Ego Restaurant: Mediterranean food in Sheffield city centre
My girlfriend and I ate at Ego Restaurant for the first time one Sunday lunchtime in July 2010.
This Mediterranean restaurant is attached to the rather upmarket Mercure St Paul’s hotel right in the heart of Sheffield city centre. It is located next to the Winter Gardens and just a few minutes walk from the Peace Gardens. It is also less than a minute’s walk from both the Crucible and Lyceum theatres. It capitalises on its proximity to the theatres by offering a special pre-theatre menu on certain evenings.
I always got the impression that Ego was a rather upmarket and expensive place to eat. I formulated this impression from its appearance (you can see into the restaurant through a large glass window that borders the neighbouring Winter Gardens, and it’s always looked very plush) and from browsing the menu on display outside the restaurant. To some extent it is expensive, or at least it is if you’re paying the full price. However, at the time of our visit the restaurant was offering 40% off everything on their Spring/Summer a la carte menu (the main menu). So, those £6 starters were a far more reasonable £3.60, and the £10 mains suddenly became bargains at just £6.
This isn’t the only offer that was running at the time of our visit; another tempting offer displayed on the menu was 2 courses for £11.95 or 3 courses for £13.95. This offer is valid weekday evenings between 4pm and 7pm, Saturday evenings between 4pm and 6pm and all day Sundays, and appears to be a permanent offer at the moment, unlike the 40% off offer that was due to end a few days after our visit.
It was a mild and dry afternoon when we arrived, so we asked the waiter for an outdoor table and he showed us to a table for two on the edge of the terrace. This afforded us good views of Tudor Square, the theatres and, in the opposite direction, the Sheffield Wheel (a large observation wheel scheduled to be positioned in Sheffield city centre for a temporary period of around 18 months).
It was quite busy with it being Sunday lunchtime and quite a few of the outdoor tables were occupied. I was a little worried that service might be slow, as that seemed to be the biggest criticism of Ego that I had read in the reviews on TripAdvisor before our visit. As it turned out, the service was slower than we’ve experienced at most other restaurants that we’ve dined at lately, but it was also busier than anywhere else we’ve visited, so it was only fair to make allowances. Besides, we were there for a leisurely Sunday lunch and weren’t in a hurry. The negative reviews that I read tended to be from people who were there for the pre-theatre offer and were consequently in a rush to catch the start of their show.
We had briefly browsed the online menu a few days before our visit; I’d spent enough time looking at it to get a good idea of the range of cuisine on offer, but not long enough to come to a decision of what I would likely order. So, as the waiter took our drinks order (relatively expensive soft drinks at £2.10 each: a bottle of 7 Up for me and a pineapple juice for Emma), we sat and perused our menus.
The menu designs followed the same theme as the cuisine: quintessentially Mediterranean! The front cover of the menu featured a beautiful photo of a picturesque back street that was unmistakably Greek or Italian. As well as Greek and Italian, the cuisine also exhibited Spanish, Moroccan and French influences.
Choosing an appetizer was difficult as so many of the options were mouthwateringly tempting. We had to make a decision on whether to share a platter between us or order individual starters. The three types of platter on offer were Greek (see below), Italian (ham, salami, mozzarella and melon) and Spanish (chorizo, ham, calamari, garlic, olives and manchego cheese shavings). The salad options were imaginative; as well as Greek salad, other choices included chicken, grapefruit and pistachio salad and tuna and fennel salad. Continuing with the Mediterranean theme, other starters included grilled goat’s cheese, deep fried calamari and grilled sardines. The waiter informed us that the day’s soup was tomato and basil.
I was contemplating the chicken, grapefruit and pistachio salad; an option which sounded both healthy and adventurous. However, after much deliberation and discussion we decided to share the Greek Mezze platter:
Greek Mezze Platter - Cost: £8.95
This impressive combination of Greek specialities was served on a large wooden board. It included:
Greek salad – lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions and feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil and vinaigrette;
A bowl of green and black olives of varying sizes, some with their stones removed and some fully intact, and sundried tomatoes;
Chargrilled haloumi cheese - two pieces of tasty, rubbery cheese – a favourite of mine from trips to Cyprus and Greece;
Pitta breads – a couple of warm pitta breads cut into thin strips and ideal for dipping in the accompaniments: tzatziki (not being a fan of cucumber, I was happy that the overriding tastes were of yoghurt and mint; very enjoyable), taramasalata (not too fishy, but very nice) and hummus (thick and tasty).
We polished off every last crumb of cheese and every last salad leaf. In fact, the only thing remaining once we’d finished devouring our starter was a bowl of olive stones!
The choice of mains was just as impressive and varying as the starters. Encompassing many different regions of the Mediterranean, dishes included chicken Schnitzel, Greek moussaka, Andalucian pork, Tuscan meatballs, Bouillabaisse (a fish stew popular in Marseille) and sweetcorn frittatas. There was also a good selection of pizzas and steaks.
I opted for:
Prawn and Chilli Linguine - Cost: £9.45
A bowl of long, thin linguine pasta drenched in olive oil with red chillies, garlic, rocket and a dozen or so medium sized prawns.
The prawns came without their shells and were of a good quality. The rocket unfortunately lost all of its flavour having been cooked, which was a shame as I’ve taken a real liking to rocket in recent times.
Overall, the dish was tasty and filling. I would have enjoyed it far more though had it been a bit spicier.
Emma opted for:
Moroccan Lamb Tajine - Cost: £10.45
This authentic lamb stew was served in a traditional clay tajine pot. It consisted of very tender lamb (and plenty of it), with apricots, onions, peppers and couscous.
Emma tells me that it was very flavoursome and not at all spicy (Emma views this as a good thing, unlike me!).
I sampled a bit of the lamb and can vouch for its wonderful tenderness.
We still had room for desserts and with 40% off they didn’t look quite so overpriced. Choices included cheesecake, lemon tart, tiramisu, ice cream and cheese and biscuits.
I opted for:
Fruit and Berries - Cost: £4.50
I‘m really glad that I shunned the sweet cakes and puddings and chose the healthy option. I was rewarded with a colourful platter of fruit (kiwi, melon, mango, apple and raspberries) and a selection of dipping pots.
Using a small cocktail stick, I dipped the fresh fruit into pots of yoghurt, chocolate sauce and orange blossom honey. The yoghurt was thin, but very tasty. The orange blossom honey was very sweet but also very enjoyable in moderation.
Emma opted for:
Warm Chocolate Fondant - Cost: £4.95
The menu warned that there was a 15 minute waiting time due to the length of time taken to cook this dessert. I therefore asked the waiter to hold off with my dessert and bring them both together.
True to their word, both desserts arrived around 15 minutes after we placed our order. The chocolate fondant was a fairly small sponge pudding, served with vanilla ice cream, a strawberry and chocolate sauce.
Emma says that it was very nice (and having tried a spoonful, I’d agree!), but that she was expecting something a little more spectacular given the length of time it took to cook. It was reminiscent, in both appearance and taste, of the chocolate puddings that can be bought in supermarkets and warmed up in a microwave in 30 seconds. That’s not a criticism (I enjoy those supermarket puddings!), more an observation.
Overall, we both enjoyed our meals a great deal. We’ll almost certainly visit again one day in the future; either taking advantage of the special 2/3 course set menu or waiting until the next time they offer a significant discount on their menu. With economic conditions as they currently are, and the majority of restaurants offering special deals at the moment, I’d be reluctant to eat at Ego at full prices.
Good quality and variety of Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of Sheffield. A little expensive, but look out for the special offers. Recommended!
Yummy's Noodle Bar: Cheap and tasty noodles on Devonshire Street
We ate at Yummy’s Noodle Bar late one Saturday evening in July 2010.
We had spent the day enjoying live music, and a few drinks, on the adjacent Devonshire Green as part of Sheffield’s free annual music festival, Tramlines. We were ready for a filling meal and, as Yummy’s was within the barriers on the festival venue and we’d already earmarked it some weeks previously as a place to try, we ventured inside.
The interior is small, with seating for around 20 people at a handful of two and four seater tables. It was about half full when we visited, but had undoubtedly enjoyed a steady flow of custom throughout the day due to the crowd of festival goers. We wisely made our way to Yummy’s shortly before the end of the festival in order to avoid the post-event crowds, so we enjoyed our meal as thousands of people were watching the famous rap artist Tinchy Stryder on stage just a hundred metres away. While we couldn’t see his performance from inside the restaurant, we had no problem hearing it; it literally rocked the walls at Yummy’s…or at least caused them to vibrate somewhat!
The interior décor is rather simple; plain tables, functional chairs and a few colourful pieces of artwork on the walls.
We sat at a table near the doorway and the waitress informed us that we needed to make our way up to the counter when we were ready to order. The counter is located on a raised terrace in the back corner of the restaurant.
In keeping with the rest of the set-up at Yummy’s, the menu is rather simple; a laminated, double-sided piece of A4 paper. Don’t let that fool you though; there’s a lot of choice squeezed onto that small menu! In fact, as the dishes are individually numbered on the menu, I can tell you that there are around 130 options to choose from. These include a variety of soups and a mindblowing selection of rice and noodle dishes. Some of these include spare ribs, others include pork chops. Chicken, pork, beef, king prawns and duck all feature heavily on the menu.
One area where Yummy’s menu differs from other noodle bars that I’ve visited is that as well as Oriental options, there is also a section of the menu devoted to Italian-influenced oven-baked spaghetti dishes. One dish in that section is a rather intriguing sounding “Chinese Style Spaghetti Bolognaise”.
Prices are very reasonable, with the majority of dishes priced between £5 and £6.50.
Attempting to ignore the loud music and absorb the information on the menu, we eventually made our choices and I made my way up to the counter to place our order. While I was up there, I was also asked to help myself to chopsticks, forks, spoons and napkins; the food would be served at our table but everything else, including drinks, was my responsibility.
Yummy’s doesn’t serve alcohol, so I scanned the fridge behind the counter and decided that cans of 7 Up were more appealing than bottles of iced tea at that time. The cans of soft drinks cost around £1 each.
I opted for:
Spicy King Prawns with Noodles - Cost: £6.00
This dish was under a section of the menu headed “Spicy Szechuan Style Rice and Noodle Dishes” and was the first area of the menu to catch my eye.
I was hoping for something hot and spicy…and I wasn’t disappointed!
The dish consisted of a large portion of thin noodles with perhaps 8 large prawns, green peppers, red chillies, diced onions, lots of chilli seeds and a very hot sauce. It was probably hotter than any such dish I’ve enjoyed in Sheffield (my lips and tongue were still tingling an hour after finishing the meal!) but not so hot as to diminish my enjoyment of the meal. I’ve had better prawns elsewhere, but they were fine, and the overall quality of the dish was excellent.
Emma, being not so keen on spicy dishes, chose her meal from the “Oven Baked Rice and Spaghetti” section of the menu:
Oven Baked Ham and Shredded Chicken in a Creamy Cheese Sauce with Spaghetti - Cost: £6.30
This dish was available with rice or spaghetti; Emma opted for the latter.
She received a large bowl of spaghetti in a creamy sauce, topped with slices of ham. There was much less chicken than ham, and the sauce also contained a few onions and green peppers.
Emma enjoyed her meal and was suitably full at the end due to the large portion. Her only minor criticism is that the cheese sauce was a little bland, especially once the other ingredients (which were relatively sparse) had been eaten and only the sauce and spaghetti remained.
Overall, we both enjoyed our meals and agreed that we’d be visiting again in future. I already have a vision in my mind of sitting in there slurping hot soup and spicy noodles on a cold winter’s afternoon!
Great quality, great value and a large choice of noodle and rice dishes – we’ll certainly be back for another visit!
The Gallery Restaurant (at G Casino): Tasty food at the casino!
My girlfriend and I ate at The Gallery restaurant one Friday evening in July 2010.
The Gallery is part of a large entertainment complex, G Casino, which also includes poker tables, roulette wheels, slot machines, live music acts and a late bar.
I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of this restaurant until we purchased vouchers (£20 worth of food and drink vouchers for £6) from the www.mycitydeal.co.uk website. I wasn’t even familiar with the casino complex, as it’s in an area that I rarely visit. Having said that, it is fairly centrally located and is within easy walking distance of the city centre and main train station.
In order to enter the complex, and thereby visit the restaurant, we had to first sign up as members. There was no fee involved, just a few formalities; we completed forms detailing our names, contact details and dates of birth and posed for photographs. We each received a “Play Points” card on which we accumulate points based on our expenditure, and which can then be used towards food, drinks and gaming chips in future.
I have to be honest and say that my expectations weren’t very high before our visit. It was probably the setting that put me off; I imagined that a restaurant in an establishment that largely caters for gambling perhaps wouldn’t put too much emphasis on the quality of its food. I expected the restaurant to be a peripheral part of the complex; a convenient place to grab a bite to eat between games of blackjack.
Having browsed the online menu (available in PDF format HERE), I was feeling somewhat more optimistic about our chances of a good meal. I looked through the selection of steaks, meat dishes, seafood options, pizzas and pasta dishes and the biggest problem was deciding which of the dishes I was going to opt for!
Making our way through reception into the main part of the complex, I realised that my preconceptions were perhaps going to prove misguided. Away from the gaming area, there was a rather swanky bar area and a modern and quite chic restaurant. There were plenty of bright lights, smart looking staff and high rolling punters. I began to feel that I was in a Las Vegas casino rather than a gambling hall on the outskirts of Sheffield city centre.
We were met by a very attentive waiter who showed us to a table in a partially private booth, raised above the gaming area with views over the roulette wheels and card tables. Being in a casino, I decided to keep my camera out of sight – so no pictures of the interior or the food to accompany this tip I’m afraid.
As we browsed the menu, the waiter brought over a fair sized plate of crusty bread with bowls of olive oil and vinaigrette, and took our drinks order. I ordered a pint of John Smiths bitter (£2.70 and served chilled) and Emma opted for a glass of lemonade (very reasonably priced at just £1).
After much contemplating and changing of minds, we ordered the following:
Coconut Fried Shrimp with Carrot and Cucumber Salad - Cost: £5.25
This was my choice of starter. I’d deliberated over the soup of the day and the prawn and crayfish cocktail before deciding on the coconut fried shrimps.
I received 8 shrimps (tails still intact) in a light, coconut flavoured batter. The thing that most took me by surprise by this dish was the very distinct taste of coconut in the batter. I know the name should have tipped me off, but I’ve learnt from experience that dishes are sometimes much tastier in their descriptions than they are in reality. This certainly wasn’t the case here; the coconut taste was very evident and the accompanying sweet chilli sauce made for a very enjoyable combination of flavours.
The accompanying salad was rather sparse – a few thin strips of grated carrot and cucumber – but this didn’t bother me at all, especially as the cucumber made its way onto Emma’s plate as it’s one of the few foods that I can’t bear to eat!
Soup of the Day – with Crusty Bread - Cost: £3.25
The day’s soup was broccoli, which appealed more to Emma than it did to me. She received a bowl of tasty and piping hot soup and a crusty bread roll to accompany it.
Following our starters, we’d finished our drinks and decided to share a bottle of wine. We opted for a bottle of Argentinian Chenin Blanc - a light, crisp white wine, served at our table in a wine cooler. It was a very enjoyable chilled wine on a warm summer’s evening…and also the cheapest option on the menu at £9.95 for a 750ml bottle.
There were two dishes that really appealed to both Emma and I and, as luck would have it, both were ideal for sharing. We therefore ordered:
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers - Cost: £8.95
Two skewers of succulent chicken, glazed in a sweet, sticky, red Teriyaki coating, accompanied by egg fried rice, crispy noodles and a bowl of delicious Teriyaki sauce.
The chicken was excellent quality and the Teriyaki sauce was absolutely fantastic. Emma and I were practically fighting over the small bowl!
Vegetable Kebabs with Bombay Potatoes and Tikka Dip - Cost: £7.95
Again we received two skewers, but this time with an assortment of vegetables coated in a light batter. Each skewer contained the following vegetables (I know, strictly they’re not all vegetables!): butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, courgette, aubergine and mushrooms. The vegetables were very tasty and I couldn’t help but thinking that the batter was perhaps unnecessary. Still, they were very good.
The accompaniment consisted of a portion of Bombay Potatoes which were flavoursome but, to Emma’s delight and my slight disappointment, not particularly spicy. The Tikka dip was reminiscent in appearance and texture to mayonnaise and again was tasty, but not overly spicy.
The wine was flowing and we’d enjoyed the main courses very much, so we decided to splash out on desserts. I didn’t have enough appetite left for the Chocolate Torte, the Tiramisu or the day’s “hot pudding” (which the waiter informed us was Spotted Dick), but some of the fruit options looked very appealing. Emma was of a similar mindset, so we both ordered:
Carpaccio of Fresh Pineapple with Champagne Sorbet - Cost: £3.45
We each received half a dozen wafer thin rings of pineapple with a dollop of sweet, almost “fizzy”, sorbet.
This was an ideally refreshing finale to an excellent meal.
Overall, we had a great evening at The Gallery. We only visited for the meal; we had no desire to chance our luck in the gaming area afterwards. Despite my preconceptions, I was very impressed by the quality of the food.
My only slight criticism is that the staff were maybe a little too attentive. The waiter asked us on several occasions during our meal if everything was ok. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer to be left to get on with my meal and utter my appreciation of the food after I’ve eaten it.
I think we’ll go back to The Gallery again in future. The menu advertises a special offer of 2 courses for £8.95 on Sundays to Thursdays which looks very appealing. I’ve already got my eye on the prawn and pineapple cocktail and the chargrilled rump steak! I’ll report back after our next visit.
Excellent food in a casino - The Gallery hugely exceeded my expectations. Recommended!
Tin Tin Chinese Restaurant: Average Chinese food on London Road
My girlfriend and I ate at Tin Tin Chinese Restaurant for the first time one Sunday lunchtime in July 2010.
We’d passed by this restaurant, located at the end of London Road closest to the city centre, on many occasions. We’d stopped and browsed the menu a few times and had noticed a poster in the window advertising a special lunch set menu from 4 GBP, and had vowed to give it a try one lunch time.
We ventured in on this drizzly Sunday afternoon and enquired of the waitress as to how the set menu worked and what dishes it included. She informed us that it included all dishes on the menu; basically, you pay the normal price for any main dish and you get free rice and a choice of a free soft drink (Coca Cola, lemonade or Tango orange) or a free bowl of soup.
In fact, the “from 4 GBP” was a little misleading. Only one main dish on the menu was 4 GBP, and that was shredded chicken fried rice – a dish with which you wouldn’t want any further rice as an accompaniment. Nevertheless, there was a large selection of dishes priced from 5 GBP upwards, so we took a table (there were plenty to choose from as the restaurant was empty when we arrived) and perused the menu.
The interior décor was fairly basic – plain tables, paper napkins, no tablecloths – although there was a large fish tank along one wall, brightly coloured lamp shades, flashing fairy lights on the windows and red Chinese decorations on the walls. One thing that immediately struck me was that the restaurant was spotlessly clean.
We were given English language menus, but noticed that there were Chinese menus displayed on the walls. During the course of our meal, a few Chinese diners ordered meals from the Chinese menus and it seemingly offered different choices to the English menu.
The menu contained the usual selection of chicken, beef, pork, duck, prawn, fish and vegetable stir-fries. A few of the dishes, mainly the Kung Po and black bean sauce ones, had the word “hot” in brackets besides them, so they naturally caught my eye. Other sauces included lemon and honey, sweet and sour and oyster. There were dishes containing ginger, spring onion, cashew nuts and water chestnuts, as well as various egg foo yung dishes and a selection of fried rice, noodle and chow mein options. The soups included hot and sour, crab meat and sweetcorn and chicken.
I opted for:
Kung Po King Prawns - Cost: 6.60 GBP
This is a dish that I’ve sampled at a variety of restaurants in Sheffield and elsewhere around the world. Given that it was our first visit to this restaurant, I decided to opt for something familiar so that I could offer a fair comparison.
I received a fairly large dish of king prawns (perhaps 8 or 10 prawns), with their shells completely removed, in a tasty sauce with an abundance of water chestnuts and the occasional diced carrot, onion and green and red pepper. It was enjoyable enough, but it didn’t warrant a “hot” rating on the menu. The prawns were very good quality, certainly better than I’ve had in some places, but the overall dish was fairly average. It was nice enough, but not particularly memorable. It wasn’t as tasty or as spicy as the Kung Po King Prawns that I regularly enjoy at the nearby Zing Vaa restaurant, and nor did it contain as wide a variety of ingredients, being instead somewhat over stocked with relatively bland water chestnuts.
This was accompanied by a decent sized bowl of boiled white rice; enough for 3 small platefuls.
I opted for a glass of lemonade for my free soft drink.
Emma opted for:
Chicken in Honey and Lemon Sauce - Cost: 5.60 GBP
Chicken in a light batter, with a sweet (although strangely orange coloured) lemon and honey flavoured sauce and a couple of slices of lemon. She informs me that it was nice enough, but she wouldn’t be in a hurry to rush back and have it again.
This was also accompanied by a bowl of boiled white rice.
Emma asked for pineapple juice as her soft drink. At first, the waitress replied that this wouldn’t be possible; the choice was Coca Cola, lemonade or Tango orange only. As the pineapple juice was 10p more expensive than the other soft drinks, we asked if we could just pay the 10p difference and substitute the pineapple juice as the free soft drink. The waitress was at first reluctant to allow this; she was young and simply following the rules, but then agreed to check with the manager if this would be ok. She came back and said that it would be fine, and there was no need to pay the additional 10p. Common sense prevailed!
Overall, both Emma and I agreed that the food was nice enough, but nothing special. The lunchtime set menu represents pretty good value and there is plenty of choice. However, there are several Chinese and other Asian restaurants that we would rate more highly than Tin Tin, and many places that we’ve yet to try, so I don’t think we’ll be going back again any time soon.
That said, I wouldn’t deter others from giving it a try. I’d give it a solid if unspectacular 3 out of 5.
The Orchid Thai Restaurant: Excellent Thai food on London Road
My girlfriend and I ate at The Orchid Thai Restaurant one Saturday evening in July 2010.
The Orchid is located on London Road, close to the city centre; a road which undoubtedly offers the largest selection of Asian restaurants in Sheffield. As well as The Orchid, there are two other Thai restaurants (Baan Thai and Thai Punna) within a few minutes walk and countless other Asian eateries, including Pho 68 (Vietnamese), Wasabi Sabi and Yama Sushi (Japanese), Hong Kong Wok, Yuen Shan and Jabu (Chinese). Other prominent restaurants on London Road include Zeugma I and II (two Turkish restaurants), Jabulani (African) and Parthenonas (Greek).
The restaurants on London Road have a tendency to change hands quite frequently; Aroma Indian restaurant recently closed, as did the seemingly popular Vietnamese Noodle Bar. Radhuni Indian restaurant and Amigos Mexican Café have recently opened.
In fact, The Orchid was known as Siam Inter Thai Restaurant when we last ate there in November 2009, but I believe the name change is just that, rather than a change of ownership.
On our last visit, I opted for the Pud Gra Prao Goong (a well presented curry with tiger prawns, chillies and basil leaves) while Emma had the Pud Priew Warn Gai (sweet and sour chicken with pineapple, lychees and tomatoes). Eight months after our visit, my recollection is that the food was tasty and spicy, the meals were well presented (the carrot on the side of the dish had been carved into an elaborate eagle shape), but the portions were fairly small and the main meals were relatively expensive, particularly considering that they came with no rice or other accompaniments.
On this occasion, we had purchased vouchers for the restaurant via the www.mycitydeal.co.uk website. For just £4, we had purchased £20 worth of food and drink vouchers, so cost wasn’t such an issue.
We had booked a table for 7pm and when we arrived it was fairly quiet with just a couple of tables occupied. A waitress immediately seated us at a table by the window, handed us menus and placed napkins on our laps. She then returned with a complimentary bowl of spicy prawn crackers and took our drinks order; I ordered a 330ml bottle of Singha beer (2.70 GBP) and Emma ordered a pot of Green tea (1.20 GBP).
I had scrutinised the menu online before our visit, but I still hadn’t decided what to have, so I deliberated over the large choice of soups, salads, curries and pan fried dishes. Dishes generally contain chicken, beef, pork, prawns, fish or vegetables along with some combination of traditional Thai ingredients including coconut milk, lemongrass, bamboo shoots, chillies, pineapple and lychees.
Emma enquired as to whether mango sticky rice was available. If it was, then we’d have opted for main courses followed by mango sticky rice. Unfortunately, the manager informed us that mangoes were now out of season and so mango sticky rice had been removed from the menu a couple of weeks earlier. We decided then to have starters and mains.
I opted for:
Tom Yum Gung - Cost: 5.25 GBP
A bowl of spicy soup which warranted 2 chillies on the menu (1 chilli being mild, 2 chillies being medium and 3 chillies being very hot). The soup contained 4 reasonable sized prawns, lots of red chillies, lemongrass, lemon juice and a variety of herbs and green leaves. It was tasty and it was hot enough to leave my lips tingling a little, but not nearly as hot as the Tom Yum soup that I’d sampled in Bangkok. Still, I enjoyed it a lot.
Emma opted for:
Tom Kha Gai - Cost: 4.95 GBP
Chicken and mushroom in a coconut based soup with lemongrass and lemon juice. This didn’t warrant any chillies on the menu, so was ideal for Emma who isn’t such a fan of spicy food. She informs me that it was tasty, with the coconut taste overpowering the lemon juice taste, but she wasn’t too keen on the chewy strands of lemongrass.
For the main course:
I opted for:
Gaeng Deang Gai - Cost: 7.55 GBP and Kao Suay - Cost: 1.95 GBP.
A red curry with chicken, bamboo shoots and chillies in a coconut milk sauce, accompanied by a dish of steamed Thai fragrant rice.
Again, the curry scored 2 chillies on the menu’s spice index. However, having noticed the small print on the menu which stated that any dish could be made more or less spicy upon request, I asked for it to be extra spicy. It didn’t disappoint! The chicken was excellent quality and the chillies numbed my tongue and lips. I was very impressed by this dish.
I was going to order steamed coconut rice as an accompaniment, but the waitress recommended that plain rice would be better due to the coconut in the curry. This proved to be a good recommendation, with the plain rice soaking up the spicy, coconut sauce.
Emma opted for:
Gaeng Phed Ped Yang - Cost – 7.75 GBP and Kao Suay - Cost: 1.95 GBP.
A roasted duck curry with tropical fruit (lychees, pineapple, tomatoes) and chillies in a coconut milk sauce. This scored a 1 chilli rating on the menu, but Emma asked for it to be as mild as possible. She passed the green and red chillies to me!
Emma also opted for steamed Thai fragrant rice.
She informs me that the dish was delicious and that the exotic fruit flavoured the dish very well. The duck was good quality.
Having eaten at (and enjoyed!) all three Thai restaurants on London Road, I would say that The Orchid certainly holds its own against the competition. The food is tasty, spicy and relatively authentic, while the prices are probably slightly higher than at Thai Punna (which incidentally offers an excellent value 2 course set lunch menu for 6.99 GBP), but lower than at Baan Thai (which is widely regarded as being an upmarket restaurant).
Excellent tongue-tingling Thai food on London Road. As good a place as any in Sheffield to enjoy traditional Thai dishes. Recommended!
Wong Ting: Popular Chinese restaurant in city centre
My girlfriend and I ate at Wong Ting Chinese Restaurant for the first time one Saturday afternoon in June 2010.
At the time of our visit, Wong Ting was rated as the number 1 restaurant in Sheffield on TripAdvisor and was earning rave reviews from visitors from all over the country.
This is a fairly well hidden restaurant, located on the side street of Matilda Street, just off The Moor (a busy pedestrianised shopping street in the city centre) and occupying the second floor of a building above an Oxfam charity shop and a Ladbrokes bookmakers. The small entrance doesn’t give away any clues as to the large dining area that awaits at the top of the staircase.
We had been intending to visit Wong Ting for some time, and had passed by and perused the menu on several occasions. I must admit to feeling a pang of guilt when we finally ate there, since Wong Ting is a stone’s throw from my favourite Chinese restaurant in Sheffield, Zing Vaa, where my family and I have been eating for many years. I felt as though I was being unfaithful!
As well as its reputation for high quality food, one of the things that seemingly attracts diners to Wong Ting is its “all-you-can-eat” menu, priced at £14.95 for adults and £8 for children under the age of 12.
Unlike most of the other all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurants in Sheffield (Jumbo’s, Number 1 Oriental Buffet, Flaming Dragon…), Wong Ting’s offer is not in the form of a self-service buffet. So, instead of helping yourself to food that may already have been mauled by other customers and may no longer be as hot as when it was first dished up, at Wong Ting the food is freshly cooked and served at your table. Simply choose as many dishes as you like from the menu and, once you’ve finished them, order some more. Be warned though that there is apparently a penalty for leaving food uneaten; a deterrent to people simply ordering lots of dishes and wasting much of the food.
Our meal began with a complimentary dish of prawn crackers and a sauce (a cross between spicy and sweet and sour) to dip them in.
While enjoying the prawn crackers, we selected and ordered three dishes from the appetizers section:
Mixed Hors d'Oeuvres – 2 large pork ribs, 2 crispy pork wantons, 2 chicken satay skewers (in a delightful peanut sauce), 2 sesame prawn toasts, 2 spring rolls and a portion of seaweed. All of the food was served hot and was of a high quality. Due to Emma's dislike of peanuts, I had the pleasure of enjoying both of the chicken satay skewers, but that meant that I lost out on the spring rolls (which Emma informs me were very nice!).
Salt and pepper king prawns – 7 or 8 king prawns in a salty batter, topped with red and green chilli peppers, onions and garlic. Very tasty, and the chillis are fairly potent!
Smoked chicken – a generous portion of chicken in a smoked coating and served with the same mix of chillis and onions as the king prawns.
After the appetizers, the waiter brought over the complimentary crispy duck with pancakes, which each table receives as part of the set menu. The duck (a quarter of a duck I believe) was prepared at our table by our waiter who used a knife and fork to shred the duck into the form that it is traditionally served with pancakes. The duck was very tasty, the meat was excellent and it was accompanied by around a dozen pancakes, cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce.
Next, we chose a couple of dishes from the sizzling dishes section:
I opted for king prawns with black pepper and satay sauce – around half a dozen large prawns in a sauce that was dominated by the taste of the black pepper rather than the peanut flavoured satay sauce. It was served still sizzling at the table, was piping hot and was good quality and filling. I also opted for the special fried rice – a bowl of fried rice with prawns, chicken, pork and vegetables in it.
Emma opted for lamb with ginger and spring onion – again it was served sizzling at the table, piping hot and in a large portion. However, Emma informs me that some of the lamb was a bit chewy and difficult to eat. Not being a big fan of lamb, I only sampled the ginger and it was very strong and flavoursome! Emma also opted for egg fried rice.
We were full by this point, which was a shame as there are many other appealing dishes on the menu. These include a selection of soups, a variety of meat and vegetarian appetizers and a whole host of main courses containing chicken, beef, pork, lamb, duck or seafood. I noted in particular that there was a generous choice of king prawn dishes including Kung Po, with pineapple, cashew nuts, black bean sauce..., as well as other fish and squid dishes. You'll also find curries, chow mein and various noodle options, as well as a fairly extensive vegetarian selection.
Dessert is not included in the all-you-can-eat price; we had a quick browse of the dessert menu (a variety of ice creams, cakes and coffees), but didn't order anything.
We shared a pot of jasmine tea, which was replenished after we’d drained the first pot. (Cost £2)
All in all, I’d give Wong Ting 3.5 out of 5 on the basis of our first visit (rounded up to a 4 for VT purposes!) and we’ll certainly go back again in future (there are plenty of dishes for us still to try!).
The food was generally of a high standard, there was a lot of choice and the £14.95 per person proved good value considering the amount of food we consumed.
A popular Chinese restaurant in Sheffield city centre. Lots of choice, good quality and a good value all-you-can eat menu. Recommended!
No.1 Oriental Buffet Restaurant: Great Value All you can eat Hotpot Buffet!
This is a great buffet restaurant where you pay a set price and eat as much as you want. Prices vary according to the time of day for the general chinese buffet which includes numerous starters and main courses with a large vegetarian selection to choose from as well as a salad bar, numerous fruit and both hot and cold deserts including ice cream, Jellies and a selection of hot fruit fritters. Grand Buffet includes dishes such as duck etc.
Adult Student/OAP Child
Lunch 11:45am - 4pm £5.90 £5.30 £2.95
Happy Hour 4:01pm - 6pm £6.90 £6.20 £3.45
Grand Buffet (Mon-Fri) 6:01pm -10:30pm £8.90 £8:00 £4.45
Grand Buffet (Sat) 6:01pm -10:30pm £9.90 £8:90 £4:95
Sunday Buffet (All day) 11:45am - 4pm £6:90 £6:20 £3:45
My favourite choice though is the Hotpot Buffet which is available from 1pm till 10:30pm and allows you to choose from all of the normal chinese buffet options above as well as having your own hot pot at your table which is divided into two compartments where you can have two different flavoured soups to cook the raw foods in which are only available from the hot pot buffet selection. The soup choices are plain soup, hot and spicy, seafood or Satay. There is a good selection of raw vegetables, fish and meat to choose from which you cook yourselves in your hot pot. There are also plenty of sauces/flavourings to choose from. This option also gets you a soya drink in with the price and an extra desert option which changes each day, last time I visited it was a hot sweet soup with beans in it. The prices for this buffet are: £12:90 for adults, £11:60 for students and OAP's and £8 for children. This is a good price as you can choose smaller amounts of several options as opposed to having to order larger portions of the same foods in similar restaurants. I think any kind of buffet is also great for trying out new foods and treating your taste buds! If you are not familiar with the hotpot concept then don't worry you get instructions on your table of how to use your hot pot and the staff are very friendly and obliging in giving you advice on how to cook the food and what the different foods are. I do believe they even offer take-away now in the standard buffet part of the restaurant. They have a bar so you can even enjoy a glass of alcohol with your meal. The staff are very attentive and numerous and quickly tidy any used dishes away and offer quick service. The main buffet is in a large hall setting. The hot pot buffet is to the left of the bar but you can walk between the two rooms if you have the hot pot buffet.
Favorite Dish: Lots of favourites can't possible choose just one! If you are vegetarian you will love the choices on offer as there is lots to pick from. Every time I visit they seem to have atleast one new/different dish compared to the previous visit.
- Food and Dining
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BB's: Friendly Italian in City Centre
BB's is located on Devonshire Street, in one of Sheffields' trendier areas, close to the city centre. I'm not sure when it opened, but it's been established here for at least 10 years.
It's one of those cosy Italians, non pretentious, with dining areas on 2 floors, ramshakle wooden tables and wooden floors, subdued lighting and a great atmosphere from its mix of diners - all ages, couples, groups, families.
I ate here about 10 years or more ago - a works do, and we were all accommodated in the upstairs room - it was a sweltering hot summers night, but I remember the seafood linguine I had was delicious, and I vowed to return one day. I didn't expect that it would be so long, before I was eating here again, but when Patsy chose this as the venue to celebrate her birthday (and Clurs) I was very happy.
to be continued....
Opening Hours Mon-Sat 17:00-22:30 Booking not necessary on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
Disabled Facilities Wheelchair Access, Disabled Toilets.
Licensed, but also BYO - Spar supermarket nearby stocks selection of wines and Beers as does cheap off licence on West Street near West One precinct at end of Division Street
- Study Abroad
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- Food and Dining
Ladybower Inn: Good for an evening out , near to Sheffield
About 1/2 hour from Sheffield, into the Derbyshire countryside. The Ladybower Inn has great views over the reservoir.
Seating inside and out, to enjoy a drink or meal, in comfortable surroundings.
Old fashioned feel. Dark wood fittings local prints etc. Flyers for Chatsworth, fishing, helicopter rides etc.
Accommodation also available. En suite facillities.
Extensive menu, plus "Specials board" usual pub fayre, some local dishes/produce featured. Decent sized portions, and hot!
Real Ales Marston Pedigree, Ruddles, Barnsley Bitter etc.
Bar open all day, every day
Meals M-F 12.00-14.30 & 1700-21.30
The night I visited, with a couple of friends, there was a tremendous thunder storm, resulting in a power cut! Luckily we'd just got our meals!
Mixed clientele, groups of friends, couples, walkers, tourists and locals - all ages.
Was quite busy, seems to have it's regular crowd, even midweek...get here early!
Favorite Dish: I had a hot steak sandwich, with salad which was good.
My friends had sausage and mash, and beef pie, which they really enjoyed.
- Budget Travel
- National/State Park
Wasabisabi: A dining experience!!
This was the first Japanese restaurant in Sheffield. It advertises itself as serving contempory Japanese cuisine.
The main dishes are Sushi, Noodles and Tepanyaki.
A smart venue (previously home to The Mango Tree)
I've now eaten here about 4 times - once on an expenses paid treat, then to celebrate friends birthdays. Each time we booked for Tempanyaki, with a set menu , of fish, meat and veg dishes.
The staff were very welcoming, and attentive.
We were led to the Tepanyaki grill area. After a starter of miso soup, the main event began!!
Tepanyaki is more than just eating!! The preparation, cooking and serving of the food is all part of the experience.
Our chef entertained us, with his knife skills, as he speedily sliced veg/and fish into thin slices. juggling ingredients, and expertly chopping slices of food to land in your bowl. His top party piece was probably dribbling alcohol around the bar top, then igniting it , so that the flames ran around the bar top. (This didn't happen at the 2nd visit - wonder if it had become 'too risky'!
Fresh ingredients, the seafood cooked in this way, was unhindered by overpowering sauces etc, and tasted as it should!
Along with the spectacle, the food was excellent. I can't wait to visit again!
Favorite Dish: As this was my first experience of Japanese food, I wrongly assumed that it would be mainly raw fish and seaweed!
We all agreed that the Tepanyaki experience had been a great night out. I particularly enjoyed the grilled oyster (again, another 1st)
Besides offering a wide variety of food, the wine list was extensive, with a selection of Japanese beers and spirits.
As I was driving, I didn't get the chance to sample any...even more of a bummer, when it was all being paid for! :-(
However, as well as a list of soft drinks, there was a selection of freshly squeezed juices. I had orange, and also carrot and ginger, which was very tasty.
Somewhere to visit for a special night out! Good for groups of friends, works night out.
Downstairs, I'm told that it is more suitable for couples wanting to enjoy a romantic meal.
If you want to try the noodle dishes, there are a number of noodle bars that have opened recently in the London Road offering a cheaper alternative
- Family Travel
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Estikutum: Buffet Madness
Whilst it's location may be off-putting to some customers, this restaurant is well worth a visit. Secure parking ensures customers can have peace of mind whilst consuming Chinese, Thai or Indian dishes from a great selection available at this buffet. It would be hard to find a better selection for such a variety of tastes.
Open 5:00pm until 10:30pm this buffet serves over 30 hot dishes, as well as a salad bar and desert selection. The restaurant is not licensed so only soft drinks are available - no need to nominate a designated driver!!
Favorite Dish: The Dhud Semai was fantastic - worthy of a return visit on its own!!!
I found this restaurant suited our party well as we had preferences for either Chinese/Thai or Indian - this suited all our needs. And with eat as much as you like for £8.90 (under 13s £5.50, under 5s for free) it was good value for money too.
- Budget Travel
Royal Elephant Thai Restaurant: Things that make you go OOOhhhh!
Not in the Centre of Sheffield, but I believe worth a visit, we actually booked our Christmas dinner here, but unfortunately the menu was not Thai in that occassion. The service is great, the food beautiful and the staff are lovely and this restaurant is highly praised for providing genuine Thai meals, served and prepared by Thai woman, who moved from Thailand specifically to work in the restaurant. A large airy room, nicely decorated, clean and in a lovely setting with the church across the road and some ncie stone buildings, you must book as it is often full.
Favorite Dish: Green Curry... well presented, gorgeous subtle taste, 'pure niceness'
- Food and Dining
Netheredge Kebab House: After The Pub........
The place is quite simple really and even though I put it in the restaurant section it is really more of a fast food take away. There is an area inside to eat at a like breakfast bar type of situation. The main reason why I have added this place is that the food is excellant....it is asian cooking and from my observations I would say 90% of customers are asian....come on folks doesnt that tell you something???? dam good food ; )
Favorite Dish: I am not a big lover of kebabs or is it the kebabs are not big lovers of me.......
but I have to admit the kebabs here are amazing...try one but be warned they are huge
Buon Cibo: Tiny Restaurant in Broomhill
Another little gem of a restaurant that you might walk past a hundred times, buit never eat in. From the outside the restaurant looks a bit cold and souless as it is tiled floors and marble topped tables, but once it fills up, it is a very familiar atmosphere becasue it is so small. So small in fact that you are practically in the kitchen - you can watch the chefs prepare your food!
There is a great menu, mainly skewed towards Italian sea food, some vegetarian, some meat and a specials board.
What else, Oh yes it's bring your own wine! Huzzah!
Favorite Dish: I had a delicious seafood chilli linguini and my girlfriend had a swordfish steak in an olive oil sauce and both were delicious.
Ha! Ha!: Lovely setting if it's sunny
Seating outside in a pleasant paved area near the peace gardens in the centre of Sheffield.
Favorite Dish: I have to confess I've not got round to eating here yet but when I saw these customers relaxing outside I wished I had ( I just grabbed a sandwich). The chap on the left of the picture seemed to be happy enough. There are more reviews on this page from the BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/southyorkshire/greedycow/food/restaurants/ha_ha.shtml.
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