New family British bistro in Sheffield proves popular in no Thyme at all

News travels fast in south west Sheffield.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 07:00 am
The pork belly dish was the highlight of the night

It hadn’t been a week since the opening of Turnip and Thyme on Ecclesall Road, but our Thursday night sitting was pleasantly full, and they were booked up for the weekend.

“All the feedback so far has been really positive”, smiled Louise Moore, one half of the brother-and-sister team that set up the independent restaurant, once we had paid and revealed our review intentions.

“It’s gone so well and we were fully booked for the Friday and Saturday really quickly.”

The chocolate brownie was beautifully presented

Louise and Robert have done a major transformation of the site, which was formerly decorated in bright pink for a restaurant that never seemed to open.

It is located on a stretch of shops just up from Hunters Bar roundabout, which already has the fantastic Olive Italian restaurant and our favourite micro bar Wine and Whiskey to boast about, providing quite the miniature evening destination. Inside it is contemporary, with an exposed brick wall on one side, and a mirror on the other, and we were welcomed by genuinely smiling staff.

Turnip aims to specialise in bistro British classics and comfort food, but there are some dishes on the menu which don’t fit that brief. It's a concise offering with someone for everyone, and reminded me a tad of those conceived at Sheffield restaurants where the siblings have worked before.

Louise, who offered lovely, laid back service throughout, added: “There are dishes on there which Robert likes cooking, as well as dishes that are British.”

It felt as though he had enjoyed making my starters, a plate of golden calamari (£6.25) draped in slivers of sweet chilli pepper and onion, with a fresh lemony aioli. It’s very easy to get squid wrong, but this was delicious, and cooked in buttermilk. His thyme smoked chicken parfait (probably the most British starter) was a gigantic portion of very meaty pâté, with paper thin crispy bread and an incredible salty-sweet bacon jam.

Sadly we only spotted there was a specials board offering pie on the way to the loo, as they weren't mentioned at the table, perhaps a first week oversight.

But no matter, as my pork belly (£14.95) turned out to be the absolute highlight. A thick, rectangular slab of proper pork, it had a chargrilled crackling top, a softer fatty layer underneath then the tender pork.

Oh-so-creamy Dauphinoise potatoes, buttery greens and a gutsy ball of ham and black pudding were brought together beautifully with a sticky, intense cider jus so good I wanted to drink it.

His £13.95 linguine had no chance of matching that, but if you want good pasta in a chorizo oiled sauce with plump prawns and crab, it hit the spot. A huge portion, too.

Is there a more British dessert than apple crumble? Doubtful. This pudding came with another drinkable side of gorgeous white chocolate custard, but needed less runny apple and more of a topping to meet Liam’s very high crumble standards. A sticky raspberry brownie was again massive, too big to finish. Decoration and taste was on point with a shard of burnt white chocolate and high quality ice cream on top.

We paid £75 for three courses with drinks. A strong debut from Turnip, which in Thyme could become a favourite neighbourhood haunt.

Turnip and Thyme, 740 Ecclesall Road

Tel: 0114 2661510.