Food | Karbon Grill, Hilton Garden Inn, Sunderland

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Situated in the Hilton Garden Inn (opposite the Stadium of Light) Karbon Grill is a contemporary kitchen and bar that serves a selection of modern-style cuisine and signature grill dishes. Although the name pays homage to the mining heritage of Sunderland, what I sampled on my visit here was inspired from ‘across the pond’.

The American Sharing Tower* transforms what is a quintessentially an English tradition into a feast filled with American classics. Served in the style of afternoon tea, I found tiers filled with mini calzones, pork and chorizo sliders, buffalo chicken wings, cheese and pickle bites, mini key lime pies, Mississippi mud cakes, pecan tarts and mini milkshakes.

While my palate usually favours sweet, my eyes lit up when I saw the savoury goodies. I tucked into the mini calzones – one was filled with cheese and the other pepperoni. Gone within two bites I could have easily ate them all over again. A soft, dough coating with a gooey centre, these mini pizzas were delicious.

I then picked up the pork and chorizo slider, which comes in the form of a mini burger. Mini buns, topped with mini lettuce, mini cheese, mini meat – and you get the idea. They’re unbelievably cute and completely insta-worthy, and again absolutely delicious.

The ratio of cheese and pickle in the bites was perfect for my palate. These mini balls were like Branston and cheese sandwiches that you could just pop into your mouth.  

Now, I’m not afraid to get a little messy when eating, which is why I left the chicken wings until last. Tender and juicy, the chicken just fell off the bone. I love spice, and although the wings are sprinkled with a hot seasoning it’s the sauce that comes as a side that really packs a punch.

The selection of mini cakes was the ideal way to satisfy my sweet tooth without making me feel overly full. The key lime pie was incredibly zesty and a great palate cleanser before tucking into the chocolate Mississippi cake and the sweet pecan tart.

While I usually wash down my afternoon tea with countless cups of tea, I sat slurping on strawberry milkshake. Personally, since the drink had real strawberry pieces in it, I thought it was more of a yoghurt drink than a milkshake. To be honest this didn’t bother me, as this healthy drink balanced out the cakes and carbs I’d just indulged on, or at least I’d like to think so!

Have you been to the Karbon Grill before? Have you ever tried American-style afternoon tea?

Sarah Jayne x

*I received a complimentary afternoon tea in exchange for a review. The review is completely honest, and all words and opinions are my own.

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