Last weekend saw us on the North Shields fish quay in the pouring rain wanting a quick and cheap lunch while we were out running errands. Mr Tramp flatly refused to let us eat fish + chips in his brand new car (Boo!) so we settled on the cheap and cheerful Sambuca 1.
If you are local to the area you will know that the Sambuca chain is EVERYWHERE. From golf on the links, restaurants all over the coast and even a Durham restaurant to boot. All focusing on cheap yet decent quality food. For all it is a chain, it is a local chain rather than a national affair.
Usually, Sambuca’s famous for it’s 3 courses for £3.95 deal but we thought we would really push the boat out, so to speak, and just pick from the menu. We arrived just after and by the time our starters came out, the restaurant was full and people were queuing for a table.
I had the Avocado + Prawns (£3.50) and I was thoroughly impressed. The avocado was soft and fresh and the prawns were a nice accompaniment in the thick marie rose sauce. If I had been in any other restaurant I’d have said the prawns were on the scrimped side, but for a <£4 lunch time starter it was perfect.
Mr Tramp had the Home Made Liver Paté (£3.10) and it was a very generous portion. Served with salad, relish and toasts he thoroughly enjoyed it. He questioned the ‘home made’ claim but either way it was very tasty and a generous portion.
For mains, we both opted for pizzas as I know the bases from Sambuca’s are so wafer thin and crisp – PERFECT. Both pizza were £3.95 and the Calzone was offered with an option serving of tomato or Bolognese sauce on top for £1. We ordered a side of Chips (£1.80) to share and they were those lovely fresh cut, well fried homely chips. YUM.
I had the Bolognese Pizza (£3.95). The Bolognese is proper, homemade, slow cooked hearty stuff and when added on to the pizza it was delicious. It wasn’t as garlicky as I had anticipated from the description but still nice nonetheless. Slightly bit messy to eat but that’s the nature of the beast isn’t it?
Mr T had the Calzone Pizza (£3.95) with Bolognese (£1) on top. The inside of the dough was rammed with ham, mushrooms, onions and a small amount of tomato. I tried it and for all it was tasty, I found it to be quite watery and lacking a tomato sauce in the middle to bind it all together. The addition of Bolognese on the top helped with this though and it was a wise move.
All in all, we had 2 starters, 2 mains, a side of chips and 2 soft drinks for £19.90. You can’t complain at that really can you?
Not the fanciest or most glam of restaurants but if you want tasty, good quality, reasonably priced Italian then look no further than Sambuca’s. A 3 course meal for less than a take away pizza? Yes please!!!
We haven’t tried the Durham restaurant yet so that is next on my list!
You can find Sambuca restaurants in these locations Heaton Park, Forest Hall, North Shields Fish Quay, North Shields Union Quay, Percy Main, South Shields, Durham, Sunderland, Whitley Bay, Tyne Tunnel, Blyth and Hartlepool.