Fusion food: the epitome of Great Britain. Our food scene would not be the same without the diverse flavours of our multi-cultural society.

By Amy Nicholls from the North East Eats blog. Read her previous reviews of: Port of CallChilli Mangoes, The Palm’s Liberty Brown, Bellinis Seaburn808 Bar and KitchenMexico 70, the House of Zen and the Seaburn Inn.

Asiana Fusion is situated on the ground floor of the prestigious Echo 24 building in Sunderland, providing panoramic views of the River Wear. The restaurant prides itself on the “fusion of the many regional cultures and influences to be found in Asian food – the style and delicacy of Thai and Malaysian cooking, the famous culinary heritage of China, the diversity of tastes from the islands of Indonesia and the freshness and simplicity of Vietnamese dishes.”

I have visited this restaurant for both the early evening menu and al la Carte menu, and both visits provided delicious food and professional, friendly service. The restaurant is pristine inside, and, with artefacts and furniture carefully sourced from across the Far East, the surroundings become synonymous with the food.

All the dishes sampled were very authentic in flavour, and the early evening menu in particular, offers great prices on a selection of their most popular dishes. The early evening menu is served between 17:00-18:30 every evening, except Saturdays. Even when ordering from the the reduced price menu, we were pleased to still be served with complimentary prawn crackers on arrival, and the charismatic waiter who served us went out of his way to make us smile.

For starters, we tried the vegetable spring rolls and smoked shredded chicken. The food was fresh and piping hot; the spring rolls were crispy and packed full of vegetables and served with superbly sticky sweet chilli sauce, and the smoked shredded chicken had flavours very similar to salt and chilli – yum!

For mains, we went for the classic prawn chow mien and the garlic chilli fillet steak, with egg fried rice. Both dishes were saucier than many other Chinese dishes we have previously sampled, and both sauces packed a punch. The chow mein felt very healthy, and, for the price, we were very impressed with not only the quality of the thick and juicy prawns, but also the amount on the plate. We weren’t asked how we would like the fillet steak cooked; however, this didn’t matter as, although it wasn’t served pink, the steak was tender and gave the dish a more luxurious feel.

We also sampled the sizzling beef in black bean (one of my favourites) and, although you pay extra for this sauce, we are glad we did, as this was my favourite sauce of all three dishes and a dish I will definitely get again.

Asiana’s website states that they “cook with a passion and dedication that will delight, so whatever the occasion we promise you exceptional food, served in a warm and relaxed atmosphere” and following my visit, I wholeheartedly agree! The fantastic river views and efficient service make this a place you will want to keep revisiting when craving those delicious Asian fusion flavours we have adopted as part of our British culture.

By SGM

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