We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“New and pleasant experience”
Review of Arabesque

Arabesque
Ranked #12 of 427 Restaurants in Sunderland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Egyptian
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Sunderland, England
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“New and pleasant experience”
Reviewed 23 August 2014

First time customer here with family group on a Friday evening. Warmly welcomed by the staff and quickly shown to seating area adjacent to bar. Good selection of drinks and very quick service, in fact a little too quick. Within 3 minutes of being handed our menus, we were asked if we were ready to order. Perhaps just a little too eager to please. Lovely menu and staff very helpful in assisting you to make your choice. Meal itself was plentiful and delicious and very good value for money. 7 of us paid less than £20 per head for our meal and two drinks. The decoration and whole ambience is excellent and we will definately return

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GWL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

449 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    289
    92
    30
    12
    26
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Crook, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Something Different”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

First visit on Friday out of curiosity after spotting it on the way into Empire cinema's car park. We explained we were pushed for time ahead of our film and they were very understanding and accommodating.

The décor is definitely something a bit different, either an authentic taste of Egypt or arguably a little bit over the top. Personally I absolutely loved it, combining with the music to disguise you're on the edge of a very much 'under development' (if up and coming) part of the city. There's even Shisha pipes to try as some others did while we were there.

The menu had some things we'd never tried before but wasn't inaccessible with clear explanations. Short of time we went straight for mains of Shish Taouk (charcoal grilled chicken) served with chips and salad and Beef Tohrilly (Braised beef and veg in a tomato based sauce) with Arabic bread.

My chicken was fantastic, very tasty with extra flavour coming from accompanying unusual dips. The Beef Tohrilly only featured four (admittedly very nice) cubes of beef which was a bit of a shame. Also there was more than a suspicion that the veg, mainly peas, was frozen rather than fresh. The Arabic bread was light and plain but perfect as an accompaniment to a main dish.

The drinks menu was fairly wide ranging including cocktails. We did see a couple of wine glasses returned, we think because they were not clean enough which is a worry. We'd have had a second drink given the chance but with no one around we'd made our own way downstairs to pay causing a little disquiet. Service perhaps not quite as slick as it could be even taking into account most people don't want to be away so quickly after finishing eating.

The bill itself was pretty reasonable, probably less than we'd have spent at the Nando's up the street. We would have happily paid a few quid more for a few more lumps of beef (and fresh veg?) in the Beef Torilly. Despite minor grumbles we're recommending Arabesque as somewhere you should definitely try. They really have gone to a lot of effort to create a total experience. We can't wait to go back and try the rest of the menu.

Overall rating 5 out of 5, there's no where else like this in the North East.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Black_Cats_Away
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Brilliant Night Out”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

The food, service and atmosphere was amazing. My first time eating here and myself and my husband had a fab night. The food came out much quicker then I expected and was fantastic. Will be back soon.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Helen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Glass candle holder dropped on my head !!!!”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I'd heard about this place so met my two friends and within 5 minutes should of left. Sat at the entrance where the waiting tables are after waiting 15 minutes for drinks. I was reading the menu even I sharp smashing noise and sudden pain rang out from my head . I thought at first the window had been broken u was sat in front of as I could see glass only to feel a burning sensation up my face head and arms I then looked and seen a shattered glass candle holder on the floor which had been dropped from upstairs of one of the waitresses . Half hearted apologys and rubbish meal which took almost 2 hours to arrive was followed by the cheek of been offered 20% off our bill of 35 £ only to find out when we got the bill there was the sum of 33.77£. Absolute disgrace. Needless to say its in the hands of my solicitor now

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Safcsean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
464 reviews
450 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
“Heavy food, not as good as I hoped!”
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I came here with an Egyptian friend and was so excited to try Egyptian food - I've never seen seen an Egyptian restaurant in any city before. The decor is just what you'd expect - lots of hieroglyphics and busts of gods and goddess and pharaohs and such. When you come in, you sit in the lounge area to order drinks then order food, and then they take your drinks upstairs and lead you to a proper table. That really confused me, but I've got it down for next time. It is owned by Egyptian people, and the servers can always recommend something if you don't know what to try!

The portions are pretty large, so we skipped appetizers. I got the Egyptian Fatta and my friend got the Moussaka. The Fatta is described as "Pieces of roasted lamb meat and toasted Egyptian bread absorbed in lamb soup, covered with Egyptian rice & topped with a garlic tomato sauce," but I perceived it as mainly rice with chunks of tender lamb meat, and loads of caramelized onions on top (yum). The toasted bread absorbed in lamb soup bit, I didn't pick up on at all. Nor was the garlic tomato sauce a very strong flavor component. Overall the dish was mild, but tasty, and not massively different from what you get at other Middle Eastern restaurants. The caramelized onions were the best part, but the dish overall didn't leave a huge impression on me. I tried my friend's moussaka and found it overwhelmingly cheesy. I don't really like aubergine generally though I didn't mind it in this dish - the meat and potato and sauce were all very tasty, but the cheese on top was really just too much for me and I found that disappointing. Otherwise it would be a very pleasant version of moussaka. It was very heavy food! The rice served alongside was fragrant and fluffy.

Afterwards we went downstairs and shared some apple-flavored shisha, £10 a pipe. I'd never done it before and enjoyed the taste, though it made me quite light-headed. But the front lounge is a very pleasant place to be, you can recline on pillows, smoke shisha and drink delicious fresh mint tea, and relax without feeling rushed after dinner. The atmosphere down there is great.

I'd return again to try some other dishes, but my overall impressions were that the food was just all right, but it didn't live up to my expectations. And it was just so heavy! The menu does have some unique offerings though, so I'll give it another try and hope for better next time.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Meredith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Arabesque also viewed

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
 
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
 

Been to Arabesque? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing