Sheffield food: The top ten restaurant reviews of 2017

Butcher and Catch
Whitham Road 
Sheffield
Chef Chris Billingslep
Butcher and Catch Whitham Road Sheffield Chef Chris Billingslep

There are plenty of people who say Sheffield’s food scene still has a long way to go to catch up with the likes of Manchester and Leeds.

And they may have a point - but 2017 has also seen great strides forward on many different levels.

Food review at JORO in Krynkyl on Shalesmoor. The pork dish.  Picture: Chris Etchells

Food review at JORO in Krynkyl on Shalesmoor. The pork dish. Picture: Chris Etchells

There has been a particular increase in the number of restaurants and cafes catering for vegetarians and vegans, such as Pom on Sharrowvale Road, and Dana in Crookes.

While some old favourites have closed after many years in business - Ambar on Ecclesall Road, and Yankees on the same street - there have also been plenty of new openings, from No Name in Crookes to Bocelli 1831 on Ecclesall Road.

And, while most of us prefer to support independents, there has been a flurry of larger operations moving in: a welcome signal that they consider Sheffield worthy of setting up.

Looking back at the year in food is a perfect opportunity to revisit our favourite food reviews of the year.

Food review at Bocelli 1831 on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. Panko lamb breast dish. Picture: Chris Etchells

Food review at Bocelli 1831 on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. Panko lamb breast dish. Picture: Chris Etchells

JÖRO, at Kelham Island, actually opened last year but this year has become a must visit destination for Sheffield food lovers - and it also notched up plenty of awards and rave reviews on the way.

The Nordic-inspired restaurant claimed a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide in its first 12 months.

Expect hyper-seasonal and inventive dishes from a clever tasting menu if you can get a table in 2018.

In Woodseats, Virraj was another award winner, taking home a plaudit from the English Curry Awards this year.

Viraaj Restaurant on Chesterfield Road in Woodseats Sheffield

Viraaj Restaurant on Chesterfield Road in Woodseats Sheffield

Owner Sufi Miah and his team offer dishes from Indian and Bangladesh which they say can’t be found elsewhere in the city.

Service is an an endless stream of smiling waiters flowing through the tables in a sort of seamless dance and very rapid.

The layering of spices in dishes is excellent, and going there might ruin other Indians for you. It’s very affordable, too.

The focus on provenance at restaurants across the country shows no sign of slowing down, and Butcher and Catch in Broomhill takes it to another level.

Food review at Oisoi Restaurant, St Paul's Place, Sheffield. Pictured is chef Wayson Ang. Picture: Chris Etchells

Food review at Oisoi Restaurant, St Paul's Place, Sheffield. Pictured is chef Wayson Ang. Picture: Chris Etchells

All the meat comes through John Crawshaws – which has the Seven Hills Meat brand supplying beef and lamb reared within 30 miles -and the fish is caught by M&J Seafood from Grimsby, as well as being Msc certified.

The menu is divided into easily navigated sections - and all the dishes are appealing.

Order some oysters to get your meal off to a cracking start and enjoy some of the more unusual cuts of meat.

One of the more recent openings in Bocelli 1831, a partnership between Matt Bigland of The Milestone and the wine brand run by the family of Andrea Bocelli.

It’s an excellent, intimate yet lively place for a date.

The staff really know their onions on the wine and the small plates offer a different take on Italian food.

Pan fried scallops with cured ham at Casa Mia, Wostenholm Road.

Pan fried scallops with cured ham at Casa Mia, Wostenholm Road.

You must try the panko lamb - a delightful contrast between juicy tender meat and breadcrumbs, with pops of pomegranate seeds and a saffron yoghurt.

Further up the same road, and the second Lucky Fox restaurant has the Holy Grail of gravy.

It’s casual dining at its best - and the phrase food porn fits exactly.

The gravy is thick, sticky and intensely meaty - and an extra ingredient (bacon) adds a punch of salt to the home made stock.

Drizzle it over any of the dishes, from fried chicken to waffles, for a US inspired experience.

If you are taking a trip out to the Peak District this week, the Hathersage Social Club is well worth a visit.

This quirky and vibrant eatery was set up by Simon Couth and Lucy Würstlin when they gave up their media jobs in London for a new and very different venture closer to home.

There are three dining areas and it’s a cosy place to be.

Kids are very welcome and will love the fluffy waffles for which the club has become famous for. Gourmet burgers are also highly rated.

In the city centre - where there have also been many changes restaurant wise - there is a spot where lobster is always the most popular dish.

Oisoi, in a corner of St Paul’s Place, is popular with students who have expensive dining tastes and serves up simply mind-blowing Asian food.

The Signature Lobster with lemongrass, fresh coconut and Thai curry was described as a ‘wow’ dish by our reviewer.

And they have a cocktail bar, making it an ideal destination to wow someone special over the holidays.

Down in Kelham Island - dubbed, perhaps optimistically, the LA of Sheffield this year - Stew and Oyster is one of a spate of new openings.

For the area it is a surprisingly affordable after work dinner spot.

It’s a blend of community based bar and comfort food restaurant.

The clue is in the name, but rather than boring beef stew, expect up to 12 stews to choose from including vegan and vegetarian options.

The fresh oysters are a great way to kick off the meal and puddings are also plenty decadent.

No Name in Crookes is everything you could want from a neighbourhood bistro - modern British food, executed beautifully and with care by chef Thomas Samworth, formerly of Rowley’s and the Devonshire Arms.

Plus, it’s bring your own, what’s not to love?

This combination has meant a busy bookings system for No Name in its first few months.

The menu is adapted each week, and focuses on modern but not ostentatious dishes using quality ingredients.

When we visited in November, the beef fillet carpaccio was particularly impressive, with slim circles of pink fillet made for a extraordinary base - succulent, juicy and moreish. Interesting toppings really brought the dish alive.

Delicate, wispy, wreaths of onion added crunch, then there was the Henderson’s Relish gel for tang, and daubs of green/white sauces hidden under it all. Corned beef as I’ve never had before - smooth, creamy and formed into cubes - was tossed in an unami coating that really woke up the tastebuds.

It was one of the finest dishes of the year.

Light as air homemade bread and delicious desserts were also worth shouting about from the rooftops.

A vanilla meringue was almost cloud-like in cinsistency , chewy in all the right places, with pockets of refreshing passion fruit curd and mango sorbet bursting out with each delve of the fork.

When it comes to eating out with the family, the challenge is finding somewhere that doesn’t compromise on quality too far while also being affordable.

It’s a tough challenge to live up to.

Casa Mia was the best hidden gem of the year - tucked away on a Nether Edge street, it’s almost the last place you would expect to find a restaurant.

And we might never have found it, had it not been for a handwritten letter sent to the Sheffield Telegraph by readers Anthony and Anna Ashwell.

The former Priory Lodge has been transformed from working men’s club style to a stylish restaurant, complete with mosaic style floor.

There are lots of traditional Italian dishes but owners Donna and Francisco Santos focus on contemporary presentation.

For families, there are some excellent offers mid week to take advantage of - previously they included half price pizza and pasta.

We enjoyed a pan-fried escalope of pork back in

It came in a creamy mushroom, mouth-dominating gorgonzola and cream sauce - rich, with just a tone of the port which the meat had been flambeed in.

A circle of fondant potato was well herbed and tasty - while a sideshow of vegetables included sweet, sweet red cabbage and vibrantly orange carrots.

Desserts were a steal at £5 each. A lemon roulade was a thing of beauty, with just enough gooey meringue to hold in layers of zingy lemon curd and thick cream. His ‘crespella al cioccolato’ was a thin pancake simply dripping in what tasted like melted Alpine chocolate.

If you have a review suggestion for 2018, email ellen.beardmore@jpress.co.uk

Starter - Beef Fillet Carpaccio with Hendersons Relish, Corned Beef and Onion. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE No Name MC 8

Starter - Beef Fillet Carpaccio with Hendersons Relish, Corned Beef and Onion. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE No Name MC 8