Safari Restaurant Hop | Sunderland Restaurant Week

Calling all North East foodies, Sunderland Restaurant Week starts TOMORROW!

Life has been unbelievably fast paced the past two weeks of my life, believe me. Amongst the hustle and bustle last week, I headed down to Sunderland City Centre with some other NEBloggers for a safari restaurant hop with Sunderland Experience It Here. I bet you’re all thinking, what on earth is a ‘safari restaurant hop’ right? I mean I was thinking the same thing when I was initially invited but, it was actually an amazing idea by the creative minds at SEIH! So basically, how the night unfolded was; arrival drinks and appetisers at Cafe Purple, starters at Royale Thai, main meal at City Bistro and desserts at Port of Call. I mean, it was fair to say I starved myself during the day for this food feast and it didn’t disappoint.

We met at Cafe Purple near Park Lane, where we were faced with a lengthy selection of cocktails… ordinarily I would have taken full advantage of this sort of thing but unfortunately I was driving but, that wasn’t an issue as the lovely staff simply made my desired cocktails in to mocktails! Talk about good customer service so, I wasn’t left out. Then a huge sharing platter was presented to our table, which was the perfect selection of appetisers to be honest… simple yet yummy. I really like Cafe Purple, it’s recently had a huge renovation and turn around brand wise so the place it self has a very luxurious feel and atmosphere, plus let’s not forget to mention their popular drinks offers which run every weekend. If you’re after a bargain on a night out in Sunderland, head to Cafe Purple.

We were then lead to Royale Thai, a fairly new establishment in Sunderland City Centre situated in Mary Street of which I’d heard extremely good things about. We were treated to a sharing platter which was made up of satay chicken, spring rolls, fish cakes, dumplings and various other pastries complemented with two signature Thai sauces. I LOVED the sharing platter since it was an ideal way to try a bite of everything, if I’d of had to pick from the menu, then I don’t know what I would have chosen since they all sounded so good. My favourite was the spring rolls, I just kinda’ love spring rolls. Royale Thai has a really relaxing ora about the place, the dark red interior just instantly makes you feel at peace away from any busy-ness of Sunderland town centre.

After a short break to make sure our food had settled we headed to City Bistro, another new addition to Sunderland’s upping coming restaurant scene. The bistro is actually a part of Sunderland City College a place for aspiring northern chefs to learn their skills and provides customers with 10/10 food. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived, the place is probably the plushiest place in Sunderland right now. I was completely wow’d by the interior, modern layout and fantastic service. We had the choice of a few dishes but I went for the cod which was cooked to absolute perfection, the chunks just fell apart and melted in my mouth plus the lathered pesto presented a freshness to the taste.

Lastly we headed down to Port of Call, my favourite place in the ‘Sunderland scene’ shall we call it. Not only do I love getting dolled up to the nines for a few drinks in here, but I also love the food. Port of Call, as thought in the name is a three-floored nautical-themed bar and restaurant which holds great history of Sunderland’s famous ports. Since it was Pancake Tuesday, the guys at Port of Call were offering pancakes so I could not say no to the strawberry and chocolate pancakes…especially since I hadn’t had any pancakes that day. As we were waiting for the chef to cook up a storm, we were given a dessert sharing platter. It wasn’t just any sharing platter though, it was the THE best dessert platter I’d ever had. There was so much cake porn on one little board it was unbelievable. I went for a few fork fulls of the chocolate cake, which was ever so moist… the way chocolate cake should be! Then came the pancakes, they were proper thick pancakes not like crepes. And then, that was it… I was full to the brim as they say.

I had a fantastic night, sampling dishes from places I’ve never even tried before. I can’t wait to take my boyfriend to Royale Thai since he loves Thai food! During restaurant week you can expect to get two and three-course menus starting from Β£10-15, so get yourself down to Sunderland for a chance to see how the cities food scene has really developed.

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