These are the best restaurants in South Yorkshire according to The Good Food Guide
People have cooked for themselves more than ever during lockdown – so when restaurants are allowed to reopen there will likely be a considerable amount of pent-up demand to enjoy a fine meal in a sociable atmosphere.
But where to choose? The diners’ bible The Good Food Guide lists four restaurants in South Yorkshire in its up-to-date online listings for 2020, so these come highly recommended as excellent places to book a table.
All are independent businesses and contact details are provided below.
Situated in the Krynkl development of recycled shipping containers at Shalesmoor, Jöro has a cooking score of five – “Exact cooking techniques, balance and depth of flavour. A degree of ambition” – and specialises in New Nordic cuisine. Chef Luke Sherwood-French and his team work in an open kitchen, the guide says, ‘deploying contemporary techniques and hyper-local produce, much of it foraged, to produce fiercely seasonal small plates’. “Presentation may be impeccable, but it’s the flavours that sing – in raw line-caught Scottish mackerel with English wasabi and yuzu, or Gloucester old spot pork belly with katsu ketchup. Bramley apples with rice, English kaffir lime and frozen quince tea kombucha makes for an assertive finish.” The average price of a meal is £50. Call 0114 299 1539.
Rafters, on Oakbrook Road in Nether Green, has a history that stretches back more than 30 years. Chef Tom Lawson is ‘on fine form', the guide says, overseeing menus of Modern British dishes that ‘achieve high impact, often through surprising economy of means’. “A version of steak tartare made with impeccably aged beef dressed in three-year-old Parmesan and gherkin ketchup has plenty to say for itself, and might be followed by opalescent Cornish cod with langoustine and purple sprouting broccoli,” the authors add. Rafters has a cooking score of four, defined as: “Dedicated, focused approach to cooking. Good classical skills, high-quality ingredients.” The average price of a meal is £50. Call 0114 230 4819.
No Name, Sheffield
The mischievously-titled No Name sits on the high street in Crookes, and is led by chef Thomas Samworth. The restaurant has a cooking score of two – “Decent cooking, good technical skills, interesting combinations and flavours. Occasional inconsistencies” – and is described as ‘quite a quirky dining experience’, with ‘a menu handwritten on a large roll of brown paper’ and a bring-your-own wine policy. “Decor-wise, it looks a lot like a secondhand shop, with a bare concrete floor, random bric-a-brac, antiques and fairy lights,” the guide says. “Start with smokey duck leg sausage with wild garlic risotto, spring onions and Parmesan. A precisely timed pan-fried sea bass fillet might follow, teamed with braised leek, toasted hazelnuts and romesco sauce. Desserts could feature honeycomb crème brûlée with fresh honeycomb and honey beer ice cream.” The average price of a meal is £35. Bookings are essential for the daily sittings, call 0114 266 1520.
Clam & Cork, Doncaster
“Ex-miner turned fishmonger Michael Berry did his research in Porto; in Doncaster, it's an overcoat colder, but his stall in the fish market serves up fresh, Mediterranean-inspired plates,” the guide says. Clam & Cork has a cooking score of one – “Capable cooking with simple food combinations and clear flavours, but some inconsistencies” – and Berry’s seared scallops, sea bass and curried basa are highly praised. “Perch on high stools around three sides of the stall and watch fat prawns being thrown on the grill before being given the piri piri treatment; the regularly changing menu is typed on a sheet of brown paper, but look out for the specials, which might involve pork belly and cod,” the guide says. “A glass of Prosecco keeps things lively; it's the best fun you can have with your hat and scarf on.” The average price of a meal is £19. Call 07830 124906.