It’s my favourite time of year in Sunderland again! Sunderland Restaurant Week returns for the fourth time on Saturday 17th until Sunday 25th March 2018, with plenty of top-notch bars, cafes and restaurants involved!
I’m sure many people who read this realise I’m actually from Sunderland. I mainly tell people I’m from the North East as surrounding areas like Newcastle are only a stone’s throw away from Sunderland.
The idea behind Restaurant Week is fantastic! I think the inspiration came from NE1 Restaurant Week which is the Newcastle versions of events, where locals and tourists if you’re in the area, get the chance to try new eateries at bargain prices! Sunderland Restaurant Week offers deals from as little as £5, £10 or £15pp, cheap as chips… no pun intended. It would be rude not to take advantage of the event, really.
Sunderland’s had a massive facelift recently which has been a long time coming for us locals and it’s amazing to see organisations like Eat Drink Sunderland bring some excitement to the cities foodie scene!
This is the third time I’ve been invited along to this fabulous event along with a handful of other North East Bloggers. I was looking forward to discovering and exploring what’s new on the menu of restaurants in the city centre!
The itinerary for the evening was as follows:
– El Nido, for cocktails/mocktails and canapes.
– 2 Church Lane, Church Lane for starters.
– The Engine Room, for the main course.
– The Peacock, for dessert.
These are all relatively new venues to the city centre and I was excited to see what each one had to offer as I’d never been to any before!
Let’s start with the canapes at El Nido! El Nido is a Mexican Restaurant situated on one of the busiest streets in the city! Sunderland has been desperate for a good Mexican for as long as I can remember. There’s been a lot of hype around the place on Facebook and local groups so I was intrigued to see what the fuss was about.
During Sunderland Restaraunt week you can expect Starter & burrito or two tacos for £10, and add a dessert, or cocktail for £15 from El Nido.
Inside, the interior has a very traditional Mexican style, dark mood lighting and the place has a very relaxing, laid-back atmosphere. It’s always happy hour at El Nido as they have an after 5 pm offer on which is 2 cocktails for JUST £10!
We were given miniatures from the existing menu and their new menu launching especially for Restaraunt week. My favourite was the Fire Chicken Tostada! Tostadas are mini tortillas! The chicken was tender, melting in the mouth topped with a spicy sauce, which did take my breath away I have to admit! It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be heading back there soon to try those again as a proper starter.
2 Church Lane
We then headed to 2 Church Lane for starters, throughout restaurant week you can grab a burger and fries for JUST £5, or two courses for £10, or three courses for £15.
2 Church Lane is the coolest place in town these days! I’d go as far as to say it’s the go-to place if you’re after a meat feast in Sunderland. Veggies don’t have to miss out on the fun as they have great vegetarian alternatives and even have vegan buns. The eatery also has a long list of fruity cocktails and an impressive list of beers. The place is perfect for a date night with the other half or a catch up with the girls! I loved the feel of 2 Church Lane, it’s very shabby chic and alternative inside.
We were given an array of delicious starters and a few burgers to have a bite of to get the full experience. Their menu of burgers is very creative, there are some unthinkable combinations that work so well! The food we tried really was 10/10, especially the halloumi fries!
The Engine Room
Next on the safari for mains was The Engine Room.
I was most looking forward to visiting this establishment for a number of reasons, one being it holds a lot history since it’s rose from the ashes of the Old Fire Station off High Street West, which lay derelict for 22 years! Artefacts from another derelict fire station in Sunderland, have also been incorporated in the interiors including its signage. The Engine Room was reopened for business as part of the city’s new cultural hub. And secondly, it’s had a lot of Royal attention recently as Kate and Will paid the place a visit a few weeks ago!
The Engine room is offering three courses for £15 for the event.
It’s magnificent inside, very cosy meaning I felt at home straight away. The pub offers traditional pub grub so that’s exactly we tried! Again, we were given a selection of main courses from their menu and I must say the fish and chips are definitely something to write home about. Absolutely divine! We were told that in the summer they’d be serving alcoholic frozen cocktails and sorbet, so we got the chance to cleanse our pallets with a Pornstar Martini flavoured sorbet! I can’t wait to go back.
Last but not least, we had a very short walk to The Peacock, the sister site to The Engine Room which is offering three courses for £15 over the dates.
The Peacock is another monumental, Grade I-listed building in Sunderland City Centre! The premises has been an iconic part of Sunderland nightlife over the years including the legendary club, Flares which my Mam tells me was the best place in the town back in the day. Fast forward to the present day, it’s now named after a coaching inn which stood on the site from 1770 to 1834.
We were treated to dessert at The Peacock where out sweet teeth were exposed to homemade brownies and cheesecake! I went for the brownies, my favourite dessert, which was accompanied with a few scoops of jaffa cake ice cream. It was mouth-wateringly good! I need to go back, just for that ice cream!
I was absolutely stuffed after indulging in the many delicacies offered on the safari and I slept well after, I’ll tell you that!
I’ll definitely be taking advantage of the offers over Sunderland Restaurant Week! If you’re wondering what restaurants are taking part, you can find out here, enjoy!