Couch should use its noodles better

Seared Cajun salmon and Asian noodle salad, working lunch at Couch on Campo Lane
Seared Cajun salmon and Asian noodle salad, working lunch at Couch on Campo Lane
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Its name instantly conjures an image of relaxation.

And Couch on Campo Lane is no let-down in terms of atmosphere.

You walk in, feel the laid-back vibe and a workday morning’s stress slips from your shoulders. I put it down to the decor; artfully mismatched tables, chairs and sofas and an industrial theme (exposed airducts traverse ceilings from which factory-style copper shades hang) softened by the use plaid upholstery, leather and bare wood.

There are two Couches - we’re trying out the inaugural one, which opened on Campo Lane this April (the other is on Ecclesall Road).

You may know the Campo Lane venue of old; it’s been many things. For a long time, it was the Golden Ball pub. More recently it was French restaurant Boho, then Sylvester’s. No one seems to have made the venue pay for long and hopefully, Couch will buck the trend.

Freshly-ground coffee is a speciality, food is served all day and the menu looks interesting - there’s lots of global fusion going on in the appetising list of ingredients in the £4.95 sandwiches, £5.95 flatbreads, salads, £8.95 urban ploughman’s platters, burgers from £6.95 to £9 and ten tapas dishes. Order one for £4, three for £10 and five for £15 (which is more expensive than they were back in April).

Wine is from £3.50 a glass or £13.95 a bottle and there are stacks of trendy bottled ales, ciders, juices and fruit beers.

The Husband’s prosciutto, basil, rocket and mozarella flatbread was like a small pizza and pleasant, with a little bowl of olives, pickled garlic and red pepper.

I opted for a £5 customised salad; you choose your base, then your protein and add your favoured dressing from a list. I went with the oriental noodle base, Cajun salmon and a glug of soy, ginger and lime.

The salmon came cubed on two tiny skewers threaded with raw pepper and onion. I could have done with more. The noodles, scattered with raw carrot and onion, were overdone; sticky and floury. I left them.

Only after I’d paid the £27.15 bill did I realise the salmon had cost me an extra £3.50. (I hadn’t noticed the small print on the menu). Which meant I’d paid £5 for that bowl of soggy noodles.

We also shared two tapas dishes; tasty but oily new potatoes roasted with chorizo and a dark, delicious pulled pork in soy that unfortunately came on more of those cold, soggy noodles. Coffees were truly stunning, though.

Campo Lane, Sheffield S1 2EG, Tel: 0114 275 6361

Ratings out of six:

Food 3

Atmosphere 6

Service 5

Value 3

In and out in: 70 minutes

Parking: Meters and NCP on Campo Lane