Food-lovers are in for a treat as Sunderland serves up its first restaurant week later this month.
Running from September 24 to October 2, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be offering a variety of daytime deals, as well as two and three courses, from £5 to £15.
Before Sunderland Restaurant Week transforms the city’s food and drink scene, I was invited on a safari supper to sample dishes from some of the restaurants that are taking part of this food-filled week. The list of eateries were, Cafe Purple, Port Of Call, The Funky Indian, Angelo’s and Sweet Tooth Delivery.
To kick-off the safari supper we had nibbles and cocktails at Cafe Purple in Park Lane. A modern eatery combined with a stylish bar, it serves both hot drinks and freshly made cakes, as well as American-style food with a host of cocktails.
Content with a zesty Tom Collins cocktail and a platter of cheese, crackers and dips, I could have easily stopped here all evening. I’m definitely going to return, as every Friday Cafe Purple has a two-for-one cocktail offer on all day .
We then ventured next door to Port of Call, which after a £1million investment, is a three-story nautical themed eatery that specialises in meat, seafood and rum.
Here we were treated to even more nibbles. My favourite was the bite-sized burgers, and if these minis are anything to go by, I can’t wait to return to sample the full-sized ones.
The Funky Indian in Borough Road was next and we were greeted with tapas starters, including chilli tikka poppers, okra and cauliflower Manchurian, masala chips and lamb kebabs.
Inspired by traditional Indian street food, these dishes were a feast for the senses. From crispy coatings and sweet sauces to a sprinkling of spice and tender meats, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud.
For mains we headed to Angelo’s Ristorante in Sunniside for some authentic Italian cuisine. Although they served up steak and freshly baked pizza, I was more interested in the award-winning strozzapreti con salsiccia e friarielli. This is handmade twisted pasta with homemade sausage, Neapolitan broccoli, cream of provolone cheese topped with crispy sundried tomato bread.
I’m not usually a pasta fan, but this dish totally won me over. The pasta was so soft and the sauce incredibly creamy and full of flavour. The dish is so popular it is being entered into the English Italian Awards 2016.
We finished the evening with a visit to the king of cake, Sweet Tooth Delivery. This hidden gem nestled on High Street West is an emporium of sweet treats.
After gazing through the glass at the huge selection of ice creams and cakes, I finally decided on the Skittles cake. It had six layers inside, each of which were brightly coloured, finished with a thick layer of buttercream icing and topped with Skittles. Although you can sit in, I chose to take my dessert home as it was definitely a ‘put on your fat pants’ moment.