By Amy Nicholls from the North East Eats blog. Read her previous reviews of: Port of Call, Chilli Mangoes, The Palm’s Liberty Brown, Bellinis Seaburn, 808 Bar and Kitchen, Mexico 70 and the House of Zen.
The new Seaburn Inn is an appealing building in a prime location, overlooking the coastline. Seaburn’s seafront is growing more and more each year, and this new addition brings fine dining food to a cosy pub setting.
Upon walking in, the rustic pub decor is welcoming and calming, and we were quickly welcomed and given a lovely window seat, which felt intimate and offered a lovely view of the coast. We were advised it was bar service, and given the expensive prices of the food, we were sceptical about what to expect. Although the menu does offer pizza and lunch deals for under £10, and a children’s menu, the mains are most definitely ‘treat yourself’ prices, being on average £20 a dish – would the food live up to the price?
Our starter arrived and the mouth-watering waft of garlic, and the crunchy charred edges of an authentically wood fired pizza base eased our price panic and set the standard for a delicious meal. The service was fast and efficient, and even with it being bar service, the staff made sure they came over to check everything was okay with our food.
For our mains, we went for one fish dish, and one meat dish, and couldn’t resist ordering an extra portion of their triple cooked chips, which were perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The fish dish was fillet of Sea Bream, pan-fried and served with braised chorizo and a white wine cream sauce, with gnocchi and crispy leeks, and the beef featherblade dish was slow cooked in a homemade beef stock and served with Parmesan and truffle fondant potato, mushroom ketchup, and beef jus.
The food is described and presented as though in a fine dining restaurant, and the flavours were bold and delicious – just what you would expect. I had never tried gnocchi before, and with these gnocchi being doused in a deliciously rich, creamy sauce made my first experience a positive one. Although I personally prefer smaller chunks of chorizo, the chorizo, combined with the sauce and crispy leeks, worked perfectly with a fish fillet that fell apart, tingling the tastebuds with rich flavours and smells.
The beef dish also smelled amazing when it was placed on the table – a rich beef jus that had clearly been infused with fresh herbs and was not just the bog-standard gravy that normally accompanies meat and two veg dishes. The beef fell apart with just a fork, and still had those crispy edges that make beef so tasty; the accompaniments were well cooked and worked well to make a delicious main that mostly definitely felt luxurious and upmarket.
We were so impressed with the quality of the food, that we even opted to share a dessert before we left, even though we were full. It was a tough decision but, in the end, we chose the frozen parfait with dark chocolate crumb, homemade honeycomb and raspberry sauce; the sweet white chocolate was balanced with the bitter raspberry, and it was a delicious end to a meal, leaving our spoons battling for the last mouthful.
We would most definitely return here to try more of their luxurious sounding mains, and their wood-fired pizzas and lunch menu for a cheaper treat. The outside seating area would provide a perfect backdrop for some indulgence in the sun with friends and family this spring/summer. The Seaburn Inn is a welcome addition to a coastline that keeps getting better and better – I believe Seaburn is the place to be for some great food and fun in Sunderland.