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Address: Pier Block Yard / South Pier / South Shields / NE33 2JX

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      27.05.2010 23:27
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      restaurant

      Essys restaurant
      I was recently out for a meal in South Shields, somewhere I don't know well at all, and it was decided that we would go to Essys Restaurant.

      The restaurant is situated practically on the pier and although the restaurant car park is small, there is a large car park right next to the restaurant but this one is a pay for car park. The restaurant as I said is almost on the pier and walking through the small gates leads diners onto the pier- lovely sunny evening when we went so because there are benches on the pier, it was very pleasant sitting watching the boats. However, a close eye must be kept on children as there are no railings!!

      When we entered the restaurant, it felt almost like someone's dining room with a tiny bar and some tables and chairs dotted randomly around the room. Although it was a week night and early, it was already busy, probably in honour of the happy hour! The staff were very pleasant and after giving us some time to choose, took our drinks order and then after a bit more time took our food order.

      **menu...**

      For a small restaurant, there is plenty to choose from The COLd starters all cost around the £5 ark apart from the full monty antipasto which costs £9. No one ordered this so i don't know what was in it but at that price I assume something impressive.

      We moved straight onto the hot starters which included such dishes as Mussels Marinara at £6.50 and Bruschetta costing £3. Not everyone had a starter but the ones I tried- Garlic mushrooms cooked in white wine and garlic (£5.50), and war chicken Caesar salad (£5.50) were plentiful and delicious. The only thing I would gripe about is the fact that the potato skins are shown to be served with a choice of dips (salsa, Hot avocado, garlic and Blue cheese) but we were not given this choice just brought garlic and salsa.

      Also on the menu is a selection of soups but we took little notice of this and went straight onto the main menu, which, as well as pasta and pizza dishes included a eat selection, fish and chicken- all having different sections on the menu. The pizzas and pasta are all £5.90 and the pizzas I saw served on other tables looked huge! I opted for the Pasta Matriciana and was offered a choice of pasta- i chose penne. The dish was delicious- a hint of garlic without me warding off the vampires as so often happens. It was presented in a large white bowl, so although the bowl didn't look full, there was clearly plentiful pasta because I was stuffed when I left the place! My fellow diners were equally impressed with their dishes of pasta vongole (Clams garlic and tomato), and pollo marinere (chicken breast filled with prawns and accompanied by a garlic butter sauce). Main meals come served with vegetables and a choice of potatoes and cost around the £10 mark.

      There is also a chefs special a lunch special and a Sunday lunch, all of which can be seen on the website.

      **Other information...**

      The service throughout was friendly and courteous, and we didn't feel rushed although it was clear that as it got later, the restaurant was getting busier and with so few tables, they could have rushed us out.

      Toilets are upstairs where there is a larger room which is obviously used at weekends and can be hired for functions. I didn't see a toilet downstairs so it would probably be unsuitable for wheelchair users.

      Opening hours...**
      Monday and Tuesday: 5pm-10pm
      Wed. To sat: 12-2.30pm and 5pm-10pm
      Sunday: 12- 3pm
      Happy hour 5pm-7pm any pizza or pasta half price

      **Contact...**

      Address: South Pier Block Yard, S Shields, NE33 2JX
      Telephone: (0191) 455 4477
      E mail: essys@essys.co.uk
      Website: www.essys.co.uk

      **Verdict...**

      I had never before been to this restaurant and didn't even know of its existence, and was very pleasantly surprised. It is very small but we got a table early evening without booking, and there seemed to be a steady stream of diners. The service is friendly and polite the portions generous and the food tasty. Everything is clean and homely and the fact that on a sunny evening you can walk along the pier is a bonus.

      I would recommend this restaurant for anyone in the area wanting a tasty and reasonably priced meal in surroundings a bit different from the often found chain restaurants.

      The one thing I regret is not asking about the history of the place as I am sure it's an interesting one- maybe next time.

      Thanks fro reading

      Daniela x

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