The Teen has had a tough time of late with his nose stuck in books for end of year exams. Normally he’d not be conscientious but I think he’s finally had an ephiphany about the significance of his final year in Secondary Education and the very important exams he’ll be sitting in around 365 days time.
He’s always been very fond of fish and found that was the one food he missed when he briefly flirted with vegetarianism last year. Quorn Vegan Fishless Fingers will only placate him for so long and when I’d heard about the imminent opening of Colmans Seafood Temple in South Shields I took him along for a posh chippy tea.
Colmans have been a stalwart of the South Tyneside food scene since 1926 and their Ocean Road restaurant for both sitting in and takeaway frequently garners rave reviews and queues out of the door. You can read about one of our previous visits here.
As you can appreciate, a Fish & Chip restaurant isn’t necessarily somewhere a vegan wants to eat but I did what most Mums do and put his wishes ahead of my own. When booking I made a note about my dietary requirements but expected the options would be limited.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the transformation of this former bandstand into a stylish seafront restaurant. The views are impressive and with the glorious sunshine we’ve been enjoying the beach was packed with sunseekers. The £1million that has been invested in this project, which has taken years to come to fruition, has clearly been well spent. Colmans Seafood Temple is a world apart from its sister restaurant on Ocean Road which I will always have a fondness for thanks to the happy memories of visiting with my Gran.
There is a takeaway downstairs for those who want to scran their Cod & Chips on the golden sand but we were going to have a ‘sitty down’ experience with proper forks, not those annoying wooden forks you usually get from the chip shop. There’s also a bar area where you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the world pass by or trying out their Lindisfarne Oysters.
The menu isn’t huge, it has to be said, although you will find burgers and a seafood curry if you don’t fancy anything battered and fried.I was told that the Nicoise Salad could be adapted if I fancied it or alternatively the chips. I’m not one who would choose salad over carbs so you know which direction I headed! I’ll be completely honest and say I made a rookie mistake and ordered the curry sauce too, thinking erroneously that the last time I was told this was suitable for vegans. Looking back over my previous post mentioning Colmans (here) Mr. Canny had mushy peas with his chips as that was the only item on the menu suitable 🙁 I’ve made this snafu so others don’t, I guess, but I wish the staff had been a little more clued up on what the ingredients were so this could have been avoided. I’m incredibly disappointed but I’ll take it on the chin.The Teen ordered Cod, Chips, curry sauce and mushy peas. He was in heaven with the flaky fish and mild curry. He said it was one of the best meals he’d had this year so I guess I’m in his good books for the time being.I only had a small bowl of chips so was keen to try out their sorbet – I bet you never thought I’d say that – and he was happy to indulge his sweet tooth and have a wodge of Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert.Prices were reasonable at under £4 each. I felt the Lemon & Raspberry Sorbet would be excellent palate cleansers after a stodgy main while the Teen seemed to enjoy his pudding.The only thing we found disappointing – my error aside – was the noise from the adjacent Sanddancer pub. They had a DJ pumping out tunes like he was at Café Mambo. It was difficult to ignore and drowned out the music Colmans were piping into their restaurant. With stunning views, impressive interior design and quality food it seems harsh that its neighbour disrupted the ambiance.
We will definitely pop back here, especially if we have ‘out of town’ folk visiting. I don’t think anyone could fail to be wowed by this new addition to the North East’s coastline. Booking at peak times is recommended.
Thanks for reading,
Heard about the new Turkish restaurant in Gateshead? We review Anatolia on the blog here.