Bar and Grill @ Leopold Square: Delicious food in relaxed atmosphere
UPDATE 06.08.12- STUNNED to hear that The Bar and Grill has closed down!!! Hoping this is just a temporary thing - will have to find out more
07-08-12 GUTTED! Both me and the building!.... passed by today, and saw that the inside has been cleared out - Woe is Me..... I need my steak and chips fix!
Hmmm.. will move to my 'Gone but Not Forgotten' Travelogue soon..... after a respectable period of mourning.... RIP Bar and Grill.
This is one of Sheffields newer restaurants (it opened in November 2010) located in trendy Leopold Square.
I ate here for the first time with 'our gang' to celebrate Tina and Michelles Birthday, and was very impressed. I've now eaten here on numerous occasions - both with 'the gang' and with Phil.
In January for my birthday with 'The Girls' - No contest... it had to be Bar and Grill!
I'm on their mailing list, and had received a special voucher for my Birthday - bring 4 guests, and the Birthday celebrant eats free! (upto the value of £30)- of course, we just split the bill.
It's my favourite Sheffield restaurant at the moment - consistently good food and very good customer service!
Friendly professional staff, nice decor - minimal clean lines, with leather seating, low lighting and a central bar, and delicious food. Background music was a selection of rock tracks, including Bruce Springsteen! at 'just the right level' so that you could easily carry on a conversation.
On Saturday evenings there is live piano music advertised (though I've been twice on a Saturday night, and not heard a pianist - I've seen on the website that they are advertising for a pianist/musicians)
I enjoyed my first meal here so much, that I returned a few weeks later.
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and the ambiance of the Bar and Grill.
Yes, it's become a favourite of Phils too, and he's since brought friends here, who also rave about it.
The emphasis is on meat (mostly from local farms, and the beef is red tractor accredited) but there are also salads and fish dishes.
An extensive wine list, plus beers, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks.
11.00 - midnight daily with extended opening hours until 02.00 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Special offers -Early Bird Meals (2 courses for £14 Mon-Fri to 1900 and all day Sunday), Ten Menu-A drink and 1 course for £10.
15% off Voucher on website
Sunday - Roast Dinners
Fridays - Fish and Chip Special
Favorite Dish: At my first visit, we shared a dish of olives. I enjoyed a starter of thai squid followed by 3 rack lamb served on Dauphinoise potatoes and cauliflower with a jus. I didn't have room for dessert, but managed a coffee. We also shared a couple of bottles of Pinot Sud
Two weeks later.... Again I opted for the lamb (£16.95), with seasonal vegetables (broccolli, green beans and peas ( £2.95), as did Phil.
I was looking forward to trying the cheeseboard, but then opted for the baked vanilla cheesecake with berry compote(£5.95). I also tried Phils lemon tart(£5.75), which was deliciously sharp and sweet equally.
Iced tap water and a bottle of Tempanillo (£13.95) washed the meal down.
3rd visit - I had Sirloin Steak (rare) which was so succulent and tasty! This came with chunky chips, grilled tomatoes and watercress . A choice of sauces - I opted for Bearnaise.
For dessert I chose something that I'd not tried before - Eton Mess - the raspberries counteracted the sweetness of the meringue nicely.
Phil enjoyed his Rib Eye Steak (medium) and chocolate brownie with Creme Anglaise.
We shared a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.
4th/5th/6th/7th Visit etc.... - I had Sirloin Steak (rare) with Bearnaise sauce, chunky chips, grilled tomatoes and watercress.
Now this is a rarity... me choosing steak, and the same item time and time again....There are other choices on the menu that I'd be more than happy to try, but.....I've had (and still am having) serious cravings for this meal - I'm not a huge fan of chips, but these are 'off the scale of yumminess', and the steak is usually cooked to perfection - the grilled tomatoes and watercress just add the perfect touch of sweetness/pepperiness.
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The Street Food Chef- Mexican Canteen: "I've seen the future and it's wrapped in foil!"
I became aware of The Street Food Chef, through articles in local press/foodie blogs etc.
They were getting rave reports, and awards.
Each time I passed by their premises on Pinstone Street, there was a long queue outside, the times when there wasn't, I'd either just eaten, or was in a rush to get somewhere.
During the recent Tramlines Festival, heading up Fargate, I realised that I was in Foodie Heaven, the smells wafting in the air, of various cuisines was indescribably delicious - and one of the stalls was ... The Street Food Chef! A small queue, but this was it-my chance to find out what was so good about their Mexican burritos.
£4.50 brought me a good sized (10") wheat flour tortilla wrapped around chicken mole, rice, re-fried beans, Montery Jack cheese and salsa. This was presented on a tray, with a handful of nachos and a dollop of sour cream. I was invited to help myself to sauces -3-5 chilli heat!. I went for the not so wimpish 3 chilli strength, and a spoonful of pickled chilli slices- yes, THEY were HOT!
I found a seat in the Peace Gardens to enjoy my lunch, while listening to the music from the stage.
As I prepared to tuck in, I hoped that this was going to be as good as 'the hype'. I've recently been very disappointed with at least one local multi award winning business in the city.
I was surprised that my burrito wasn't wrapped in the foil, that I'd seen them presented in previously.
The "I've seen the future and it's wrapped in foil!" slogan made me smile (reminding me of Peter Kaye's "I've seen the future and it's garlic bread" )
Wowzer! From the first mouthful I was convinced, that any of their awards are well merited!!
Hot (in temperature and spiciness) this burrito was crammed full of deliciousness .... chunks of tender chicken, complemented by the rice/beans/cheese combo.
Yes, I'll certainly be back for more!!!
Food is sourced locally, and is then prepared from scratch, with the burritos/tacos etc being cooked in front of the customer. All good healthy stuff!
Their first shop/bar is to be found on Pinstone Street - near the Peace Gardens. It is an open fronted shop
Open Mon-Fri 08.00 - 17.30 Sat. 09.00 - 17.30 Sun. 10.00 - 16.00
Their 2nd business has recently opened at 90 Arundel St S1 4RE, which is a bit off the beaten track. This provides an eat in/take out choice.
Open daily 10.00 - 22.00
UPDATE- Feeling peckish on my way home from work, I went to the Arundel Street Street Food Chef. I chose the chicken mole burrito to take out (£3.45).
I took a seat, and waited for my food to be cooked. Plenty of notices/flyers and local magazines to peruse.
Arriving home after a short drive home, I devoured my burrito. It wasn't quite as good as my first one, but was still very tasty.
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Wonder Kitchen: Wonderful Chinese Take Away
I became aware of this gem, after reading an article in the local paper 'The Sheffield Star'
Well, Swallownest isn't far from my house, so I decided to give it a go!
I can't remember how long it is since I last ate a Chinese Take-Away, but I know that the last time I had one from my local, it wasn't up to their usual standard.
Parking on the (busy) road outside.
Yes, it's a small place , but spotless, and without the stale food/oil smell that some Take Aways' have.
I had a quick look at the menu from outside - there was a good choice of Chinese dishes, with some Thai, Singapore and English choices too.
I finally chose the House Special Satay with fried rice, and took a seat. Unfortunately the counter was too high then for me to see over and watch the two chefs preparing the food.
A selection of newspapers and magazines are available to read while you wait.
I'm not sure how it is at busy times, but the 2 chefs worked calmly together without speaking. The lady that had taken my order explained that they had taken over from the previous owners in November 2011.
Soon, my meal was ready, packed into plastic cartons (re-usable), and into a carrier bag along with 2 fortune cookies.
Well, I was very impressed with this Take Away and my meal. So much so that less than a week later, I was back here again!
This time, It was for a meal for Phil as well. A new notice in the window stated that they now did deliveries - £1 for every 3 miles I think.
This time, I only saw the 2 chefs - 1 had to take my order, cook my food and then take my money.
I think it's cash only here - certainly no cheques.
As our order came to over £10, we were entitled to a free bag of prawn crackers (The prawniest tasting crackers that I've tried)! No Fortune Cookies this time though.
Telephone Orders are welcome too, for collection later.
Open Tuesday- Sunday/Bank Holidays 17.00 - 23.00hrs
Good Value for money, Great Food, Pleasant staff
Yes, I'll be back here again..... soon
The House Platter appetiser for 2 looks likely at some time - crispy seaweed, BBQ ribs, chicken rolls, prawn toast, chicken wings, Sweet and Sour sauce for £6.80! (July 2012)
Favorite Dish: I thoroughly enjoyed my House special Satay (£5)- very tasty, with a nice hint of heat. Plenty of (large) slices of beef, chicken and juicy prawns.
My second visit I had the House Special Curry (£4.80) with boiled rice - again, piping hot, even after a car journey home, and delicious - Not too hot (spice wise) to spoil the flavour of the meat and prawns - there was a delicate hint of one of the spices, that I couldn't decide what it was.
My only criticism would be, that for me, there were too many onion slices.
Phil had his favourite Chicken in Lemon Sauce (£4.60) and fried rice, which he really enjoyed - I had a piece too, and it was yummy!
Neither of us could quite clear our plates though - Yes, the portions are of a good size!
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Shiraz: Iranian New Year Celebrations - Norooz
UPDATE- I think this is now called Caspian - I'm not sure if it's the same management etc - Will have to visit and find out!
-I wasn't aware that there was an Iranian restaurant in Sheffield, until one of my work colleagues mentioned that she was going to celebrate the Iranian New Year - Norooz, at this place.
As I was due to visit Iran soon, this was something that I was interested in joining in. My friends were interested too, so on 19th March, 7 of us sat down to enjoy a delicious meal in this friendly restaurant with a great atmosphere
Surprisingly for an Iranian restaurant, it is licensed, with a good selection of beers, wines and spirits.
We arrived for 20.30, just before the evenings entertainment - a belly dancer appeared.
There were a few Iranian groups eating, and some of the men and women joined in.
Sadly, my friends remembered that I'd taken Arabic Dance lessons, and embarrassed me into joining in - Hmmm - stone cold sober, and having the suppleness of a iron bar, it wasn't my better moment! I'll get them back one day! (I was surprised to see the Belly Dancer on ITV's 'Britains Got Talent 2008 a few months later- she made it through to the final, and stirred Simon Cowell!!)
A Great night out - just out of the city centre, so a nice change.
Parking on nearby streets.
Open 1700 -2330 daily except December 25th
Menu and Restaurant details
Favorite Dish: I thoroughly enjoyed my Cheld Khoresh Fesenjan, this was the dish I was looking forward to trying (mainly because it was chicken with pomegranate and walnuts ) - but as it was advertised as only being available Thurs/ Fri, I thought that I would have to order something else - but as it was Norooz, most of the specials, including the weekend specials such as fried Kingfish were available.
Apparently it is traditional to eat fish at Norooz
My meal came as a plate with basmati rice and salad garnish, and a hot dish of tender chicken pieces covered in a rich dark sauce. It was delicious - slightly sweet, from the pomegranate, but a bit of texture and nuttiness from the walnuts - I'm afraid that I couldn't finish my portion as I'd filled up with my starter - salad Shirazi - diced veg/salad in a vinegar dressing - a light starter, but there was delicious flat bread to dip into the dressing, and my friends were all saying 'try this' and giving me a taste of their starters, plus I ended up with a good portion of olives from one of my friends, who luckily doesn't like them!!
The Dolmeh - veg wrapped in vine leaves were very tasty!
Most unusual presentation was Patsy's Deezee - this came with a plate of rice, a hot dish of sauce, and a pot with a metal scoop, containing chick peas , lamb, and beans .
Another traditional Persian dish. Our helpful friendly waitress instructed Patsy on how to mix the ingredients.
No room for deserts, but I had a tea, which came in an attractive pot, placed on a stand over a tea light - I'll be looking out for one similar to buy in Iran! (see pics below)
We all had a great night, and will no doubt be returning here soon!
UPDATE - Organised a night out from work here for nearly 20 - again Great food, and I tried the Deezee which was delicious! This was after my trip to Iran - I was tempted to order a kebab for old times sake (if you check my Iran pages, you'll see that kebab and rice is the staple diet!) but chose the Deezee, as I never got to try it there.
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Gusto Italiano: Expensive lunch in a vibrant environment
WHIMSICALLY, my colleagues and I opted to treat ourselves to lunch at the new Gusto Italiano premises on Norfolk Row. Pleasant though it was, there was a sour taste left in our mouths when the bill arrived.
Inside, Gusto Italiano was teeming with life. The bar was busy with partners drinking their way to the bottom of large wine glasses. All of the tables were full of bustling parties of colleagues, friends and family members. Still we were greeted warmly and promptly and the waitress did her utmost to source us a table. Fortunately a couple departed as soon as we arrived and so we snagged the table just inside the door.
The service remained polite and attentive despite it being quite clear that demands were being placed on the waiting staff - they are a real credit to Gusto Italiano. We sat down with two bottles of still water and a lemonade and ordered three mozzarella and ham paninis as we were rushed to return to the office.
The paninis arrived and surprised. They were small, almost half of what you would expect of a panini. They were, however, absolutely delicious. The ham was meaty and the cheese was strong but not dominant. The crusty bread had a satisfying bite to it whilst remaining wonderfully soft and fluffy inside. It was as good as it gets for paninis. As well it should be.
For three of us to have a panini each with one non-alcoholic drink, the bill came to £26. Having become accustomed to exorbitant prices on recent trips to Sydney and Bruges, I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the price of dining in Sheffield. Not so at Gusto - this is an expensive lunch venue indeed. Pizzas and pastas were more reasonably-priced although that comment is passed without knowledge of the portion sizes.
Norfolk Row is beautiful. Its cobbled road and period buildings lend themselves perfectly to continental-style outdoors dining, especially with a warm sun beating down on the Row as it was on this fine March afternoon. Unfortunately it appears council guidelines preclude Gusto from expanding onto the roadside despite its ideal spot.
I would heartily recommend the restaurant. Its ambience, service and food rightly attract any number of plaudits. It is, however, an achievement which is reflected in the prices charged for dining at this fine Sheffield venue. This will not be the last time I visit Gusto Italiano and I can only hope my next visit truly blows me away.
The Milestone: Gastro pub - One of Sheffields best Restaurants
I first heard of The Milestone when my Father asked me where Green Lane was, as he'd read Jay Rayners glowing report of this place in The Observer magazine. Click here to read I got my A-Z out, and was still none the wiser - it was in the middle of no-where!
I was intrigued by this place, especially when it featured in a TV programme 'Ramsay’s Best Restaurant' (which I didn't see), and won the title for Best British Restaurant. Click for more info
So 4 years after it opened, I finally got the chance to eat here. It was a special occasion, so I was looking forward to the evening.
Well it's not on the main bus route etc - We caught a bus into town, then walked for about 10 minutes. (The nearest tram stop is Shalesmoor)
We arrived earlier than our booked time, so were directed to the bar by the friendly 'greeter' I chose a glass of Pinot Grigio, while Phil selected a pint of Starpropamen lager. We had time to chat and observe the other diners, and their enticing meals. I also noticed that they had published a hardback recipe book - 'First Catch Your Pig' - The Milestone actually rear their own rare-breed pigs, as well as making their own bread, ice cream, desserts and pickles etc.
I like their idea of purchasing their vegetables etc from allotment owners in the city - a bartering systym operates, with meals/drinks/gift vouchers in exchange for produce!
The Milestone was much smaller than I'd initially imagined it to be, but it didn't feel uncomfortably overcrowded. The (listed) building was originally built in 1833 as The Ball Inn.
It wasn't too long though, before we were shown to our table, and shown the extensive drinks menu - the waiter helped us select our wine (suggestions for wine to accompany individual dishes are printed on the menu).
The menu featured dishes of offal - as this was being promoted that week, so I enjoyed the chance to try something new -sweetbreads. While we perused the menu, we nibbled on olives and their delicious home made bread
I enjoyed the buzz of this place, and marvelled at the way the staff manouvered around the tables and up and down the narrow stairs to and from the kitchen.
Later, I paid a visit to the WC, which is up stairs, and you pass through the kitchen - again, I was surprised how small it was, and amazed that so many dishes could come from this space. It was quite an experience to glimpse the chefs and kitchen staff in action too.
All in All, we thoroughly enjoyed our evening - Delicious imaginative food, excellent customer service and a lovely atmosphere. We'll certainly be back here again.
We rounded the evening off with a pint at the nearby Kelham Island Tavern.
Kelham Island is quickly becoming one of my favourite areas of Sheffield, with its Real Ale pubs, museum and riverside walk.
Since our visit, another Milestone Restaurant has opened in the former Wig and Pen - in Sheffields 'Legal Quarter' on Campo Lane.
The Milestone also offer weekend Cookery Courses - see their website for details.
11am - 11:30pm Mon - Sat
11am - 11:00pm Sunday
12pm-4pm, 5pm-10pm Mon-Fri
11am-4pm, 5pm-10pm Sat
11am-4pm, 5pm-9pm Sun
Looking forward to eating here again Very soon for our Anniversary Meal!!
Favorite Dish: Delicious Home baked bread, butter and marinated olives, while we perused the menu
My starter -sweetbreads with battered cod and pickle mayonnaise
His starter - Kidney suet pudding with a pea and thyme sauce
My Main- Sea Bass, squid crab dumplings and shellfish broth
His starter - Corn fed Chicken breast with rosemary roasted potatoes and blue cheese pine nut and watercress salad
My dessert - lemon plate - a trio of lemon desserts - posset, cheesecake and a pastry with a bitter lemon 'jelly'
His dessert- Ginger cake with plums
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Silversmiths: Silver - tarnished!!!
Oh, I was so looking forward to eating here, and had wanted to do since first hearing of it back in 2008. For anyone that doesn't know, this was one of the restaurants 'rescued ' by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey in the TV series 'Kitchen Nightmares'.
Located in a former cutlery works, on a side street between Hallam University and Sheffield train station, this is slightly off the beaten track.
So, 'Runaway Girl' was tamed and given a make-over.
The Image - emphasising the buildings previous use/Sheffield Silver - Keeping the original facade, incorporating silver hallmarks into their logo, using Sheffield produced cutlery
Promote Locally sourced food and suppliers. Seasonally available food - therefore menus change daily to reflect the best produce available that day.
-Tuesday is Pie Night - a choice of 4 pies served with chips or mashed potato and mushy peas.
- Wednesday and Thursday - Chefs Specials 2 Courses £14 or 3 Courses £16
-Friday and Saturday - Early Bird Menu 17.00-19.00 2 Courses £14 3 Courses £16
Pre and Post Theatre menus - Silvermiths is a 5 minute walk from Sheffields own 'Theatreland' (2 minutes from The Showroom Cinema)
I eagerly signed onto their mailing list by e-mail, which entitled me to a 40% discount! I didn't receive the voucher, but receive regular updates about their offers. I did receive a 40% off voucher from their stall at the 2011 Tramlines Festival though.
For one reason or another, it wasn't until this year, that I finally got to eat here. I booked a table for two before Christmas, for my Birthday in January. The girl who took my booking was very pleasant, and confirmed that I could use my discount voucher.
Before my birthday, I received one of the usual 'special offer' notifications - They had been closed for a refurb, (re-opening on 6th January) and to celebrate, anyone booking before a certain date (after my Birthday), was entitled to a complimentary glass of champagne on arrival.
I 'phoned to confirm my booking and enquired if we would be entitled to the complimentary glass of fizz. The girl was quite abrupt and stated 'this for new bookings only' Hmmmm - not bothered about not qualifying for the freebie, but her attitude was quite unexpected.
Walking to the restaurant had been a pleasant experience, crossing Tudor Square, with its lighting effects, then down the re-vamped Howard Street, part of the regenerated 'Gold Walk', had put us in a great mood, and arrived at the restaurant in eager anticipation of a romantic meal for two.
Well, the first thing that struck us was the noise! A post-Christmas office party was in full swing. We waited quite a while, before a waiter showed us to our table - on a platform, adjacent to this party. We were then brought menus - a nice touch - the daily menu typed on brown paper, held with a bulldog clip - which I quite liked, until I saw that this was spattered with food stains.
A pleasant waitress took our orders - and I mentioned that I had a discount voucher, which she took.
A waiter took our wine order, then another member of staff appeared - I guess she was 'front of house' She stated that they didn't give 40% discount and that this was just for the summer, but they were offereing 20% discount now. I pointed out that when I booked, I had said that I had a 40% discount card and that the girl I spoke to said this was fine. Her immediate retort was 'Oh well She was wrong' I also said that there was no expiry date on the voucher, to which she muttered 'I'll have to 'phone Donna' and stomped off!!!! I guessed Donna was one of the owners.
So, we ate our meal - starter and main -we had to purchase vegetables as an extra! WE had room for dessert, which isn't normally the case, but weren't in the mood for dessert by this time.
We sat for quite a while waiting for the bill, in the end I had to go and ask for it.
Our pleasant waitress (the only member of staff that I saw smile that night) came to ask if our meal had been OK - We'd both commented earlier that our different main dishes had been quite salty.
As she'd asked, I mentioned the saltiness of the meal, she offered to speak to the chef, I told her that this wasn't a complaint, we'd both finished our meals and wouldn't have mentioned it if she hadn't asked.
She duly returned to say that the chef hadn't added any salt, as he left customers to season their own food - well OK, but it was salty! We thanked her anyway.
Our bill finally arrived, 'presented' by 'Madame front of House' who ungraciously pointed out that she'd given us a 20% discount, and asked if our meal had been OK - I repeated my comment re. the saltiness, and that our waitress had asked and had dealt with it satisfactorily.
Her -I'll speak to the chef
Me- no need it's already been dealt with, it's not a complaint
Her -I'll speak to the chef .....and she flounced off...
a few minutes later she returned
Her - Chef says ... he doesn't add any extra salt, he leaves it to the customer to add their own
Me - I know, Thanks!
We paid and left!!!
So.... Not the night I was looking forward to...
I returned to work next day, and everyone was asking about my night, knowing how much I'd been looking forward to it.
I then found out that some of their friends had been and had a similar experience, but knew I was looking forward to my Birthday, so hadn't said anything.
Would I eat there again? Probably not
Would I recommend it? I'd give an honest account of our experience and leave it up to them to decide.
It would be charitable to say that 'perhaps this was a bad night' but, they'd only been open a week after their refurb/2 week break. The staff all seemed 'battle weary' - perhaps you fare better if there is a Celebrity in the house - Silversmiths certainly have an eye for promoting 'famous diners' ie Katie Perry! and their many local and national awards - From now on , I'll take these with 'a pinch of salt' - Chef says I'm allowed to add my own, and I'm sure this will be confirmed!
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed our meal, but it wasn't outstanding
The menu changes here daily, so I understand, so perhaps it's not so important to itemise what we ate, because it might not be repeated if you eat here.
Our 2 course meal of starters and mains £14 each
Supplement ????? which I only noticed later £2.90
Side Order - vegetables!! £2.75
Bottle of wine £15.95
20% discount £9.80
Total Bill £30
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Zooby's Sandwich Deli & Coffee Bar: Cheap Filter Coffee
In between sightseeing, Sue (Suvanki) and I stopped here for a coffee. It was the cheapest filter coffee (1.25 gbp (August 2011) I paid for quite a long time. The takeaway cafe serves fair trade coffees, teas and hot chocolate alongside confectionery and sandwiches.
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Edo Sushi: Takeaway sushi in Sheffield city centre
We first discovered Edo Sushi during Sheffield Food Festival in July 2011.
As we wandered around the "Eat the World" global food stalls in the Peace Gardens we happened upon their stall and paid a few pounds for cups of their thin noodles and vegetables. We also picked up a flier which showed us where they were located, but to be honest even with the address and a map we were none the wiser as to where they were based! Neither of us had heard of Highcourt Chambers and it doesn't seem to appear on any maps. In fact, it is located quite centrally, just off High Street albeit tucked away on a narrow passageway behind Pizza Hut and The Bankers Draft pub.
One Saturday afternoon in September 2011, we saw advertising boards positioned on High Street that were promoting Edo Sushi's lunchtime menu, so we ventured down the passageway and gave them a try.
The lunchtime menu is rotated frequently, with a selection of main courses accompanied by a choice of green tea or miso soup for £4.50.
On the day that we visited, the lunchtime options consisted of a sushi box, chicken curry with rice, coated chicken with rice and a flying fish and rice combination. The staff also informed us that the gyosa were on special offer that day (6 pieces containing either vegetables or meat and accompanied by rice for £4.50).
I opted for:
Edo Sushi Box
1 x salmon nigiri (rice topped with a good sized piece of fresh Scottish salmon), 2 x prawn nigiri (similar to the salmon nigiri, but with boiled prawns on top) and 6 x Typhoon rolls. The staff explained to me that Typhoon rolls were rolls of rice filled with salmon, tempura batter and a mayonnaise with a hint of chilli). All of the sushi sold at Edo Sushi is freshly prepared on the day; it tasted wonderful and I was particularly impressed with the tasty Typhoon rolls. The sushi was accompanied by a few lettuce leaves and sachets of soy sauce and, my particular favourite, hot wasabi paste.
Emma opted for:
Chicken Kara-age Rice
Coated deep fried chicken served on a bed of rice with a sweet chilli mayonnaise and small side salad.
We both opted for green tea rather than miso soup and received polystyrene cups with tea bags in.
There are no tables or chairs for eating in at Edo Sushi (you can either take it away or opt for their home delivery service), so we took our lunches to a nearby bench on Fargate and tucked in with the wooden chopsticks that were provided.
As well as the lunchtime menu, Edo Sushi offers a large choice of sushi and uramaki (rice rolls with various fillings), as well as other Japenese dishes such as chicken terayaki, ton-katsu pork curry, vegetable tempura and rice and noodle dishes.
The location of Edo Sushi means that you are unlikely to stumble across it. I suspect that much of their custom comes from city centre workers who have discovered it and return often for their lunches. I hope it does a roaring trade during the week as the fresh sushi is delicious and pretty good value for money.
Delicious fresh sushi in the city centre. Good value lunchtime menu. Recommended!
Sushi Express: Good value Japanese lunches
My girlfriend and I first ate at Sushi Express one Saturday lunchtime in February 2011.
This Japanese restaurant/take-away/food store is tucked away on the ground floor of an apartment block on Milton Street in the city centre. It is pretty well hidden and I'm sure there are a good many Sheffielders who still don't know that it exists. Despite being well hidden, it is actually very centrally located – just a few minutes walk down Fitzwilliam Street from the popular student areas of West Street and Devonshire Green.
Having spotted Sushi Express almost by accident while walking past one day, we Googled the name and found that they offer an excellent value lunch menu for just £4.90 per person. We decided to give it a try!
There are 6 set meals to choose from on the lunch menu; each one served with a choice of salad or miso soup:
Set A: Japanese Char Siu Noodle
Set B: Sushi
Set C: Katsu Curry Don (Pork/Chicken)
Set D: House Special Cold Noodle
Set E: Salmon Salad
Set F: Assorted Skewer Don (Bacon and Salmon, Octopus, Chicken Wings, Beef)
Additionally, you can add various side dishes (dumplings, tempura, chicken skewers, fried tofu) to your meal for between £1 and £2 and drinks (green tea, coffee, various fruit and vegetable juices) for £1.
I opted for Set B: Sushi, which contained:
1 spicy salmon sushi: salmon, rice and a spicy mayonnaise wrapped in seaweed;
1 tofu skin: a sweet tofu shell filled with rice;
1 omelette sushi: a slice of cold, sweet omelette, on top of a bed of rice;
1 prawn sushi: a large prawn on top of a bed of rice;
6 x cucumber maki: cucumber and rice wrapped in seaweed.
The sushi was served with a portion of wasabi paste (a very strong tasting paste, with the same eye-watering properties that can be found in mustard) and a dish of soy sauce.
The meal also included a bowl of hot miso soup; a thin soup with tofu and green vegetables in it.
I'm no sushi expert, but the sushi at Sushi Express tasted fresh and flavoursome. It was certainly comparable to sushi that I have eaten elsewhere in Sheffield (e.g. Yo Sushi at Meadowhall and Sakushi on Campo Lane; each of which charge £3+ for a single sushi dish).
Emma opted for Set A: Japanese Char Siu Noodle:
This was a large bowl of soup (perhaps chicken flavoured) and filled with generous portions of roast pork, sweetcorn, tofu, boiled egg, vegetables and long noodles.
We shared a portion of Chicken Wings Skewers (£1.50):
Two skewers, each containing four chicken wings drizzled with teriyaki sauce.
We each had a pot of Green Tea (£1.00).
Overall, we both enjoyed our meals and felt that the lunch menu was good value for money.
As well as the restaurant, there is also a food store at the entrance to the dining area. You can purchase a variety of Japanese food and drinks (including noodles, Japanese rice crackers, wasabi peas and sake).
Good value Japanese lunches, including sushi, soup, salads, skewers, curries and noodles! Recommended!
Amigo's Mexican Kitchen: Friendly Mexican cafe on London Road
My girlfriend and I ate at Amigo's Mexican Kitchen for the first time one Saturday lunch time in August 2010.
Amigo's had opened just a few months earlier in small premises on London Road which formerly housed Bohan's Irish Kitchen, and filled a culinary void, being the only Mexican eatery in the vicinity. Prior to Amigo's opening, the only place we had previously eaten Mexican food in Sheffield was the excellent Chilango's at Meadowhall shopping mall, several miles from the city centre.
We had been aware of the impending arrival of Amigo's for some time and eagerly anticipated its opening. The owner of the restaurant had posted a thread on www.sheffieldforum.co.uk to judge the likely interest in a Mexican restaurant on London Road and to ask for any suggestions. We had followed this thread with interest over a couple of months and saw an announcement that Amigo's was going to open shortly. It took us a couple of months before we eventually found time to stop by for lunch, despite it being only a 5 minute walk from my girlfriend's apartment!
That thread on Sheffield Forum is still going strong today; customers invariably leaving positive feedback and occasionally making suggestions regarding areas for improvement, new menu items that they'd like to see or extended opening hours. The owner responds to the feedback and makes small changes from time to time. This is a place that is well and truly in touch with its customers' needs and is happy to accommodate them. For example, I noticed that several contributors to the thread had commented that although the food was tasty, it could have been hotter and spicier. The owner replied that it was deliberately not too spicy, so that the hot chilli wouldn't overpower the other individual flavours in the meal, but that if you wanted it spicier, then you only had to ask and it would be prepared to your tastes. Another example is that, following customer feedback, Amigo's has recently signed up with www.just-eat.co.uk in order to offer a home delivery service. As demand grows, the delivery area is gradually being widened so that nobody misses out!
In keeping with this impressive use of social media to interact with its customer base, Amigo's Mexican Kitchen also has its own Facebook page, as well as its official website with online menus.
Amigo's is a fairly small place with seating for maybe 15 or 20 diners at a time. There are a handful of small tables by the windows and a few stools and eating surfaces along the walls. The decor is simple; plain brick walls with small wooden shelves displaying bottles and jars of Mexican sauces and condiments (which can be purchased from the cafe). A large glass window looks out onto busy London Road outside, and gives the cafe plenty of natural light. On the day that we visited, the sun was streaming in through the large window and the interior was very hot (almost uncomfortably hot, like a greenhouse); the waiter saw that we were hot and opened the main door to let a breeze in and we were far more comfortable as a result.
A laptop was set up behind the counter and was being used to play what I believe was Mexican salsa music (but I'm no expert on Mexican music!); it was being played at the right volume to create a nice background atmosphere without being overbearingly loud.
We drank our ice cold cans of Sprite (60p a can) while perusing the menu. The majority of the items on the menu are filled wraps of some descript – burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, tacos and enchiladas – as well as other Mexican favourites chilli con carne and nachos. You can also get a salad (beans, olives, lettuce, peppers, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese) and a selection of side orders such as guacamole, refried beans and coleslaw. The various wraps are filled with mouthwatering selections including Cajun chicken, beef chilli, chicken mole and mixed vegetables.
The majority of the food is freshly prepared on the premises, using authentic Mexican ingredients. I understand from reading other reviews that the owner/chef has experience of cooking all over the world, including spells in Mexico and the southern United States.
Prices are very reasonable. The wraps (which come with accompanying dips and nachos) are priced between £3.75 and £4.25, while the chilli con carne (served with rice, nachos and dips) is £4.25. By comparison, the wraps at Chilango's (with no accompaniments) cost between £5 and £6.
I opted for:
Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla - Cost: £3.95
A flat tortilla, cut into four triangles and filled with tasty chicken, peppers, onions, Monterey Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream, coriander and cumin. It came with a generous portion of nachos and a portion of pico de gallo (tomato, cucumber, onions, refried beans and lettuce). We also received dishes of sour cream, guacamole and salsa between us and the waiter told us to ask if we wanted any further dips.
The quesadilla was very tasty. I would echo the comments that I'd read prior to our visit; it could certainly have been hotter and spicier. But would I have wanted it to be? Would I have preferred more of a kick to it at the expense of the coriander and cumin tastes? I'm not sure to be honest. I may ask for a bit more spice next time I visit and see how it compares. It was very nice as it was though.
Emma opted for:
Chicken Mole Burrito - Cost: £3.95
A flour tortilla wrap, cut in two and filled with chicken, beans, rice, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapenos, sour cream and a deliciously tasty mole sauce (containing dark chocolate and chillies I believe).
As with my quesadilla, it came accompanied by nachos and pico de gallo.
As our meals were ideal for sharing, I traded some of my quesadilla for some of Emma's burrito. I must admit, the chicken mole burrito was probably even nicer than my chipotle chicken quesadilla; whereas my quesadilla was rather dry, the burrito benefitted from the thick mole sauce.
Emma enjoyed it very much too, and we'll certainly be back again for another visit in the near future.
As we paid our bill at the counter, we decided to take home a couple of boxes of their homemade raisin biscuits (60p for 2...and very nice!) as we didn't have time for a sit down dessert (choices include scones, cheesecake and chocolate brownie with ice cream).
The cafe isn't licensed (so no bottles of Corona or Sol), but there is a wide choice of soft drinks, juices, teas and coffees.
Overall, we really enjoyed our first visit to Amigo's and will undoubtedly return again in future. The food was tasty and excellent value for money and the service was friendly – what more could you want!
A friendly Mexican cafe with a customer oriented approach! Great value, authentic Mexican food – to eat in, take away or have delivered to your door. Highly recommended!
Updated 19th December 2010
Last night, my girlfriend and I used the www.just-eat.co.uk website to place an order for home delivery from Amigo's Mexican Kitchen. It couldn't have been easier! We placed our order on the website and, a little over half an hour later, the doorbell rang and our food had arrived. Excellent service...and no charge for delivery!
We opted for the "Meal Deal for 2" at £10.95; any two burritos or quesadillas, cheese and salsa nachos, re-fried beans and a bottle of Coke or water.
I ordered the chilli beef burrito (tasty and filling, with good quality minced beef, rice, beans and peppers, but not as hot and spicy as I'd have liked) and Emma ordered the chipotle chicken quesadilla (again, great quality, tasty and filling...and spicier than my chilli beef burrito). Our polystyrene trays also contained generous portions of nachos and pico de gallo.
There was a separate portion of nachos, along with small pots of cheese sauce, tangy salsa, sour cream and guacamole. We chose water rather than Coke, and received a 500ml bottle of mineral water.
Great value and great food once again!
Updated 14th August 2011
Amigo's has recently undergone a small refurbishment with the counter being removed and a few extra tables added. It's still small, but slightly easier to get a table than it used to be.
On our last few visits, I've discovered the excellent "roasted tomato and poblano chilli soup with avocado" (£3.00) which is packed with tongue-numbing hot spice! I love hot and spicy food and this soup is wonderful by any standards. We've also sampled the sizzling fajitas (chicken = £6.50; king prawns = £7.50) which arrive at the table bubbling, sizzling and spitting tasty sauce all over the tablecloth. As with all Amigo's dishes, they are delicious and full of taste!
moo-lala (Part 1): New restaurant with Sheffield-sourced produce
Updated August 2011:
***** Less than 6 months after opening, it appears that moo-lala has ceased operating.*****
I first ate at moo-lala with my girlfriend and her parents on a Saturday evening in March 2011.
This newly opened restaurant sources the majority of its ingredients from local suppliers; from a variety of butchers, farmers, fruit and vegetable suppliers, dairies and breweries in Sheffield and the wider South Yorkshire and Derbyshire region. For example, the meat comes from "John Crawshaw's the Butchers" in Stocksbridge, the bread is baked by "Bakewell Pudding Company" in Derbyshire, the ice cream is produced by Sheffield-based "Our Cow Molly" and the beers are brewed by the local Kelham Island and Bradfield breweries. The emphasis of moo-lala is very firmly on fresh, local produce.
Moo-lala is located within the West One Plaza in Sheffield city centre, a complex of apartments, restaurants and bars in the heart of student territory close to West Street, Division Street, Devonshire Green and the University of Sheffield. Moo-lala occupies the unit that was until recently operated by Dosanj Indian restaurant.
Viewing the online menus on moo-lala's website prior to our visit, my initial thoughts were that the choice of meals wasn't particularly extensive and the prices were relatively high by Sheffield standards. However, we were visiting on the opening weekend and the restaurant was offering a special offer of 2 for 1 on all main courses, so the prices looked far more reasonable!
The restaurant operates different menus at different times. The lunch menu is available daily between noon and 5pm and features a selection of sandwiches and light meals. There is a special "lite lunch and a drink" deal where you can enjoy a choice of light meals (e.g. burgers, omelettes, Welsh Rarebit) with a drink (soft drinks, red or white wine, Beck's lager) for £6.95. Following this, there is an "Early Grazer" menu which is available between 5pm and 7pm from Sundays to Thursdays. On this menu, you can select from a handful of main meals with a choice of drinks for £9.95. The main menu was operational at the time of our visit; 7:30pm on a Saturday evening:
Starters: Ranging from soup of the day at £3.95 to pan-fried scallops with black pudding at £6.75. Other options include "Posh Prawn Cocktail" (tiger prawns and crayfish in Marie Rose sauce), sticky glazed chicken skewers, salmon fishcakes and a vegetarian option of asparagus, goats cheese and spring onion tartlet.
Mains: Ranging from cod, chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce at £9.85 to fillet steak with chips and a choice of sauces at £18.95. Other options include belly of pork, roasted ham hock, "British Steak and Yorkshire Cheese Burger", rump of lamb and sausages and mash. Under the heading "Proud of Sheffield" is a statement that all steaks are sourced from local farms. There is very little choice for vegetarians; the asparagus, goats cheese and spring onion tartlet is available as a main as well as a starter and the only other option is the moo-lala salad.
Desserts: Includes a selection of different flavoured ice creams from "Our Cow Molly" (£3.95), white chocolate cheesecake (£4.95), cinnamon bread and butter pudding (£4.95) and Yorkshire Cheese Board (£5.95).
Drinks: Soft drinks and fruit juices (from £1.90), white, red, rose and sparkling wines (from £3.75 a glass / £12.75 a bottle) and a selection of coffees and teas (from £1.95). Beers include bottles of Pride of Sheffield (£3.50) and Pale Rider (£3.90) from Kelham Island Brewery and a rotating selection of cask ales from Bradfield Brewery (from £3.30 a pint).
When we arrived, it wasn't as busy as I'd expected it to be. I'm not sure how well publicised the opening weekend and special 2 for 1 offer had been; I'd stumbled across news of its opening on a Sheffield forum, found their website via Google and signed up to their mailing list in order to receive an email with details of the opening weekend. Moo-lala have set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account to spread the word of their opening, so I thought it would be busier, particularly on a Saturday evening.
We were greeted at the door by a smiling waitress and asked whether we'd like to sit downstairs or upstairs. As there were a handful of tables occupied downstairs and you can see into the open kitchen from there, we decided to sit downstairs. We suspected the upstairs would be empty, but we did see waitresses taking food up on a couple of occasions. The downstairs just seemed more inviting and atmospheric.
The layout of the interior is very similar to when we visited in its previous guise as Dosanj Indian restaurant. The furniture has changed and it has a more homely feel than it used to do. It has wooden floorboards, wooden tables and cushioned wooden chairs. There are no tablecloths on the tables, just cutlery, wine glasses and paper serviettes, and small oil candles in the centre of each table. The oil candles don't create a particularly intimate atmosphere as the dining area is already brightly lit with green lighting. There are photographs of countryside scenes on the walls, fitting in with the restaurant's emphasis on locally grown and reared produce.
With it being the opening weekend, there seemed to be more staff than were necessary given the number of diners. This isn't a bad thing; it ensured that service was speedy and efficient throughout our meal.
One of the waitresses took our drinks order and we were disappointed that the cask ales from Bradfield Brewery were not yet available. This meant that Graham and I had a choice of two bottled Kelham Island beers; Pride of Sheffield or Pale Rider. I like both of these beers, but I always prefer cask beers to bottled beers. Emma and Christine both ordered Victorian Lemonade, but the waitress soon returned to our table to tell us that they'd run out of it. Emma wasn't particularly impressed by the range of fruit juices – just apple, orange and cranberry juice – so opted for a standard lemonade. Furthermore, when we came to order our second round of drinks, they'd run out of Pride of Sheffield, meaning that only Pale Rider was now available. This was all very disappointing and would have been even worse had the restaurant been busier that evening. I guess a few teething problems are to be expected until the restaurant can more accurately judge required stock levels.
We studied the menus, which was a bit of a cumbersome process as they had been printed double-sided on a single piece of card which was about two foot long, making them a little awkward to handle. A smaller sized menu in booklet form would have made for easier reading. In the interests of fairness, I must point out that Emma disagrees with me and thinks the menus are absolutely fine as they are!
(Tip split in two due to exceeding the maximum character limit. Please see continuation of tip in Part 2 below...)
Updated August 2011:
***** Less than 6 months after opening, it appears that moo-lala has ceased operating.*****
moo-lala (Part 2): New restaurant with Sheffield-sourced produce
Updated August 2011:
***** Less than 6 months after opening, it appears that moo-lala has ceased operating.*****
(...Tip split in two due to exceeding the maximum character limit. Please see the first part of this review in Part 1 above)
We decided to start with an appetiser from the "nibbles" section of the menu:
Rustic breads served with oil and Hendersons Relish and a pot of English butter - Price: £2.45
Emma's parents had never tried the local Sheffield speciality of Hendersons Relish (a locally produced sauce that is hard to describe, but is controversially likened by some to Worcestershire Sauce, and is splashed on just about any type of food by many of us Sheffielders!), so this was a good opportunity to introduce them to it. A small pot of Hendersons Relish, accompanied by three slices of bread (which had a reddish tint to it, and may have been tomato and basil flavoured), a slab of butter that looked like a slice of cheese and a serving of green salad leaves were served on a wooden bread board. It was a nice start to our meal.
From the starters section, I opted for:
Soup of the Day - Price: £3.95
We had asked the waitress what the soup of the day was and she'd informed us that it was tomato and basil flavoured. It was a good sized bowl of soup, was served piping hot, was fairly thick and contained tomato seeds and was topped with a generous sprinkling of basil and a trickle of cream. It was accompanied by three bread crusts and a pot of butter. The bread was different to the bread that came with our appetiser; it was more like a wholemeal bread. It was a tasty bowl of soup which I very much enjoyed.
Emma and Christine both opted for:
Moo la la sticky glazed chicken skewers - Price: £4.95
Three skewers of good quality chicken in a sweet coating served on a bed of salad. I am informed that they were very nice, contained plenty of chicken and that the sauce was reminiscent of Teriyaki sauce.
Graham opted for:
Posh Prawn Cocktail - Price: £6.15
Served in a cocktail glass. Filled with small prawns, salad leaves, Marie Rose sauce and a slice of lemon, with the crayfish hooked around the edge of the glass. It looked very good and Graham says that it was nice, but would have been easier to eat from a dish or a plate than from a tall, thin cocktail glass.
For our mains, Emma and I both opted for:
Roasted Ham Hock - Price: £11.95
I was intrigued by this dish when I first saw it on the menu. Firstly, I didn't know what part of the pig the hock came from (I later read that it is the joint between the leg and the foot) and secondly, the menu description said that it was poached in cola before being roasted. It sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try. It certainly didn't disappoint. The joint was a good size with plenty of good quality ham on it. My joint looked to have been cooked more than Emma's, giving it a nice layer of crackling on the outside which I really enjoyed. It was served on a bed of mashed potatoes, with sliced carrots and a thin but tasty gravy. There was no hint of a taste of cola, which is probably a good thing! Both Emma and I would recommend this dish.
Christine opted for:
Slow Roast Belly of Pork - Price: £10.95
The first impression of this dish was that the quantity of pork was quite small, certainly in comparison to the huge ham hocks that were on our plates. However, this was probably deceptive as the pieces of pork were rather thick and more than adequate according to Christine. The pork was accompanied by a carrot and swede puree, fondant potatoes (with a crispy exterior and a smooth mashed potato interior), roasted shallots, sauteed English pears and a "sage infused jus" (a gravy that looked similar to the one on our ham). Christine really enjoyed this dish and it has inspired her to include pears in the dish next time she cooks pork.
Graham opted for:
Traditional Cod and Chips - Price: £9.85
Again, the intial impression of this dish was the relatively small size of the cod. It was quite a chunky piece, but certainly a lot smaller than you would get from a fish and chip shop for a fraction of the price. It had a crispy beer batter (I've never had a beer batter that actually had any taste of beer to it – I'm not sure if this one was any different) and was accompanied by chips, a dish of mushy peas and a small dish of tartare sauce. While Graham enjoyed the dish, he'd eaten it in a matter of minutes and would clearly have liked a bigger portion. In truth, I've rarely found fish and chips in restaurants to be as good value as in fish and chip shops, so it's unlikely that I'd recommend ordering this dish.
Having finished our mains, we still had enough room for desserts, so the waitress brought back the menus for us to peruse. Once again, the restaurant had run out of something. This time it was the Cinnamon Bread and Butter Pudding which Graham was going to order. However, the smaller sized versions of this dessert were still available as part of the "Trio of Desserts", so we ordered two lots of that; one for Emma's parents to share and one for Emma and I to share.
Trio of Desserts - Price: £8.95
Once again, the first thing to strike me when the dessert plates arrived was the tiny portion sizes. The three small desserts (lemon tart, white chocolate cheesecake and cinnamon bread and butter pudding) sat around the edge of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The lemon tart was the highlight for me – it had a tangy lemon filling like that you would find in a lemon meringue pie. The white chocolate cheesecake was nice enough, but I'd have preferred it with a softer topping rather than a solid topping and also with more topping and less biscuit base. The bread and butter pudding didn't have much cinnamon flavour to it and was best eaten with the ice cream to make it moister.
All in all, despite a few teething problems leading to unavailable items on the menu, we enjoyed our first visit to moo-lala. Thanks to the 2 for 1 offer on the mains, our bill was a very reasonable £86. The general consensus amongst our party was that we would return again in future, even when the 2 for 1 offer is no longer on. The good quality of the food (my main course especially) means that I would probably agree with that view. Hopefully the cask ales will be available by the time of our next visit!
Good quality, locally sourced food, but some portion sizes were on the small side considering the price. I wish the owners of moo-lala every success with their venture and we'll probably visit again in future when it is more established.
Updated August 2011:
***** Less than 6 months after opening, it appears that moo-lala has ceased operating.*****
The Street Food Chef - Mexican Burrito Bar: Good value Mexican takeaway food in city centre!
The Street Food Chef – Mexican Burrito Bar is an independently owned Mexican food outlet in the heart of Sheffield city centre.
It is located on Pinstone Street, just a few minutes walk from The Moor in one direction and the Peace Gardens and Town Hall in the other direction.
The Street Food Chef serves excellent value, simple, tasty Mexican food for you to takeaway. There are no tables and chairs to sit at; just place your order at the counter, wait for it to be freshly prepared and then take it away with you.
It is the ideal place to grab a quick breakfast or lunch. If I worked in the city centre, I would pick up a burrito, taco or empanada for lunch at least once a week from The Street Food Chef.
The menu consists of burritos, tacos and empanadas (filled with your choice of chicken, shredded pork, vegetables, rice, beans and cheese), as well as tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream and various salsas. You can choose from the mild "pico de gallo" tomato and onion salsa, the medium "picante" salsa or, my favourite, the "hot habanero" salsa which leaves your lips and tongue tingling!
We have taken advantage of The Street Food Chef's special lunch time offer on a few occasions; paying just £3 for an empanada (an 8 inch tortilla packed tightly with rice, cheese and beans), a bag of tortilla chips and a soft drink (usually a can of Rio tropical fruit juice). We sometimes purchase pots of guacamole and sour cream (£1 each) to dip our tortilla chips into and we sit in the nearby Peace Gardens enjoying our tasty Latin American lunch!
Last weekend, we sampled the breakfast menu for the first time. We both ordered the Breakfast Taco (£2.00) – which was filled with locally sourced grilled bacon, salad, sour cream and salsa. Inevitably, I opted for the hot habanero salsa on mine; it tasted even more potent at that time of the morning and my lips were tingling for some time afterwards! Emma opted for the much milder pico de gallo. The bacon was freshly grilled in front of us after we had ordered; that meant that we had to wait a few minutes, but also meant that our tacos were freshly prepared and served piping hot. We both enjoyed our tacos and found them to be great value for money!
The Street Food Chef also sells bottles of salsa to take home with you and seeds to grow your own chilli peppers.
Great value Mexican burritos in the heart of Sheffield city centre. Be sure to sample the hot habanero salsa! Highly recommended!
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Dhanistha's: Superb South Indian/Sri Lankan cuisine
Dhanistha's is an excellent South Indian and Sri Lankan restaurant located on Abbeydale Road, a short drive or walk from Sheffield city centre.
We first ate at Dhanistha's in October 2010, just three months after it first opened. We had read lots of favourable reviews and had discovered a fondness for South Indian cuisine after a recent visit to the nearby East and West restaurant.
So, one Sunday lunchtime my girlfriend and I visited with a couple of friends who were visiting from out of town.
At the time, the restaurant still displayed many of the features from its predecessor, an Italian restaurant by the name of Nino's. The former occupant's sign was still displayed outside (with a makeshift Dhanistha's sign hung over it) and the decor was still more Italian than Indian. It was clear that the new owners were concentrating on the food side of things as a priority...and the aesthetics could wait for a while.
On that occasion, I started with a Masala Dosa (Price: £5.00). I had become familiar with these delicious spicy potato-filled lentil based crepes on a recent visit to East and West restaurant and was keen to sample Dhanistha's version. It cetainly didn't disappoint. It was light and crispy, over a foot long, filled with tasty potato masala and served with pots of sambar (a stew of vegetables and spices), coconut chutney and a mint and coriander dip.
For my main, I opted for Konju Manga Curry (Price: £7.50); a prawn and mango curry flavoured with various spices. I usually like my Indian food to be hot and spicy. This dish wasn't – it was fruity and the taste of tamarind was very evident, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
I don't remember exactly what everybody else ordered on that day, but Emma started with a dosa that was pyramid shaped and then opted for a mild curry (probably chicken masala, chicken korma or butter chicken) with lemon rice. The curry was just to her liking, not too spicy, but the lemon rice had a real kick to it!
One of our party was vegetarian; she managed to pick several dishes that she enjoyed from the extensive vegetarian section of the menu. I don't recall what she ordered, but I can tell you that the vegetarian options include numerous curries containing lentils, spinach, chickpeas, bananas, coconut and various vegetables, fruits and spices.
The final member of our party asked the waiter to bring him whatever he thought would be a typical dish for the region. He explained to us that this tactic had worked wonders at restaurants all over the world and he had enjoyed many dishes that he wouldn't otherwise have tried. The waiter asked for an indication of how spicy he liked his food and he requested "medium to hot". Some form of traditional curry was produced and I am informed that it was excellent. I am also informed that our friend is glad that he requested "medium to hot", because that was more than enough heat and spice for his tastes!
We hadn't visited Dhanistha's since then, but in the summer of 2011 we took advantage of a Groupon offer and purchased vouchers for £30 worth of food at the restaurant. We redeemed the voucher one Sunday afternoon in August 2011.
We were really impressed with our first visit to Dhanistha's and I had been keen to make a return visit for some time. The reviews that I read online continued to be very positive. So, I was surprised to find the restaurant devoid of diners when we arrived that lunchtime. In fairness, this is probably the restaurant's quietest time (we had been informed that the restaurant was fully booked when we tried to redeem our voucher on the Friday or Saturday evening) and furthermore it was Ramadan, so many of the restaurant's potential clientele were likely fasting until the evening.
Dhanistha's now has its own permanent sign outside and any hint of the dining room's Italian past have disappeared. The decor is plain and simple and it's definitely more of a casual dining option than an upmarket restaurant. Just the way I like it!
Once again, I was impressed by the extensive choice on the menu and despite my craving for a masala dosa and a prawn curry, I promised myself that I would try something different this time. Portions are large and dishes are reasonably priced, so we knew that our £30 voucher would go far here. If we exceeded that (which we inevitably did!), we could just pay the difference in cash.
We ordered a variety of starters:
Rasam Soup - Price: £2.50
This was completely new to me. A tasty soup made from hot pepper, tomatoes, tamarind juice, ginger, garlic and spices. It was hot (although not as hot as a Thai Tom Yum soup) and generously filled with vegetables and spices. Some of the contents included stringy stalks and leaves, but it was all edible. It was a little too spicy for Emma's tastes, but ideal for mine.
Cashew Nut Pakoras - Price: £3.50
I expected these to be large pockets of cashew nuts, similar in size to onion bhajis or vegetable samosas. Instead, they were individual cashew nuts (perhaps 30 or more) coated in a spicy batter. They made for ideal pre-meal nibbles, but weren't as tasty or spicy as the menu description suggested they would be. I couldn't really make out the ginger and green chilli flavours that were referred to in the menu description.
Aubergine Slice Fry - Price: £2.50
Four slices of aubergine, deep fried in a non-spicy batter and served with a small side salad and chutneys.
Onion Bhajis - Price: £2.25
Four good sized onion bhajis with a crispy, rather than greasy, exterior. Excellent!
For my main, I opted for:
Green Mango Puli Curry - Price: £7.00 and Coconut Rice - Price: £3.00
Fish curry is the first thing that springs to mind when I think about South Indian cuisine, but I had failed to try it on my previous visits to Dhanistha's and nearby East and West. I decided to give it a go.
This curry was similar to the prawn curry that I had last time (it contained thinly sliced green mango, coconut milk, tamarind, sauteed fenugreek, onions and curry leaves), but instead of prawns it featured king fish. The king fish was white and flaky and the curry was again fruity and exhibited strong tastes of tamarind.
Although I enjoyed it, I would probably opt for a prawn or chicken curry in future and I would certainly try something spicier next time.
The coconut rice came is a generous sized dish, but there was no separate plate. Eating the meal therefore involved scooping helpings of the curry onto the top of the bowl of rice and replenishing several times until it was all eaten. I didn't mind that.
Emma opted for:
Ginger Chicken Curry - Price: £6.00 and Coconut Rice - Price: £3.00
The menu states that all curries are freshly prepared and can be made as mild or as spicy as you like. Emma asked for the curry to be served as mild as possible and it was prepared just to her tastes. The chicken was very good quality and Emma enjoyed her meal. I also sampled a spoonful and found it to be very tasty, if a little mild for my own tastes.
We shared a Garlic Paratha (Price: £2.50); lighter and flakier than a naan bread and dripping with the taste of strong garlic!
We drank refreshing Mango Lassis - Price: £3.00 and soft drinks.
Alas, we had no room for desserts. There are only three desserts listed on the menu, all of which are traditional: Gulab Jamun (I've tried these lovely syrup drenched sponges in other Indian restaurants), Payasam (made from vermicelli, milk, sultanas, cashew nuts, jaggery and sago) and Vattilappam (a Sri Lankan dessert made from eggs, jaggery and coconut milk). I shall sample one of the latter two desserts on our next visit!
Overall, we have really enjoyed our visits to Dhanistha's and would highly recommend it to anybody looking for traditional South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. The service was a little slow on our most recent visit (especially in light of the fact that the restaurant was very quiet), but we weren't in a rush and we were happy to wait a little longer for freshly prepared dishes.
Compared to nearby East and West (another South Indian/Sri Lankan restaurant located on Abbeydale Road), I would comment as follows:
Dhanistha's is a proper sit down restaurant, whereas East and West is a small takeaway with a few tables and chairs. I don't have a preference for one over the other (I enjoy the laid back cafe vibe of East and West as much as I enjoy the more comfortable dining room at Dhanistha's), but it's probably easier to get a table at Dhanistha's than it is at East and West.
I love the food at both of these places and find the staff to be equally friendly, welcoming and happy to explain and recommend their various dishes.
Dhanistha's currently offers a wider choice than East & West, but the latter is shortly to open new, larger premises in Broomhill and may extend their menu when they do so.
Excellent South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine! High quality, lots of choice and great value for money! Highly recommended!
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