Friday, 15 January 2010

Dosanj – 21st November 2009

West One, the Plaza, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield, Tel: 0114 276 9384

Sorry it has been so long since the last review. We have been to lots of places just been a bit lazy with uploading the details. So without further ado let’s discuss the Dosanj! While living in London I developed a taste for contemporary Indian restaurants rather than curry houses, a good example of such is the Cinnamon club in London. So after looking at the Dosanj website and reading about the fusion cooking and the twist on western dishes I was quite excited to go there, so excited I even overlooked all the spelling mistakes on their site. Upon entering the restaurant I was pleasantly surprised to see the seats full, tasteful decor and friendly waiting on staff. After reading through the menus and sampling a Cobra we ordered. For starters we had the Lamb kebabs which were nicely presented but lacked flavour and that’s pretty much it nothing more to say. Onto the main course, Lucy went for a Kamatake Dosa which was a pancake and the meat chosen was Chicken, and I went for the Scallops. An hour had gone by since the starter so we asked the waiter where the food was, to which he replied ‘all food ir made fresh’. Another thirty minutes went by.... (do the maths - an hour and a half after the starter) a nervous looking manager came over and said ‘sorry, we have no scallops’! After three bottles of cobra and only a small amount of lamb kebab in my ‘over large’ belly I wanted to shake him to death but instead I looked away and said just bring us food in two minutes otherwise we pay for nothing. Two minutes a chicken tikka massala (very exotic!) and a giant pancake. In fairness the tikka massala tasted OK but is not my idea of ‘mouth watering contemporary Indian cuisine’ or whatever their website promises. Moving back to the giant pancake, it certainly looked intriguing but tasted like soggy naan bread with a sweet aftertaste. The chicken inside (once we found it) tasted of just well.... plan unseasoned chicken.

Overall with poor service, a confused menu, a shortage of scallops and an over-priced menu it was a huge disappointment.

Best Suited For: Non seafood eaters
Kid Friendly: If they like sweet pancakes
Vegetarian Friendly: Past caring

Food and Presentation: 3/10
Ambiance and Decor: 6/10
Quality of Service: 2/10
Overall rating: 3/10
Take is easy and have a good week,


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

23 Bar & Restaurant – 10th November 2009

Unit 3, the Plaza, 8 Fitzwilliam Street, S1 4JB
Tel: 0114 2732323
Bar 23 is located in the West 10 complex at the top of Division Street. Booking a table is only necessary at the weekends although Tuesday (pie night) and Wednesday (steak night) it does fill up. Downstairs is a cocktail bar, the clientele being 20-30 years old and a bit more upmarket than the vodka revolution next door. The restaurant itself has a good mix of people of all ages who seem to be dressed fairly smartly especially at weekends. The lighting isn’t too bright, and the tables are of ample size and aren’t too close to your neighbours. The decor is of a similar vain to the bar downstairs, with browns, reds and dark wood. It sounds cosier than it feels but overall it’s pleasant. At weekends I can imagine it will get loud from the music downstairs, but during the week it’s fairly relaxed. Bar 23 offers 2 courses for £16 and 3 for £18, however if you want steak those rules don’t apply and you can add another £6 on for a fillet steak. Starters are £5 and mains between £11 for a Crispy duck salad or butternut squash risotto, to around £14-18. The menu isn’t extensive but would suggest things are cooked fresh. We ordered deep fried brie fritters with cranberry jelly and salad to share. Mmm, not much to say really, it didn’t taste of much. The jelly was sweet and bland and the brie should have been left to mature. For mains we ordered pan-fried lamb steak with lamb dauphiniose and red current sauce (£14.50). And the escalope of pork with Parmesan crumb and herb butter (£12.50). The pork was greasy and there wasn’t really much taste of the Parmesan crumb, so some extra Parmesan on top wouldn’t have gone amiss. That aside it was Ok, not the best quality pork. The lamb was delicious, and plenty of it with some really tender lamb sitting underneath the dauphiniose potatoes. To finish we shared a chocolate brownie dessert, which was dark, gooey, calorific, rich and very nice. Overall it was pleasant, reasonable atmosphere, un-rushed, just a shame the pork was a little greasy. With a bottle of beer and a glass of wine, it came to around £45. The service was polite and not rushed, although it just seemed to be two fairly junior people on and no overall restaurant manager. However they seemed to have it together.
Strange really, I can’t say anything too negative about the place but would I rush back? Is it a must go place? Errrr no! I’d probably go there again, maybe with a few friends mid week. All other reviews have raved about it, but for us the food was average to good but not amazing. The atmosphere was perhaps a little flat, the service too, nothing sparkling. However it’s good value, some nice well done dishes on the menu and in a good location.
Food and Presentation 7/10 Ambiance and Decor: 6/10 Favourite Menu Item: LambBest Suited For: A quiet mid week bite to eat with friends (try the steak or pie night).Overall Product Rating: 6.5/10 I was expecting more and for it to live up to it’s reputation.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Chequers Inn – 27th October 2009

Froggatt Edge, Calver, Hope Valley, S32 Tel: 01433 630 231

The Chequers Inn is located on Frogatt Edge on the road to Calver. It’s about a 20 min drive out from the south side of Sheffield. At the weekends it’s best to make a reservation. On weekdays although not quiet, you will still have a few tables to choose from.
We went to the Chequers on a random Tuesday evening. However, many think of it as a Sunday lunch place. It’s a bit of a, ‘bring your aging mother in law and the kids, in your Beemer for Sunday lunch’ pub. Actually we have had a really good Sunday lunch here about 18 months ago. As I recall there were no over boiled vegetables or 70s mash here, a clean nice plate with a succulent piece of pork, fresh greens and tasty roast potatoes (around the £7 mark).
It’s a sort of traditional pub with a modern twist. I always think of it as dark cosy pub with the traditional red carpet, but actually it is bright and airy with wooden floors and not at all scruffy. It has mixed the old/new pub well and they do take the food seriously. No TV here and the walkers leave their boots in the porch. This attention to detail, gives me confidence in the cleanliness of the kitchen and the toilet seat.
The Chequers serves new traditional pub food; duck leg, pork belly and homemade soup to start. Mains are quite manly; pies, calves liver, butternut squash risotto and swordfish. On the pudding menu; Bakewell tart, ginger sponge and cheese. The bar serves a good selection of wines by the glass, I enjoyed a large glass of Ozzie semillion chardonnay (not bad for me on a non-drinking week).
After flying down country lanes in the dark (Winston was driving) my stomach was all over the place and I decided after a meagre lunch I would venture for a mans dish of lamb and rosemary pie on the specials board. The lamb was fairly tender, although the gravy was a little bland with not too much of the rosemary flavour coming through the gravy. The pie crust (most of which someone else ate) was crispy and not soggy or overcooked. The greens were not boiled to within an inch of their life and surprisingly for us, we ate the lot. Winston had the gammon, which was a handsome large piece on the top of a layer of mash.
The service was efficient without being on your table before you have taken your coat off (too quick service puts me off, was it just in the microwave?). We ordered at the bar, and the waitress was friendly and polite.
Starters are between £5-7, main are on average £15 and puddings £5. So good pub food, at restaurant prices. However for two reasonably priced mains, some fresh bread, a bottle of beer and a large glass of vino, it came to £27. Puddings are only needed for the gluttonous here.
Nice pub, good food, not a cheap option when nipping out for tea. Will go back, but next time probably for Sunday lunch. Due to its position in the middle of nowhere this pub has to make sure the food is up to scratch to keep the punters coming, and the walkers deviating for a pint. Can be enjoyed by all the family.
Food and Presentation 7.5/10
Ambiance and Decor: 7.5/10
Quality of Service: 8/10
Overall Product Rating 7.5/10
Recommend to a friend? Yes