Food lovers are going to be thrilled as Sunderland is set to serve up its first Restaurant Week. Running from Saturday 24th, September until Sunday 2nd, October, pubs, cafes and restaurants within the city 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. And on the list of eateries were, Cafe Purple, Port Of Call, The Funky Indian, Angelo’s and Sweet Tooth Delivery.
For anyone who doesn’t know what a safari supper is, it’s a social gathering where different courses of a meal are eaten at different people’s houses or in this case restaurants.
To kick-start the safari supper we had nibbles and cocktails at Cafe Purple. A modern cafe combined with a stylish bar, this eatery serves both hot drinks and freshly made cakes, as well as American-style food with a whole 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 have a 2-4-1 cocktail offer on all day – now that’s a fri-yey!
We then ventured next door to Port of Call, which after a one million pound restoration, is a three-story nautical-themed eatery that specialises in meat, seafood and rum. Here, we were treated to even more nibbles. My favourite were definitely 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 was next on our adventure and here we were greeted with a range of tapas starters, including; chilly 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 tastebud.
For mains we headed to Angelo’s Ristorante for some authentic Italian cuisine. Although the eatery served up steak and freshly baked pizza, I was more interested in the award-winning dish, 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 was incredibly creamy and full of flavour. This dish is so popular, it’s being entered into the English Italian Awards 2016 and the restaurant is confident it will come out on top again.
We finished off 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. From freshly made cakes to world famous waffles, there are plenty of delicious delights to indulge on.
After gazing behind the glass at the huge selection of ice creams and cakes, I finally decided on the Skittles cake. This wedge of cake 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 desert home as it was definitely a ‘put on your fat pants’ moment.
So, will you be hitting the city centre for Sunderland’s Restaurant Week? Is there any foodie places in Sunderland you’re dying to try?
Sarah Jayne x