New Asian tapas restaurant set to open in Sunderland

24 October 2022

SUNDERLAND is set to enjoy a taste of Asia by opening a new tapas restaurant in the city's heart. 

Located at the former Undisclosed restaurant – which - before that - was the much-loved D’Acqua restaurant – Buddha Beat will be a sister site to River Beat on the Gateshead Quays, an award-winning Asian tapas restaurant owned by chef Andy Drape.

Promising ‘far eastern flavours with a local conscience’, Buddha Beat will have both relaxed and formal dining areas where the surroundings are as creative as the food, and the music elevates the dining experience.

The menu is made up of meat, fish and vegan tapas dishes, as well as one pot curries, and will be similar to the Gateshead restaurant menu, including customer favourites: crispy twice-cooked pork and prawn Singapore rolls, fennel and apple bhaji with masala sauce, and pink volcanic salted squid with plum and tamarind sauce.

Executive chef and owner Andy Drape travelled through Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Malaysia when training to become a chef. As a result, much of the menu has been influenced by the dishes of each region he visited.

Over the years, Andy has won several awards, including runner up of the Metro Best Newcomer Restaurant, a Remmy Martin Award and a Best Tyne and Wear Restaurant Award. He has also worked as a head chef at Blackfriars, Barn Asia and Sohe in Newcastle.

Andy said: “My first restaurant, River Beat, has been a real success since it first opened its doors in Gateshead seven years ago, and we can’t wait to open our second venue here in Sunderland. There’s so much exciting work and development happening here, and we’re thrilled to be part of it.

“Buddha Beat will be a cool space to meet and enjoy Asian-inspired tapas and drinks in a unique environment. We have a local artist working on a mural, interesting art throughout the space, Asian inspired décor and of course our Buddhist shrine, with incense to create the perfect atmosphere.”

Andy, who lives in Sunderland, has signed a 10-year lease for the Grade II listed basement restaurant in the former Sunderland and South Shields Water Board building – located on John Street in Sunniside – creating eight jobs.

This follows support from Sunderland City Council to help transform the premises and get the business off the ground.

Andy added: “It’s great to be working with Sunderland City Council to breathe new life into this fantastic space, and we can’t wait to welcome people in the new year.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Buddha Beat to the historic Sunniside quarter of the city centre, where we’re confident it will be a fantastic addition to the city’s diverse and growing food and beverage offer.

“Andy has been a successful restaurateur in the North East since 2015, so it’s brilliant to see him attracted to the city centre, creating another fantastic place for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.” 

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