If you’re visiting the Tall Ships or the International Airshow in Sunderland this summer, you need to know where the best restaurants in the city are. Together, with Sunderland BID, we’ve put together this guide of 6 of the Hottest Restaurants in Sunderland – from brunch and cocktails to tapas and fine dining, to make sure you have a delicious time this summer.
At City Bistro, expect to find a kitchen full of up-and-coming chef talent – led by seasoned professionals. The 80-cover, fine-dining restaurant is situated within Sunderland College’s City Centre Campus, right opposite Park Lane Interchange, and offers a high-end experience without the high-end price tag.
Head chef Kelvin Linstead has been in the industry for 17 years, with stints at some of Newcastle’s most celebrated restaurants – including Peace & Loaf, Jesmond Dene House and Pan Haggerty. City Bistro, which is one of Sunderland College’s commercial outlets, is not only an esteemed restaurant but it also acts as a training kitchen for the next generation of chefs.
“We’ve had some real talent coming through the doors and they’ve gone on to get jobs in some first-class restaurants,” said Kelvin.
Angelo’s Ristorante, in Sunderland’s historic Sunniside, serves up classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Business partners chef Aniello (Nello) Russo and Federico Trulli – who’s front of house – offer a second-to-none service and a menu inspired by Campania and the Amalfi coast.
From mozzarella and tomatoes imported from Italy and fresh pasta made in the kitchen, Angelo’s Ristorante is the leader of the Italian pack in Sunderland.
And to cement that, chef Aniello was crowned the Best Italian Chef in England at the English Italian Awards 2015, 2016 – and placed second last year. The restaurant also came in the top five for Best Italian Restaurant in England in 2017.
When it comes to a Ruby Murray, The Funky Indian is where it’s at. Owner Kam Chera’s take on Indian tapas is a winning formula.
From popular Indian street food snack, a pakora bucket, featuring mini bhajis and battered aloo slivers with mint chutney to masala squid rings, you’ll experience Indian food like never before.
Choose from tapas-style dishes or tuck into tasty curries, including seafood rassa – with mussels and shrimp – and lobster vadouvan curry. Do not make the mistake of not ordering masala fries. They’re next level.
The Looking Glass is the city’s latest cafecum-bistro – which is fully licensed, too. It’s the brainchild of the Posh and Becks of Sunderland, Harry and Nicola Collinson, and business partners Michael and Sharon Downey.
Tuck into a tasty brunch with spiced avocado, streaky bacon and maple syrup, enjoy coffee and cake or a selection of lunchtime treats such as seafood linguini or lobster served with spiced chilli, garlic and tomato sauce.
The venue also comes with the Diamond Suite, which can be hired out for weddings and special occasions. Harry also plans to open in the evening, serving a selection of wines and antipasti.
STAR IN THE CITY
He’s known to some as the star in the city – the chef that’s not afraid to experiment with flavours and put escargot on his menu. Jimmy Shadforth, chef patron at D’Acqua, opened the restaurant when he was just 23 – and he’s been smashing it ever since.
His menu features a twist on fish and chips with tempura monkfish, king prawn and cod. Jimmy’s royal fruits de mer is a knockout dish, with whole lobster, fresh crab, oysters, mussels, clams, crevettes, langoustine and Durham Gin-cured salmon.
KING OF THE WOK
Ian Wong is Sunderland’s king of Asian cuisine. Fact. His cocktails ‘from his secret cocktail book’ where he concocts recipes will go down a treat, too.
He grew up in a family of restauranteurs – his father and uncles owned Chinese takeaways and restaurants and his cousin still owns Loaf On, a Michelin-star seafood restaurant in Hong Kong – and was taught wok skills from the age of 14. It’s this, along with his travels, including to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore – which have helped Ian create a menu at Asiana Fusion that leaves customers always wonton more.
His menu features an array of delights, from stir-fry monkfish to sizzling king prawns. Expect top hospitality too, as this king of cuisine offers the royal treatment to all his guests.
EAT, DRINK, SUNDERLAND restaurant week, organised by Sunderland BID, takes place from September 8-16. For more information, and a full list of restaurants in the city, visit sunderlandbid.co.uk