Sunderlands newest restaurant, which isn’t even on google maps yet, Spent Grain is finally open. I feel like I first saw the name and logo on my social media so long ago! But it is finally open and serving the people of Sunderland. So what is it like?
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As I have already mentioned, it isn’t on google maps yet which may make finding it a little difficult. I myself had to go onto their facebook page to find its address and figure out where exactly it is. For anyone looking to visit, it is opposite the old Joplings site next door to the Job Centre.
Something I didn’t realise until researching the place for this post was that it isn’t just open for dinner service, but it actually opens at 9am for coffees, lunch service as well as dinner, closing at 9pm. So you really have no excuse not to visit!
But what is the place actually like?
Well, it is decorated beautifully. It feels incredibly modern and almost like it doesn’t belong in the location it is (opposite an empty building). There are photos on their socials that show what the unit was like before the current owners got their hands on it and they have completely transformed the run-down site!
It had a very cosy vibe during the evening and I’d imagine it to be a very nice place to be during the day too when the sun is shining in!
Okay, now for the food!
Their evening menu was a decent size for a small restaurant. If I was to pick on one issue, it would be that there wasn’t a whole load of options for a vegetarian, and I don’t recall seeing anything vegan. However, it does appear that their menu changes often as the most recent one they have shared online is different from the one that we ordered from slightly.
They do also have a lunch menu which is made up of some smaller dishes which could be starters and then main courses. And finally, they have ‘bar snack’ items which are smaller still.
In order to try as much of the menu as possible, we decided to order 5 of the small dishes and bar snacks to really give the food a shot. So my carnivore friend Ashleigh had the Beef Tacos and Ham Hock Terrine. I got the olives, goats cheese and roasted beets salad. And finally, we got some halloumi fries to share.
Now then I cannot speak for the meat items in terms of flavour, but everything was presented very nicely on the plates. I understand that most of you will be more interested in meat foods, however, everything I had was incredible. The goat’s cheese salad had some very complimentary flavours. The halloumi fries were delicious, although they could have done with some more dressing on the side. And the olives couldn’t be faulted (can you fault olives though?).
The beef tacos looked absolutely unreal. They had pieces of steak in them which looked like it was cooked to perfection. And the Ham Hock looked just as good!
And really, it wouldn’t be fair on Spent Grain and me, if I didn’t sample the dessert menu. Don’t worry, I took one for the team and did that!
I was torn between their basil creme brule, and the chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. Luckily, Ashleigh was getting the cheesecake so I got the creme, brule.
The basil element in the creme brule is what had me on the fence. The only time I ever use basil in my cooking is when making pasta dishes so I was intrigued to see how it went with the flavours of the dessert. And honestly, I really enjoyed it. I don’t pretend to be a huge food critique (although this post has got me feeling like I am) and I don’t know the first thing about gourmet cooking, but if you are going I would recommend trying this dessert!
Or you could play it safe and go for the chocolate cheesecake which was incredibly rich but delicious!!
So my final thoughts.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Spent Grain and think of it as an excellent addition to the City of Sunderland. When it comes to nightlife, the city is lacking in places people can go that don’t centre around mass alcohol consumption. And I feel like this new restaurant is helping to fill that gap in the cities offerings.
Let’s support this local business and go give it a try! It’s open from 9am-9pm. Lunch is served from 11:30am and dinner from 5pm. Give them a call on 07766 731365 to book your table!
Stay Safe, Happy Eating!
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