Different dishes and also classic tastes done well at this Kelham Island restaurant

It’s not very often that you go out for a meal and see the food you have ordered made right in front of you.

By Rochelle Barrand
Thursday, 23 May, 2019, 16:03
Assistant manager Sammy Murphy and Matt Andrews-Careless, general manager, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE-20-05-19-Gatehouse-5

It’s even rarer, practically unheard of, that you enjoy having a restaurant all to yourself.

I enjoyed both of these things when I visited The Gatehouse, Little Kelham, for a meal with my boyfriend, Ryan, earlier this month.

Monkfish Curry, one of a variety of main dishes available. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE-20-05-19-Gatehouse-1

I must stress that the emptiness of the restaurant was not a reflection of the food we were served - which was wonderful – but rather a sign that it was the last evening of a Bank Holiday, a time when other people were at home resting having already enjoyed an extra night out the previous day.

We settled in to a cosy table in the middle of the spacious upstairs setting area and were impressed to see the open kitchen to our left, and the chef ready to take our order.

We were served by Sammy, an attentive waiter throughout the evening who we later learnt was the assistant manager.

To start, Ryan and I shared some dirty fries. I’ve always thought this was an unappealing name for the dish that was put in front of us – skin om fries, topped with crispy onions, cheddar cheese, parsley, and spicy chipotle sauce, (£7).

The Gatehouse. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE-20-05-19-Gatehouse-3

The portions were generous; a mountain of chips topped with lashings of spicy sauce. If I was being picky, I would have liked more cheese as I found the flavour got lost with the strength of the sauce, (but I admit my love of cheese means that I rarely think there's enough cheese on any dish served to me in a restaurant).

For main, I chose pumpkin tortellini, which came served with sage butter, vegetarian parmesan shavings and sage crisps, (£10). The dish that arrived was beautifully presented and I couldn’t wait to dig in. Again, the portion was generous with soft pasta parcels stuffed to the brim with creamy pumpkin.

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I was pleased to find there was much more cheese with this dish, and the sharp saltiness of it beautifully contrasted the more delicate pumpkin flavour.

The dish was also something I'd not seen on any other menu, and as a vegetarian it was great to have something different. I love pasta and will nearly always choose it from a menu, but there are only so many standard pasta with tomato sauce dishes one person can eat. It was refreshing to be presented with something new – and extremely tasty.

Eggs Benedict, from their breakfast menu. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE-20-05-19-Gatehouse-4

Ryan enjoyed ‘The Gatehouse burger’, a homemade beef burger with chilli cheese topped with caramelised onions and served with skin on fries (£12.50)

He devoured the dish and said it was well cooked with perfectly complimenting flavours, adding that he would happily return to the restaurant to enjoy the meal again on another occasion.

I agreed, everything about the evening had been lovely; the food, the ambience, and the service.

To finish our night, we treated ourselves to two chocolate brownies, (£6 each), which came served with soft vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate sauce and raspberries.

The large chocolate dessert came with a big scoop of ice cream and an good-sized dollop of chocolate sauce. The chocolate sauce was thicker in consistency than I expected and was more like a ganache, but this suited us and I enjoyed the extra texture this brought to the plate.

Overall, our meal cost £57, including a 250ml glass of Zinfandel Blush wine, (£5.50), two bottles of Peroni (£3.50 each), and a side of onion rings (£2.50). You can find the Gatehouse at 17 Alma Street, S3 8SA.