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
This Sandwich Shop/TakeAway hit Glossop Road early May06
Anyone familiar with this area, will be aware that there are LOTS of Sandwich shops on West Street/Glossop Road. However, this one is a cut above the rest!
Peter and John endeavour to provide a friendly service, with QUALITY products, at reasonable prices, and as far as possible, the food is locally sourced.
As well as being an above average sandwich shop, the coffee (to drink in or take away) is of the best quality, and there is also the opportunity to buy high class delli goods!
Locally produced pickles/chutneys, oils, vinegars, crisps, snacks to buy, Fairtrade products , wines and beers, hampers etc.
The menu changes weekly, with an ever expanding choice, the staff are happy to create your own sandwich specifications. They will also cater for office parties, weddings etc.
This is a shopping/eating experience where you are treated with genuine 'old fashioned customer service' - where they like to know about their customers likes/dislikes, suggestions. Peter and John have a genuine interest in the products they are selling/ creating for their customers.
A newsletter, launched just before Christmas, invited their customers to chose the name for the newsletter, and there was a draw to win the chance to eat /drink free for a week!
Since opening, their business has expanded . They are now serving a hot dish of the day
Their latest addition is a 1960's Juke box, which they're hoping to feature Sheffield bands and artistes.
Check out their website for more info.
Favorite Dish: Citrus Hits- Real lemonade with mint or lavender, 85p
Freshly Squeezed orange juice,
Chocolate Cookies Mmmmmmmm! These are to die for!!!!!
Whirlow Farm Bacon,Cos Lettuce and Sweet Cherry Tomato on Rusky Roll
Aberdeen Angus Rare Roast Beef with Beetroot and Horseradish dressing and Rocket
Crayfish in lime and coriander dressing on Rosemary Foccacio
Fresh Fruit Salad with natural yogurt and granola topping
A Latin hotspot in Sheffield!
Cuban bar/ Tapas bar
Great atmosphere, great food!
Themed menus on Mondays Mexican, Brazillian, Spanish or Argentinian with dance class, buffet and live music.
Tues has live music from latin countries
Fri & Sat nights latin music from dj's
Salsa classes GBP5 Sat pm
Sunday lunches Spanish American and latin faves
Also available for private hire
Favorite Dish: Spent one of my birthdays here, enjoying the tapas menu..great variety! Party menu was about GBP13.50
Can just pop in for a drink or two too!
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!
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!
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!
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
There are absolutely loads of restaurants in Sheffield cooking every food imaginable.
Most are children friendly but bettrer to always check first.
Pub food can usually provide excellant value for money with offers like two meals for five pounds. Apersonal favourite of mine for pub food is the "Crosspool Tavern" situated at Manchester Road, Crosspool S10 they do a carvery meal with high quality food and choices in pleasent surroundings.......it has a reasonable seating capacity and is not usually need to book.
Indian take aways are usaully open to about 12-1am and are good value and quality food.
Balti King @ Broomhill is a licensed Indian restaurant that is open until approximately 4am.....situated Manchester Road, Broomhill S10
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.
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!
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.
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!
We ate at Tokyou one Sunday lunchtime in November 2010.
With a Japanese sounding name and a sign proclaiming it to be an authentic Chinese restaurant, Tokyou in fact offers a range of pan-Asian dishes including Thai curries, Korean noodle dishes, Singapore vermicelli and Japanese seafood and noodle meals.
Tokyou is located on Castle Square in the heart of Sheffield city centre, at the bottom of Fargate (arguably the main pedestrianised shopping street in the city centre) and just a few seconds walk from the Castle Square Supertram stop.
The dining area is pretty basic with little in the way of comfort or decoration. You'll find yourself sitting on wooden benches (with cushioned back rests), dining at plain wooden tables (no tablecloths) and staring at whitewashed walls. It was also rather cold on our visit, with the aircon seemingly on despite the cold temperatures outside. I've never been one to let the surroundings put me off my food and have enjoyed many a good meal in aesthetically sterile restaurants, so I wasn't the least bit concerned by the lack of decor.
There were no special offers on when we visited, but the prices are generally very reasonable with soups and starters costing between £2.50 and £4 and main meals between £4.50 and £6. Drinks are also very reasonably priced; just £1 for soft drinks, £1.20 for fruit juices and £2.10 for bottled Asian beers. Pots of green tea are complimentary.
The selection of starters includes a wide variety of standard Westernised Chinese restaurant fare: prawn crackers, spring rolls, chicken wings, spare ribs, crispy shredded chilli beef, crispy wontons, prawn toasts and crispy aromatic duck. Some of the more interesting options include salt and pepper fried squid and beef tongue with orange.
The soup section of the menu includes chicken and sweetcorn, chicken and mushroom, crabstick, seafood and hot and sour, as well as more expensive noodle based soups (choice of udon, ramen and vermicelli) including salmon, roast duck, char sui, beef and vegetables.
Japanese starters include cucumber roll, crabstick roll, salmon and cooked prawn.
The main courses fall under the following headings on the menu: curry, Thai curry, Korean chilli sauce, Szechuan sauce, sweet and sour, ginger and spring onion, black pepper sauce, black bean sauce, satay sauce and XO sauce. Each section features an array of dishes containing chicken, beef, pork, king prawns, seafood, squid, duck, mixed vegetables or tofu. The menu also features a wide variety of fried rice and noodle dishes.
I started with:
Thai Tom Yum Soup - Price: £2.80
A hot soup, served in a pumpkin shaped dish. It was suitably hot and was filled with lemongrass, tofu, green chillies, carrots, three prawns and various vegetables and herbs that gave it the taste that I expected from previously having eaten this dish both in Thailand and the UK. I've had better Tom Yum soup (for example, at The Orchid Thai Restaurant in Sheffield), but this was still very enjoyable and the heat and spice was very welcome on a winter's day. It was also very good value for money; just £2.80 compared to the £5.25 that I paid for Tom Yum soup at the aforementioned Orchid Restaurant.
Emma started with:
Chicken and Mushroom Soup - Price: £2.10
Also served in a pumpkin shaped dish. A hot soup, with a thin, watery composition and filled with good quality chicken, mushrooms and onions. Emma informs me that it was very nice.
For my main, I opted for:
Korean Chilli King Prawn - Price: £5.60
I'd never seen Korean food on a menu in Sheffield before and, despite not expecting it to be particularly authentic, I decided to give it a try.
The chilli sauce was fairly hot and the dish contained half a dozen decent sized prawns, along with green and red peppers, onions, bean sprouts and tofu. On the side of the plate was a serving of omelette-style egg, a crabstick and a small piece of chicken. I'm not sure whether the latter was supposed to have been there or had fallen off another plate while in the kitchen; it just seemed odd and out of place.
All mains come with a choice of boiled rice, egg fried rice, vermicelli, udon or ramen noodles. I opted for the thin vermicelli style noodles.
Overall, it was a good sized portion and the food was nice and hot. However, I did get the impression that the food was slightly less fresh than in other restaurants we've eaten at and it tasted as though it had been pre-prepared and warmed-up. Given how quickly it arrived, I guess this must have been the case.
Emma opted for:
Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion - Price: £5.10
Again, it was a good sized portion (and very filling according to Emma) and served piping hot. It contained plenty of good quality chicken, chunks of ginger and diced spring onions. It lacked a bit of taste – it was literally just a sauce with ginger and spring onions – and would maybe have benefitted from a few more ingredients. Emma opted for egg fried rice to accompany it.
To drink, I had:
Lemonade - Price: £1.00
A reasonable sized glass with ice. Good value compared to the average price of soft drinks in Sheffield's restaurants.
Green Tea - Price: Free
A complimentary pot of green tea with lots of tea leaves in the pot. Enough for 5 cups of strong tea.
Overall, we enjoyed a decent meal at a fair price and were impressed by the wide choice of dishes on the menu.
While the food was nice enough, and certainly ideal for a budget lunch, there are other restaurants that we would recommend ahead of Tokyou. For example, for a similar price, the food at Yummy's Noodle Bar (see separate review) just seems that little bit tastier and more freshly cooked.
A small bugbear of mine: the waitress brought over our soups and then, just a few minutes later, when we'd barely started eating, brought over the main meals. I would always prefer to finish my starter before being served my main meal. The main meal was still hot once we'd finished our soups, so it wasn't a major problem in that respect, but I just felt a little rushed seeing my main meal waiting there on the table. Other than that, the service was friendly and efficient.
I'm happy to rate Tokyou at 3 out of 5 and would recommend it to anybody looking for a budget lunch in the city centre.
Good value Asian food in the heart of the city centre. An ideal place for a quick, budget lunch!
My girlfriend and I ate at Azaad's Kashmiri restaurant one Saturday lunch time in November 2010.
Azaad's is located in Attercliffe, an area of Sheffield with a relatively large Asian population. Although it is located a couple of miles from the city centre, it is easily reached in less than 10 minutes on the Sheffield Supertram. Azaad's is located just a couple of minute's walk up the hill from Woodbourn Road tram stop, next to the Pakistan Muslim Centre. Alternatively, if you choose to drive there as we did, there is a reasonable sized car park to the rear of the restaurant.
This restaurant had been recommended to us by one of my girlfriend's work colleagues, who has a good knowledge of the local Indian and Pakistani cuisine and restaurant scene. At the same time, all the reviews that I was reading on local forums were giving Azaad's plenty of praise.
To say that it was quiet when we arrived would be an understatement. All the tables in the dining room were laid out and set, but there were no diners and no sign of any staff. In fact, Emma had to shout "hello" a few times before finally attracting the attention of the owner/chef/waiter who emerged from the kitchen and showed us to a table.
I wasn't particularly worried by the lack of other diners; Azaad's was still fairly new and it isn't located in an area that will attract much in the way of passing custom.
One thing that was mentioned in several of the reviews that I read prior to our visit was the excellent value £5 per person lunch buffet.
A number of silver serving dishes were located on a table along one side of the dining room, but they were clearly cold and empty. The owner explained that he had experimented with a self-service buffet for a while, but at times when the restaurant wasn't very busy and the food wasn't being turned over very quickly, the food had a tendency to dry out and deteriorate in quality. He had therefore decided that the buffet would be freshly cooked and served at the table.
We spoke to the owner for a while as we placed our order. He was very friendly and was happy to talk to us about his restaurant and his food. He told us that the restaurant had been open since June 2010 and that it was extremely busy some evenings and completely empty on other days. We also talked about the restaurant's Internet presence and told him that we'd read many favourable reviews online before our visit. He admitted that he wasn't very technologically savvy (the restaurant has no website at the time of writing), but that his children were (so maybe there'll be a website in future!)
Part of our discussion centred on the cuisine on offer, and the owner was keen to ensure that he could cook us dishes that suited our tastes. Emma told him that she liked very mild curries and I told him that I liked curries to be quite hot. After a little contemplation, he recommended a "Makhani" for Emma and a "Nawabi" for me. We didn't know what either contained, but we were assured that they would be to our tastes and we were happy to follow his recommendation. We both opted for the chicken variety of our respective dishes; the other options being lamb or vegetable if memory serves correct.
Shortly after placing our order the starter arrived. This consisted of two lamb filled samosas, two chicken filled spring rolls, two vegetable spring rolls and a tray containing pots of mango chutney, lime pickle, raita and a spicy tomato sauce. There was also an accompanying side salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions and carrots. The samosas and spring rolls were served piping hot and were tasty if not particularly memorable.
With no other diners to serve, it wasn't long before our freshly cooked and owner-recommended curries arrived.
Along with our two curries, the main course also included a large plate of rice to share between us (more than enough for us both, and the owner offered to replenish the dish when we had almost emptied it) and a very enjoyable dish of curried vegetables (peas, tomatoes, potato and spinach).
The curries were clearly freshly prepared and still had steam coming off them as they arrived at our table. The owner explained that Emma's Chicken Makhani had been prepared to a similar strength as a tikka masala or a korma and should suit her preference for mild dishes. He then explained that my Chicken Nawabi was a similar dish, but with the addition of fresh green chillies in order to make it much hotter. The owner was keen that we sample a little of our dishes and let him know if we were satisfied with them or whether anything needed to be changed. He needn't have worried; both of our curries were excellent and the two empty dishes a short while later confirmed that. The chicken was of a very good standard and the owner had correctly judged the heat of curry that each of us would enjoy.
We received a complimentary bottle of mineral water with our meal. No other drinks were offered to us, but we were happy to drink the water. The restaurant has no alcohol licence, but I understand that you can take your own alcohol along.
At the end of our meal we attempted to order a couple of Kashmiri Chais from the hot drinks menu. Unfortunately, the owner informed us that the person who usually prepares them wasn't around and he didn't know how to. He told us that they take about 20 minutes to make and are usually ordered in the evenings.
Later in the day, the lunchtime buffet is replaced with the evening buffet. It is a little more expensive at £7.90 per person but includes kebabs, chicken wings and other items in addition to those found on the lunchtime buffet.
Overall, we really enjoyed our first visit to Azaad's. The quality of the food was excellent and the value-for-money was unbelievable (the total bill for both of our meals was just £10). Having the opportunity to speak to the owner and to benefit from his personal recommendations made the meal all the more enjoyable.
Very good value, excellent quality food and a friendly owner. Highly recommended – much better value than you tend to get at a city centre curry house!
Update: 4 April 2011
Azaads now has a website (www.azaadsrestaurant.co.uk) along with an email contact address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and an online reservation system.
The new website features some pretty pictures taken from my VT page and, although my permission was never sought for this and no credit has been given, I am more than happy for them to appear on their website. Hopefully this increased Internet presence will help Azaads to continue to grow in popularity.
It was Valentine's Day in February 2011 and my girlfriend naturally wanted me to take her out for a meal. I didn't like the idea of spending a cliched evening in a romantic Italian restaurant, full of couples staring into each other's eyes over a candlelit table and an exorbitantly priced special Valentines set menu meal. I wanted to go somewhere a bit "different", less stereotypical, but romantic in its own way. As I hadn't booked a table anywhere, we made a last minute decision to try out Man Ting Hong, a newly opened Sichuan Hot Pot restaurant that we had spotted a few weeks before.
Man Ting Hong is located on Matilda Street, just off The Moor, in an area of Sheffield city centre that is something of a miniature and unofficial Chinatown. It is located next to Tai Sun Chinese supermarket, opposite Wong Ting Chinese restaurant and just around the corner from another Chinese restaurant, the long standing Zing Vaa. The building in which the restaurant is located had stood empty for some time, having previously housed the pan-Asian East Ocean Cafe.
When we arrived, the restaurant was already busy, maybe three quarters full, and it continued to get busier while we ate. The crowds were not lovestruck Valentines couples though, they were mainly groups of young Chinese students. There were some couples, and some families; all of whom were Chinese.
A waitress greeted us on arrival and, seemingly surprised to see non-Chinese customers, explained that this was a Chinese restaurant and not a "Cantonese" restaurant, and that there was no English language menu available. She was friendly and welcoming, but the underlying message was that this wasn't the standard westernised Chinese restaurant where we would order sweet and sour chicken, egg fried rice or chow mein. I think she was just keen to ensure that we didn't have misplaced expectations that would lead to disappointment. On the contrary, the lack of an English language menu and the promise of authentic cuisine was music to my ears!
As the waitress showed us to a table in the hotpot part of the restaurant (there is another dining room for those who opt for dishes from the grill rather than the Sichuan hotpot), the thing that immediately caught my attention was the aroma of chillies and peppers which, combined with the steam from the hotpots, really caught my throat and made my nose run. I knew then, without doubt, that we'd be in for some really tasty and enjoyable food!
We'd eaten in a hotpot restaurant before, so we knew how the process worked. The said hotpot, filled with water and a choice of sauces, is placed on a hot plate in the centre of the table and you order the ingredients raw and cook them yourselves at the table. You can control the temperature via a button on the hot plate in order to stop the hotpot from boiling over.
Fortunately, it is possible at Man Ting Hong to have a hotpot that is sub-divided into two halves. This meant that I was able to have hot chillies and peppers and cook seafood in my half of the hotpot, while Emma could enjoy a less spicy and seafood-free meal from her half of the pot.
It costs £5 for the hotpot (which is topped up with water and sauces throughout your meal as required) and then you pay for any additional ingredients separately. With no English language menu, we were dependent upon the translation skills of our waitress which were good, but not flawless. She had a good grasp of English, but was not able to translate all of the items on the menu. We managed to convey to her that I'd like a spicy mix in my half of the hotpot and Emma would like a non-spicy mix in her half. My half of the hotpot was filled with red chillies and a variety of peppercorns with outstanding flavours, plenty of heat and tongue-numbing properties. The flavour was truly wonderful and like nothing I've ever experienced before. My good friend and fellow VT member Xuess (VTer Xuessium) has since informed me that the tongue-numbing will have been caused by Sichuan peppers. Emma's half of the hotpot contained vegetables, goji berries and a much tamer flavour.
Completely reliant upon the waitress, we set about ordering our ingredients. As we ordered, she ticked little boxes on a menu card, so I was able to see that vegetables and noodles generally cost between £3 and £4 per plate, meat £5 to £6 a plate and seafood £6+ per plate. It was difficult to keep track of how much we were spending, but I wasn't surprised to find that our final bill came to £46.
We ordered the following items:
King Prawns – a plate of around 10 large, raw prawns with heads and shells fully intact;
Crabsticks – around 15 – 20 sticks of crab meat;
Chicken – a plate of raw chicken. Good quality meat and more than enough for 2 people to share;
Beef – a dozen or so slices of thinly cut raw beef. Again, more than ample for 2 people to share;
Beancurd – we didn't realise we'd ordered this. I think something was lost in translation and we had reached the point of nodding and agreeing as the waitress suggested various items from the menu. It was an interesting addition to our meals; we got a huge plateful of it, it didn't taste of much and had a chewy texture.
Udon noodles – a plate of thick white noodles;
Sweet potato noodles – flat, dark brown/almost black noodles with a slippery texture. Not at all what we expected, but very nice;
Mushrooms – a dish of sliced mushrooms. Large in size and plenty of them;
Chinese greens – a variety of lettuce leaves which were much more appetising having been boiled in the spicy hotpot for a few minutes, soaking up the chilli and pepper flavours.
We also ordered a couple of sauces (black bean and sesame) at £1 per dish. I tended to put the sauce into the hotpot while cooking the food to add flavour, but noticed that people on other tables were keeping the sauces separate and using them more as a dip or a dressing alongside their cooked food.
To drink, we shared a pot of green tea.
Overall, the food was excellent. It was tasty and it was obviously piping hot having been self-cooked at our table.
My only slight gripes would be the following:
Our table wasn't particularly big and there was very little space with the hotpot and the various dishes of raw food on there. I found it difficult at times to keep the raw and cooked food separate. I also had nowhere to put the discarded shells of the king prawns, so could only place them on the tablecloth.
We each received a small plate and chopsticks. While the chopsticks were no problem, I feel that a dish would have made it easier to eat the food. Also, there was only one paper serviette each. I soon rendered this useless after peeling the shell off my first prawn. I had to lick my fingers clean after each subsequent prawn, which made for a rather messy meal. I'm not really complaining, but a small bowl of water for cleaning my fingers in would have been useful.
On the face of it, a bill of £46 may seem a little excessive for what was effectively one course with no starters or desserts and with only green tea to drink. However, I would say that it was actually good value for money. We spent a couple of hours in there cooking and eating our way through an impressive selection of food, including plenty of seafood, meat, noodles and vegetables. The Sichuan peppers were unlike anything I've ever eaten and I'm looking forward to going back there to taste them again!
Judging by the absence of any other online reviews at the time of writing, Man Ting Hong seems to be slipping under the radar of many Sheffield diners at the moment, although it is clearly very popular with Sheffield's Chinese population, which is a good sign. We'll certainly be visiting again!
Excellent, self-cooked, authentic Chinese food. The Sichuan peppers are amazing! Very highly recommended!!