By Amy Nicholls from the North East Eats blog. Read her previous reviews of: Bellinis Seaburn808 Bar and Kitchen, Mexico 70 and The Palm’s Liberty Brown

Spice up your life this winter with a trip to an authentic Indian restaurant in Sunderland City Centre. Whether you fancy a classic curry or exotic street food, this extensive menu provides choice suited to every taste bud.

Upon arrival, this restaurant stands out from the unassuming street in which it resides. The bright colours, bold patterns and illuminated sign are instantaneously inviting and we knew from walking through the doors that we were in for a treat.

Friendly staff welcomed us upon arrival and took us through to the impeccably decorated, modern restaurant. Like the outside, the inside was just as bold and bright with beautiful patterns adorning the walls and photo opportunities including plant walls and tuk tuks for any Instagrammers looking to take the perfect shot whilst enjoying a delicious meal.

As designated driver, I started my meal with a delicious ‘virgin’ passionfruit mojito. The mocktail was made fresh and clearly there was no pre-mix in sight. If the mocktail is anything to go by, I would love to return and sample some of their alcoholic cocktails. We visited mid week but did observe a drum kit in the corner and, following some research, found out that this restaurant showcases live music every Friday night, providing happy hours for both their drinks and food.

Between 5-7 every night, the restaurant offers a bargain deal that sees each guest get 5 courses for £11.99, a huge discount compared to the original pricing. We unfortunately missed this deal, but for anyone looking for a bargain this price is one to be beaten, especially after experiencing the quality of food they produce.

As spice lovers, we started our meal with ‘Thunder King Prawns’ cooked in a tandoori oven. You could clearly taste the spices and the prawns were of outstanding quality, thick and juicy and packed a punch. We also, of course, sampled the popadoms and pickles and were equally impressed with both the quality and flavours.

Once our taste buds had been tingled, we could not wait for our mains. We ordered the ‘Roadside Tuk Tuk Curry’ and the ‘Chilli Garlic Balti.’ There were many other classic curries, such as jalfrezi, madras, Bhuna and the good old masala, but we wanted to sample some of their more unique dishes and we were so glad we did.

For each curry you can choose which meat you would like paired with it (if any) and we went for the lamb for both. The ‘Tuk Tuk’ curry came with lamb chops and the meat just fell off the bone – the best bit was gnawing the bone for any stubborn leftovers! The ‘chilli garlic balti’ was served with lamb chunks which were equally tender and delicious. The latter curry was labelled with three chillis and, unlike some places in which spices are subtle, this curry was hot and not for those who prefer milder flavours. We love our curries with a kick so this was perfect for us; however, if you prefer your curry without the tingle then look for the many other curries without the three chillis.

On their social media page, it is clear Chilli Mangoes values “quality over quantity’ and they lived up to this mantra. That is not to say that you did not receive enough food, as we still left the restaurant with full bellies, mouths full of flavour and smiles on our faces from the kind staff who went above and beyond to ensure we left loving the fantastic flavours of India.

By SGM

SGM

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