New Sheffield opening Tonco is one happy surprise after another

The arrival of new kid on the block, Tonco, in Sharrow Vale will impress you no end with an ever changing menu based on seasonal ingredients.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 5:19 pm
Flo and Joe run Tonco, which has evolved from a pop up to a permanent restaurant
Flo and Joe run Tonco, which has evolved from a pop up to a permanent restaurant

The new restaurant and bar on Dyson Place, just off Sharrowvale Road, recently opened as part of the new development after a while of serving their food in pop-ups and I couldn’t be happier they finally have a space to call their own. The service was good, we didn’t have to wait long and staff were fantastic at checking up on us at appropriate intervals.The co-owner, Joe Shrewsbury wasn’t shy about coming round tables and speaking to his diners either.The unique selling point of Tonco is that they work their menu based on what ingredients are in season and source them all locally.This means that their menu changes regularly, making the other co-owner of Tonco, chef Flo Russell - an original flavour genius.I found myself continuously surprised, plate after plate.

The inside of the bar and restaurant is very comfortable, warm, simple but chic. Nothing was too loud or too boring.

The restaurant holds no secrets as the open kitchen is right in front of you.

The main courses were a lesson in texture and ingredients

For starters, Joe recommended bread with olive oil and olives.Now, this may sound like high praise just for some olives but Tonco have somehow marinated them into the best I have ever had. They were gigantic, juicy flavour bombs covered in salt, oil and thyme. These babies were so good,I didn’t want them to end.

The bread was freshly made and went really nicely with the olive oil made and sent over from Greece by a friend of Joe’s. The oil was especially fresh with bitter and peppery flavour with a bright green colour. This type of olive oil holds a lot of polyphenol and vitamins which is very good for you but makes it taste bitter and peppery.

For drinks we had the 2016, Moscatel de Alejandria, Bodegas Vinessens, orange wine at £6.50 a glass. Joe explained that the wine was made and then put back onto the grape skins to ferment further making it a very dry type of wine, which went down easy.

For mains we shared two plates: lemon sole with buttermilk emulsion and leeks and another dish of squash, carrot, toasted buckwheat and labneh. The lemon sole was very good, nicely cooked and the meat was so tender it literally fell off the bones.This was another matter - the fish was beautiful and so flavourful with secret nuggets of meat the further you go into it, but you have to be careful of the bones. The squash and carrots, dare I say, were actually the best dish. That combination of texture and flavour worked so perfectly together, and though this looks like a simple dish nothing is on that plate for no reason. The squash was beautifully soft and slightly sweet which went with the creamy, tanginess of the labneh yoghurt. Carrots were caramelised with only the tiniest bit of crush still left in it, leaving only the buckwheat to flow through wonderfully. These are simple, humble ingredients but the textures together were something special.

Inside the restaurant on Sharrowvale Road

For dessert, we shared a quincewell tart with yoghurt and Ice cream with apple syrup. The beautiful tart was moreish, yummy and the texture satisfying.The vanilla ice cream came in a very cold bowl, was creamy and soft with the kick of the tangy apple syrup drizzled over it.

Beautiful work Tonco – and at a very affordable price too.

We paid £58.50.