Food lovers rejoice, as Sunderland Restaurant Week returns to the city from Saturday until Sunday September 17, giving independent cafes and restaurants around the city the opportunity to showcase some unique dishes and tantalising flavours.
During this week foodies can indulge on special two and three-course menus for £10 or £15, as well as daily £5 deals at selected cafes. Now before the city’s food and drink scene transforms and the feast begins, I ventured to the safari supper to get a taste of what this food-filled week will be serving up.
The evening kick-started at the newly refurbished Prosecco Bar, situated within The Funky Indian in Borough Road. The Prosecco Bar has been completely transformed to give fizz fanatics a boudoir-inspired space where they can unwind and enjoy an exclusive selection of Proseccos. Here we sampled glasses of the new rose Prosecco, which was garnished with fresh strawberries, as well as homemade onion bhajis and masala chips. If you like a little bit of luxury or want a proper girly night, then this is definitely the place to be.
For starters we ventured to Asiana, which is nestled in the Echo 24 building, and offers the style and delicacy of Thai and Malaysian cooking, the culinary heritage of China, the diversity of tastes from the islands of Indonesia and the freshness and simplicity of Vietnamese dishes.
I personally love platter-style starters because it means you can have a sample of everything. I dived straight into the sticky ribs – the meat just fell off the bone and tasted super sweet.
The breaded chicken was cooked to perfection, it was so tender and juicy, and complemented the satay sauce amazingly. I also couldn’t resist a duck pancake and crispy seaweed, two of my favourite items at Asiana.
For mains we were invited into the new tipi, which is at the back of Port Of Call in Park Lane. The tipis are going to be a permanent fixture at the rum and meat-inspired eatery, and features its own cocktail bar and leads out onto a miniature garden.
Since this venue is all about the meat it was only fitting that we were served up toppling burgers, hot dogs, platters of meat and American-style mac and cheese. I really enjoyed the chicken burger, so much so, I’d love to head back and sample the classic beef burger. I also had a huge helping of pulled pork, it was sweet, sticky and just left you wanting more.
Dessert is always my favourite and to end the safari supper we visited multiaward-winning tearoom, Serendipity in Frederick Street. Here, I sipped tea from dainty china cups and treated my tastebuds to a homemade rocky road cake. I have to say I’m a little disappointed with myself because I was completely defeated by the cake. The combination of chocolate and gooey marshmallow bits proved too much. It tasted amazing and I would recommend anyone goes to try it, I’m just gutted I filled up on pulled pork.