead of ordering one large main meal you can gorge on a pick ‘n’ mix selection of small dishes.

There’s fish, meat and vegetarian sections boasting tantalising treats including North Sea fish cakes with chive creme fraiche (£3.50); confit duck sausage with sweet potato purée, tomato and tarragon gravy (£3.50) and sautéed mushrooms with tarragon, confit garlic and brandy sauce (£3).

My chum Helen and I felt a little overwhelmed by the choice so decided to go for the easiest option: Juniper’s Pork Sharing Board which can serve two to four people.

You get plenty for your pennies, the price tag is £18 for two people, with a board laden with deep fried hot scotch egg and English mustard; pressed ham hock and pease pudding terrine and house piccalilli; crackled rare breed Tamworth pork belly with apple chutney; baked home-made sausage roll and pan-fried black pudding served with potato salad and artisan bread.

Before we’d seen how big the board was, we’d also ordered a crispy rock oyster with spicy chorizo and shallots (£1.50) and scallop wrapped in pancetta with home made black pudding (£3.50) as both sounded too good to miss.

The tapas treats are designed with grazing in mind and they’re perfect to pick your way through for a leisurely lunch or post-work pick-me-up.

The food was stodgy yet scrumptious and, though we were both full pretty quickly, we battled back in a bid to try and finish the sharing board.

We were defeated, but we savoured every bite, especially the homemade sausage roll which knocks socks off Greggs’ typical offering.

The scallop too was practically perfect in every way.

Since the bar relaunched itself earlier this month, there’s also been changes to the drinks menu which now offers a large range of cocktails.

During offer periods you can pick up two for £6 from a choice of mojitos, daiquiris, margaritas and more.

Other tipples set to get you licking your lips include the raspberry balsamic caipiroska, a fusion of raspberry and balsamic liqueur (£5) and the delicious-sounding raspberry cheesecake martini (£5).

Various live acts have also been lined up to perform at the bar with Frankie Francis from Frankie & the Heartstrings performing a live DJ set there on Sunday to coincide with a Bank Holiday barbeque.

l Juniper’s British tapas is available at Bar Justice Tuesday to Thursday between 4pm and 8pm and Friday and Saturday between noon and 8pm.