REVIEW: Branch out at new brunch spot

Brood food review
Brood food review

Brunch dates back decades, but has taken a while to take off in Sheffield.

Now you can queue for Kiwi inspired classics at Tamper, tuck into kimchi eggs benedict at Anchorage and seek out the best in artisan bakery, or bottomless drinks at any of a dozen venues across the city.

Brood food review

Brood food review

But there is a relatively new spot that you may not have heard of.

Step through the yellow front door of three Georgian terraced houses on Glossop Road to arrive at Roco Creative Co-op and inside Brood cafe, the latter of which launched its food menu, including brunch, just last month.

The social enterprise, which is owned by its members, also includes retail spaces and studios, a bookshop, deli and gallery as well as one of the city’s few roof terraces.

Founder Andrea Burns said: “We opened our cafe, retail spaces and studio in November last year but we have only just this month launched our food menu, we are really excited, tenants and visitors love it.

Brood food review

Brood food review

“It brings a whole new dimension to our offer here.

“What we’ve tried to do in Brood is create a really welcoming and adaptable space, we have events and conferences in here, creative happenings and workshops.

“There’s a real mix of activity and that’s reflected in the broad mix of people who come here for breakfast or lunch on the terrace.

“We have had so many lovely positive comments but we also listen to our customers. Someone commented in our first week that the bread base of our wild mushroom open sandwich seemed a bit small so we now make the loaves bigger. This continued conversation is really important to us, we cater for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets all based on those informal chats with our regulars.”

Brood food review

Brood food review

Brood is led by head chef Hugh Smith, who worked at Nonna’s on Ecclesall Road around 20 years ago and has been around the UK before coming back to launch Brocco on the Park at Hunter Bar, then Roco.

He wants the menu to focus on being healthy, seasonal, reasonably priced and tasty - a tall order indeed.

Hugh said: “I’m really inspired by chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi and working with Andrea sharing ideas and lots of images I have been able to produce a simple but sophisticated menu thats all locally sourced, seasonal and fresh.

“We work with specialist local butchers, fishmongers and artisan producers to create the dishes.”

Brood food review

Brood food review

Andrea, who trained in design and created the interior, added: “Where we are on Glossop Road you have a choice of burgers or pub grub for your lunch - apart from our wonderful neighbours Upshot Espresso there is very little in the way of really tasty, healthy, and seasonal well thought out food.

“We planted our own mini orchard on the roof terrace this spring and have a geodesic greenhouse looking after our chilli farm.

“Next year we plan on growing lots of our own ingredients which both Hugh and I are really excited about.”

The cafe’s decor is as cool as a cucumber, all industrial chic with bench-like tables, oversized light bulbs and pretty blue China patterns on the tiling.

This is a great place to see and be seen - people watching heaven.

We ordered at the bar and all in one go as tabs weren’t available - and with it being brunch the day had to start with crisp prosecco.

Brood food review

Brood food review

There was time to check out the sprawling roof terrace - a real sun spot, ideal for trying one of the many beers on offer, though the view is limited - before the dishes arrived at our outside table.

Serious attention had been paid to the presentation of both plates.

I’d tried to go for something that can’t be bought at any other brunch place - salt cured beef brisket (£8)- in a step away from bacon, eggs and the ever-present avocado.

There were giant slabs of the cold, tender meat laid at precise angles over a large piece of nutty rye bread.

There’s a mini bakery on the site, so all bread and cakes are made fresh each day.

Delicate circles of radish, tangy piccalilli and sharp gerkins added bursts of flavour which went together beautifully. There was enough meat to fill the biggest of appetites, almost too much.

I’d have liked some rich butter to go with the bread, but there were also carefully drawn diagonal lines of a fresh sauce daubed on the plate.

Fellow brunch connoisseur Rachel was pleased as punch with her gin cured salmon - a fresh dish on finely made sourdough, with added flourishes of soured cream and dill for £6.50.

“It’s so light”, she said.

Our guilt free brunch was tempered with desserts - a fragrant, moist and aromatic orange with pistachio cake, as well as a crumbly, chewy chocolate brownie, both £2.50. The friendly staff even let us try them first.

For any would-be investors, buying shares in Roco comes with a 20 per cent discount at the cafe. Now that’s something to Brood over.

We paid £38, also including two soft drinks and lattes.

Brood Cafe Bar at Roco Creative Co-op 342 Glossop Rd, Sheffield S10 2HW