Friday, 8 September 2017

Sunderland Restaurant Week | Saturday 9th - Sunday 17th September 2017

Sunderland isn't a place I visit often, to be honest the last time I was there was to try out the football ground's Sunday lunch and the time before that was most likely to attend the first Safari supper. Like Middlesbrough, I think that Sunderland is going through a little bit of a revamp. The foodie scene is definitely upping its game and now it's hosting its third Restaurant Week. Nearly 50 restaurants are signed up to bring hungry guests some fantastic deals on food from Saturday 9th September to Sunday 17th. I was invited along with other local bloggers to try out some of the restaurants taking part in a 'safari supper'.

We started our trek in a restaurant I'd visited on the first Safari Supper, the Funky Indian/Prosecco Bar, and enjoyed canapés and drinks. Since I'd last been there they'd had a little switch up and now the Prosecco Bar is situated downstairs and the restaurant is on the ground floor. We heard all about the various Proseccos they serve at the bar and were treated to some delicious onion bhajis and masala fries.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Prosecco Bar
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Prosecco Bar

After accidentally eating too much of the gorgeous canapés in the Prosecco bar, it was time to move on to Asiana Fusion which was situated on the riverside. They served up the starter part of our meal which was a selection of Asian favourites including Satay chicken, duck parcels and vegetable spring rolls. During restaurant week they will be offering three courses for £15.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Asiana Fusion

After tucking in at Asiana Fusion, it was time to hop in a Station Taxi (sponsor of Restaurant Week, offering a £5 off voucher!) across to Port of Call's new teepee tent bar. Having already visited Port of Call at the previous event, I knew what to expect from the main venue but walking into the teepee was something else. It was such a gorgeous place to be and whilst we were there, we were treated to our main meal which was an abundance of meat. We had loads of different items offered to us including hot dogs, brisket, chicken burgers and mac n cheese. This is definitely one for the meat eaters and during restaurant week you can get two courses for £15.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Port of Call teepee
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Port of Call teepee
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets

When we'd finished getting our fill at Port of Call, we jumped in a taxi again which took us to our final destination, Serendipity Tea and Trinkets. Inside it was very cosy and cute with lots of knick knacks adorning the walls. At the back was a selection of cakes that we could try, and as I usually do, I picked the most chocolately one - Death by Chocolate. Accompanied by a cup of tea it was delicious. It was a great place to finish the night and after hearing the deal that they are doing during restaurant week, I think I might be back soon! They're offering a pot of speciality tea, a piece of cake and a bag of tea to take away for only £5.

As someone who is passionate about the North East, I loved being back in Sunderland to see what it has to offer so that I can spread the word about another part of our region. If you live in Sunderland or fancy the travel, I'd definitely suggest checking out the website to see what deals are on for Restaurant Week!

Let me know if you try any new places out that you think I'd like!
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Taking on the challenge at Man vs Food Grill House, Middlesbrough

I've been extremely lucky to be invited to try out a couple of exciting restaurants and bars recently including Sunderland FC's Riverside Brasserie and the Potting Shed in Northallerton. Another invite popped into my inbox last week which was for the new Man vs Food Grill House opening in Middlesbrough. With locations already in South Shields, Newcastle and Consett, Middlesbrough was just another string to its bow lower down in the country. Boasting massive portions, extreme challenges and amazing meat, it was time to try...

I popped down after work the day before it's official opening with my friend Kirsty. Having booked the earliest slot, the restaurant was relatively quiet when we arrived but soon enough it was full of excited people ready to get their first try of this exciting new venue.


The menu is pretty vast with options from burgers to full sandwiches, meat platters and parmos. With so much choice it was hard to decide what we were going to try. After quite a time browsing the menu, I decided on the brisket pickle 'bad boy sandwich' whilst Kirsty chose the pulled beef. When they arrived we were both plesantly suprised by the sheer size of the portion we were being served. My sandwich was piled high with meat, pickles, coleslaw and chips, and with this I got a portion of chips and a side of pit beans. Kirsty's pulled beef was in a neat little dish topped with hot peri peri sauce accompanied by fries and coleslaw.

There was no way I was going to be able to pick up my sandwich and eat it conventionally. I did try, but it was not possible, so I went at it with a knife and fork. It was very tasty but also super filling and when I couldn't eat anymore, I still had quite a bit left. The side of pit beans was very tasty, like a bbq-style baked beans. Kirsty enjoyed her pulled beef, but again the mass of food beat her.


We were seriously feeling full at this point having taken on our main meal and failed miserably. We did however feel like the amazing-sounding dessert menu deserved to be taken on. Filled with cheesecakes and waffles, the dessert menu is the stuff dreams are made of. We decided on a cheesecake each, and then made the decision to have half of each others. I chose the Nutella whilst Kirsty went for Aero mint chocolate. Again the size of these desserts was ginorous. There was no way we were going to finish half let alone a full portion. We had a good few bites and decided the rest had to be boxed up to come home. Our favourite was definitely the Nutella one as the Aero just wasn't chocolately enough for us!


Although this restaurant might be considered an expensive choice, the portions they serve are seriously worth it. With quality meat and exceptional sides, it really is a place to consider for a meal out with friends or family. Just make sure to order less and share! Especially with desserts, unless you want more for later...
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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Kicking it up North for Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie

When it comes to football, I'd have to say I'm a Middlesbrough supporter. It's my hometown and everyone here feels so strongly about it that you'd be a fool not to go along with it. However when I got an invite through from the Riverview Brasserie at Sunderland Football Club, I threw my allegiance out of the window for the day. Well I'll do anything for food...

This was an especially special meal as it was Sunday Lunch. The Riverview Brasserie only a few weeks ago started serving up a delicious Sunday Lunch menu again and we were invited to try it. To really test out this iconic meal I invited my Mum and my one year old nephew.

We booked our slot for 12.30pm and on arrival found that we were the first to eat. It was very quiet but it gave us a chance to get to grips with the layout, menu and for my nephew to start on his bread bun. As he happily chomped away, we started to scour the three-course menu which changes weekly.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review
Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

There was a good selection for each course but as I'm a picky eater there were some choices which were obvious for me. For starter I chose the leek and potato soup which can be quite a bland soup but this one was very tasty with lots of flavour. My Mum chose the prawn cocktail which looked very fancy.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review
Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

For my main course there was no way I was going to pick anything but a beef dinner. I mean isn't that the best roast to choose! Mum however decided she was going to try something totally different and get the emmental cheese souffle with beetroot compote, herb salad and house dressing. She wasn't quite sure her pick had paid off as it wasn't what she expected, nevertheless she ate it up and enjoyed it.

My beef dinner was lovely. There was plenty of beef and the vegetables and roasties were served separate so you could ask for as much as you wanted, without being greedy of course! For my nephew, they even filled up a little bowl for him with mash, carrot and turnip, gravy and some other bits of vegetable which he throughly enjoyed.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review
Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

Although we were pretty stuffed by this point, we couldn't give a full review of the Brasserie without trying dessert. As always I had to go with the chocolatey-est item which was chocolate and orange truffle torte with forest fruit compote. This was extremely decadent and delicious. I did try, but I just wasn't able to finish the whole slab, although my nephew did give me a hand. Mum chose the black forest slice with thickened cream and coulis.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

Overall we were really pleased with out visit to the Riverside Brasserie. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. If I'm ever up in Sunderland on a Sunday, this will be definitely one I'll return to.
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