REVIEW: Queen Vic, Roker, Sunderland

The Queen Vic at Roker.
The Queen Vic at Roker.
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My memories of the Queen Victoria Hotel begin and end with bog standard Sunday lunches served in the dining area.

So when I heard that the sea-front lodging, in Harbour View, had been given a facelift, and a new menu, I was curious, and certainly not expecting such a modernisation.

The former dining room is now solely a function room, which is yet to open.

But the bar in the previously dated watering hole has been turned into a fairly plush lounge, with earthy tones painted on the walls and a mix of comfortable leather and upholstered furniture.

After stealing a seat in one of the roomy booths, I examined the new bar food menu which boasts seafood, pizza, dishes from the grill and a specials menu.

I chose Cajun spiced calamari to start (£4.95) and a ham, mushroom and onion pizza for main course (£6.95).

My companion chose mozzarella in carrozza, or deep fried mozzarella with tomato sauce, (£3.95), to start, and a pizza with ham, mushroom and peppers for main course.

First course was delivered quickly and in great proportions.

The heap of calamari in dark batter looked a little overcooked.

Thankfully, however, the squid, which came served with crispy side salad and sweet chilli sauce, remained tender, and wasn’t drowning in oil.

Two giant balls of mozzarella swimming in a pool of tomato and basil sauce sat on the opposite plate.

They received praise for the creamy cheese and crunchy coating, though a lot of sauce was left.

Drinks refreshed – all large glasses of wine cost £4.75 – and plates whisked away, the attentive waitresses placed two large rotating pizza boards on the table.

Various condiments and a steaming bowl of fluffy homemade chips also arrived, and we couldn’t wait to get stuck 

Fault couldn’t be found with the thin-based pizza, which was crispy at the crust and topped with deliciously stringy cheese and tasty onions.

My fellow diner also praised the freshly made food, and we were both entertained by the large swivelling pizza boards, which covered the 

Quite a lot of the carbohydrate loaded main courses were left over after shovelling through the food, but there were no complaints.

This isn’t by any means haute cuisine, but for decent pub grub and comfortable surroundings the Queen Vic ticks all the boxes.

Drinks also include lagers such as Carling and Fosters, £3.00 per pint, River Catcher real ale £2.90 a pint and a cocktail menu.

Monica Turnbull