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American seal of approval for USA-inspired afternoon tea


Sep 14, 2016

AN American-style afternoon tea served at one of Sunderland’s newest venues has won the thumbs up from a stateside visitor.

US motorcycle racer Aaron League dropped into the Karbon Grill at the Hilton Garden Inn, Sunderland, to sample a new American afternoon tea which offers an innovative twist on the traditional English version.

Launched as part of the restaurant’s new and revised menu, the American Sharing Tower is designed for two people and replaces sandwiches, scones and tea with a platter of USA-inspired classics.

Aaron, who has been based in the North East this summer while he races motorbikes in the UK, stopped by the Sunderland eatery to grab a taste of home – and gave it the American seal of approval.

He tucked into Yankee classics like mini pork and chorizo sliders, buffalo wings and mini calzones, which he said tasted ‘just like home’, and was particularly impressed with the macaroni cheese balls served with a pickle garnish.

“Since I arrived in Britain I’ve been surprised at how big the burger culture is at the moment, and American food seems to be huge here,” he said. “The Karbon Grill’s take on American cuisine is really good.

“The cheese bites were actually better than any I’ve had back at home, they were tasty but not too greasy, and the pickle garnish was a little bit English but it worked well.

“The wings were great too. Buffalo is an area of New York and the sauce is usually hot and spicy. They’ve managed to pull it off really well, it’s as good as any I’ve had back home.

Like any good American man, Aaron couldn’t wait to dive into the trio of mini desserts – key lime pie, pecan tart and Mississippi mud pie, and washed it down with mini strawberry and banana milkshakes.

“The cakes were awesome, particularly the key lime pie, that really is a taste of home right there. It’s very, very rich just like it’s supposed to be and is tangy, sweet and just gorgeous.

“The pecan pie and Mississippi Mud pie are very authentic too, and although the milkshake was more like a smoothie, it was typical of the sort of thing we drink.

“In America we don’t do afternoon tea, which is probably because by US standards, it’s usually not big enough. But even I struggled with this one – they may just be small pieces but there is plenty to satisfy a hungry American. It even left me feeling a little bit homesick.”

The American Sharing Tower costs £14.50 per person and requires a minimum of two people sharing. It is available from noon until 5pm daily.

Bookings for the restaurant can be made by emailing karbongrill@hgisunderland.com or calling 0191 349 8500. For more information about the restaurant please visit www.safc.com/karbongrill.

By Emily