Former Gordon Ramsay chef Tamer Hassan is to open an ambitious Asian restaurant in Sunderland which he is pitching as “Victorian glamour meets downtown Tokyo”.
Hidden Lotus will occupy part of the Grade II listed late-Victorian Sheepfolds Stables, scheduled to open after renovation later this year under the city’s £500million riverside masterplan. The restaurant will be in the former Cart Shed building, facing out to the River Wear.
“Tam”, a second-generation chef, is connected to Sunderland through his mother, who was born in Sunderland and retired there following her husband’s career in London restaurants. Tam won the first series of Gordon Ramsay’s F Word, and worked alongside Gordo and Angela Hartnett at Claridge’s in London.
He said: “When I came and saw Sheepfolds Stables, I was like ‘wow, this is really, really special’. “When you step into the place, there’s just a magic to it and the vision for the venue is absolutely fantastic. There’s such a clear focus on quality, on delivering a place that raises the bar and provides an amazing dining experience.”
Hidden Lotus is one of eight businesses lined up for Sheepfolds. Neighbours will include Zinc, a restaurant from John & Kimberley Calton, who run Route in Newcastle, and ‘Hairy Biker’ chef Si King, who will open his first restaurant there.