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Monday, 9 February 2015

The Lounge Bar and Bistro: Sunderland's number one restaurant

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Sunderland college and asked if I would like to pop along and sample what The Lounge had to offer. As much as I wanted to help, Sunderland is approximately a 20 mile drive from my home in Northumberland so I wasn't sure if it would be worth our journey. However a quick google soon changed my mind - it turns out The Lounge is ranked 1/322 restaurants in Sunderland on tripadvisor. Every review I read was raving about the place so I promptly accepted the invitation and made a reservation for Thursday evening.

People may have preconceptions about what it is like dining in a college and eating food that has been cooked and served by students. I have to say, students are fully supervised and because they are there to learn, are keen and are trained to do things properly I think the experience ends up being a lot nicer than what I have received at many restaurants and would not let the fact that they are students put you off.

We arrived at the South Hylton campus on a cold, wet evening. There was ample parking and we followed the signs from reception to 'The Lounge'. When we opened the door to the restaurant it was not what I was expecting at all - there were high backed leather chairs, contemporary lighting, candle lit tables and beautifully polished glasses and cutlery on our table. I was impressed!


The Lounge is open on a Thursday evening from 7pm. The menu is small but changes seasonally. The price is just £14.95 for three courses. There are even more bargains to be had at lunch - the lunch menu is similar to the evening and is priced at just £4.75 for one course, £7.50 for two or £9.25 for three courses! 

Our drinks orders were taken whilst we browsed the menu. I was pleased to be advised that a wide range alcohol and soft drinks were available and our server was very knowledgable and able to recommend without hesitation. We ordered our food and were brought out some freshly baked bread rolls which were still warm and wonderfully soft. I think it really does make a difference when bread has been made in house.

Starters



Chicken and roasted red pepper terrine with grape chutney 


Mussels in a garlic cream with sundried tomato bread and brie glaze

We were absolutely blown away by both the presentation and taste. I was expecting a dish full of mussel's in their shells - nothing like this! Our salads were perfectly dressed and the portions were just right. 

Main Course


Smoked haddock brandade, soft poached egg, spinach and chives 



Stuffed pot roast shoulder of lamb with roast vegetables and boulangere potatoes 


Our main courses certainly did not disappoint - the haddock was again, beautifully presented and complete with a perfectly poached egg. My lamb was so flavoursome and you can really tell the difference when gravy has been made properly - it was so meaty and rich. Our vegetables were also stunning and in fact some of the best we have tasted. 

Dessert



Lemon Posset and Shortbread


Baked Apple with Cinnamon Cream


Our desserts finished off what was a delightful meal perfectly. My baked apple tasted of Christmas in a bowl and Steve's Lemon Posset was better than the one I make at home (and I like to think I'm a posset expert!).

Service throughout the evening was attentive and I loved how the staff took great pride in their work. I could not help but notice the special events the lounge had coming up including a six course tasting menu for only £22.50 and a Celebration of Tyne and Wear for £18.95 per head. We are looking into booking onto one of these nights as I think they'd be fantastic.

I can not recommend booking a table at The lounge enough. You can book online or call 0191 511 6270. Not only will you be supporting chef's and waiting staff in their training but you'll also have a fantastic evening with some truly delicious food at a bargain price.

SPECIAL OFFER: Free bottle of wine when booking a table for four or more people. Click here to download your voucher, contact The Lounge for terms and conditions. 

It is an exciting time for The Lounge as it prepares to move to the new city centre campus in Spring 2016. I'm sure it will go from strength to strength and continue to be a success.

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31 comments

  1. This is fantastic, what a great way to support our local youngsters :) Just realised I made myself sound like a Grandma then!

    I walk past the Gateshead College restaurant every day on my way home, I might stop and investigate the menu tonight :)

    Chloe x
    newgirlintoon.co.uk

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    1. It's a really low cost idea for a night out - you still get high quality food so it's win win x

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  2. Oh my that looks fantastic! Family friendly do you think?

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    1. Not sure about family friendly Karen - I asked if they had a children's menu and was told no and that they never get children in. When I booked I was told I could bring my daughter along though so they are obviously welcome - it's just down to whether they would eat the food on the set menu I guess. Afternoon tea with the kids might be a good option x

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  3. omg the apple and cinnamon crumble looks delightful x

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    1. It was lovely Lisa - very warm and Christmassy. Perfect for Winter x

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  4. That looks amazing, I know they have something similar at our nearest catering college. #TriedTested

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  5. Wow, I did not even know that this restaurant existed in my home city! Looks fabulous xxxx

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    1. Ah Laura you need to check it out - esp their special events x

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  6. oh wow that food looks utterly amazing! its certainly extremely well presented on the plates

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    1. It's fab, you wouldn't expect it to have been created by students x

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  7. The presentation is stunning and the dishes sound just delicious.

    #Tried/Tested

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  8. What a fantastic meal.....It looks delicious!
    The do something similar at my local collage but have never tried it out x

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    1. Is your local college Northumberland in Ashington? I've been there too - it was good but I have to say I preferred Sunderland :D

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  9. PHWOAR! It all looks incredible! #triedtested

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    1. It was delish and all cooked and served by students. Very impressive.

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  10. The food looks stunning and at an amazingly low cost! Yummy x #tastytuesday

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    1. It was very good value - it is even cheaper at lunchtime too.

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  11. My mouth was watering by the end of your post and the food looks stunning...that's what you call "food porn" #triedtested

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  12. Wow, that looks and sounds amazing. And great value too. We're thinking of a trip to the NE in the summer, so shall have to bear it in mind if we visit Sunderland #TastyTuesdays

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    1. If you are in or near Sunderland it is definitely a restaurant I would recommend.

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  13. Erm wowsa, gorgeous. I'm moving to Sunderland! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuedays x

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    1. I would say this restaurant would be worth the commute from Leeds for you :-)

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  14. Oh my! That looks delicious! Great photos!!
    Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested this week x

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  15. That looks lovely and not at all what i would expect from a college xx

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  16. The meal looks delicious! I could just eat the Lemon Posset now! Yummy!

    Kay xx
    Idreamofcoco.blogspot.co.uk

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  17. That is such good value! I don't go out in Sunderland much anymore but I would have loved this when I lived there!

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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