The Canny Food family are always happy to hear about local restaurants having vegan dishes and menus on offer. It just goes to show what a growing market it is and one that many need to adopt quickly so as not to get left behind. That’s not to say everyone is suddenly turning vegan, but I think many are consciously trying to cut down their meat and dairy consumption because of the health benefits that come with it. As well as being often lower in calories, dishes free of animal products are also lower in cholesterol (I’d say cholesterol free but I’m sure oils are used in cooking).
One local eatery we’d heard about offering a vegan and gluten free menu was Sorella Sorella, which is located in Sunniside. It has the added benefit of not being too far from us, so I decided to take the kids up for a family supper recently.The restaurant inside is beautiful and I was really taken aback by how friendly everyone was. I’ve managed to do a pretty good job of taking the interior photos quickly because the place soon filled up. Sorella Sorella seems very popular with the locals and whole families were in enjoying a Friday night supper together without the distractions of the TV, etc. With a Happy Hour offer of £2.50 off all pizzas, pastas and risottos (available Mon-Thurs 12-7pm, Fri-Sat 12-6pm, Sunday 12-8.30pm) it was clear these families were also being canny with their money too by eating out.I was given a separate menu but it was good to see that some of these dishes were still part of the Happy Hour offer. One of the things that sets Sorella apart from some of the restaurants we’ve visited recently is how family friendly they are. While it will be a while before Dinky is ploughing through a bowl of pasta on her own, she still likes to have something to graze on while we’re eating. She was given a plate of nibbles – minus breadsticks and mozzarella, which she couldn’t have because of the dairy – so she could be part of our dining experience. While she tends to just chuck her food around, even at home, I think she enjoyed this and more eateries would do well to bear this in mind. I opted for the Portobello Mushroom starter, which was served with toasted ciabatta, and the Teen ordered Bruschetta. My mushroom dish very clearly included truffle, which could be detected the moment the plates arrived. Both were generous portion sizes for a starter and were piled high with toppings.The main course for me was their Trofie pasta, which is made without egg, with a cherry tomato sauce. I asked for spinach to be added to the courgettes and roasted butternut squash also included to make it even healthier. It was beautifully plated and it’s clear their kitchen takes great pride in the dishes it send out. My only criticism was the whole cloves of garlic I found in amongst the vegetables. While roasted garlic is known for its sweetness I definitely wasn’t going to be kissing anyone after eating that!The Teen chose Formaggi Pizza, which was topped with three different cheeses. He picked up on the fact honey was drizzled on top which I was impressed by. The menu does state this, but the Teen clearly doesn’t read things in any great detail.
There was some debate about whether we would bother with desserts. For me it was the standard sorbet option on offer, but for the Teen it proved more of a challenge. All the options seemed to include something he doesn’t like. The Brownie was made with peanut butter, the Profiteroles had pistachios. The waiter said there was a Chocolate Mousse Cake available if he wanted to try that, so eventually he relented. What he wasn’t told was it contained raspberries, which he seemed blissfully ignorant of until the last few bites. It was good to see vegans catered for easily in this local restaurant, even if the dessert was run-of-the-mill for us. I have to say that, as sorbets go, Sorella’s was very fruity and creamy. With a Fixed Price Menu also on offer (2 courses for £9.95, 3 courses for £12.95 – available Mon-Thurs 12-7pm, Fri-Sat 12-6pm) as well as their Happy Hour, Sorella Sorella is a budget and family friendly place to head to for a meal. We’d definitely return, especially as I hear they do a very good Italian Afternoon Tea. There isn’t a vegan version yet, but I’ll be keeping my ears open to see if they manage to adapt their offering as they also do a child-friendly version for just 8. I am told they will top pizzas with vegan cheese if it is brought along in its original packaging, which is good to hear. I’m starting to get used to cheese free pizzas but it is good to have more options.
Thanks for reading,
Fancy Thai food? Check out our review of Thai House Café in the Toon here for authentic flavours and dishes.