By Amy Nicholls from the North East Eats blog
Seaburn is fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit for good food and drinks, and its newest addition is an asset to this beautiful seafront.
North is a quaint tapas restaurant with stunning views of the seafront. You would never have guessed this was once a disused storage container; it is now chic and modern inside with all tables in eye-line of the open kitchen, enabling us to see the expert work from the chefs inside.
The masterminds behind this new triumph are also owners of Mexico 70, another favourite of mine in Sunderland. It is clear great pride has been taken to make this an up-market dining experience; the waiters who welcomed us were very accommodating and explained the menu and how the restaurant works in detail.
The dishes come out tapas style, meaning one at a time whenever they are ready, and we were advised to order around six tapas per couple, or a couple of tapas if sharing the paella – we, of course, went for the paella and the six tapas because everything on the menu sounded so good!
With the restaurant being perfectly situated by the sea, it is no surprise that their fish tapas were outstanding. The menu adapts to the fresh produce available, something I love to see! We went for oysters to start, both natural and unique (fermented pineapple hot sauce), the tempura monkfish with tomato and miso jam and a ponzu dip, and pan fried octopus with confit potatoes, piquillo pepper and paprika, each as delicious as the other.
We also sampled the chimichurri steak and roasted vegetables (one of my favourites), crushed potatoes with a herby mayo, fragrant Thai meatballs and crisp focaccia bread and enjoyed every mouthful. We were advised the paella takes 30-35 to prepare but it was worth the wait. We ordered the chicken and chorizo paella and it was jam packed full of flavour, with pops of herbs and a zing of lemon – yum! It is clear from tasting these dishes that the chefs take time to perfectly execute and present their food.
For me, tapas and paella are perfectly paired with a refreshing glass of wine and the drinks menu offers cocktails, wine and a draft ale at reasonable prices; glasses of wine start from £6, cocktails around £8.50 and beer at £4.80. The tapas themselves ranged from £3 to £14 and sharing paella £24. All of these prices felt perfectly reasonable for the quality of food and the fantastic environment in which they are consumed.
North is currently open Wednesday to Saturdays from 3pm, with hours set to be extended over time. With only around 30 covers, you’ll need to book ahead to reserve a seat. Sunderland has been crying out for a fresh fish restaurant and North is the seafood restaurant that Sunderland needed: vibrant, classy, and unique.