A smorgasbord of taste delight - Sheffield style
Who would you trust most in the whole world to create food to lift the spirits and a venue to make your heart sing? A Sheffield mum, obviously.
Brocco on the Park is all the brainchild of Tiina Carr and to say the team transformed an Edwardian villa is somewhat of an understatement. The site alongside Endcliffe Park, on Brocco Bank, went from being rundown to winning awards under Tiina’s care. The level of pride Tiina takes to make sure everything is home-made, hand-picked or personalised is reflected at every level. That charm has clearly rubbed off on every single member of the team. This is a very special venue and you get that feeling as soon as you step through the door. Everything is just deliciously perfect and you see that long before food arrives. The restaurant is as warm and cosy as you would wish your home to be yet has a style which belongs in the most upmarket eateries.
The staff are happy and friendly, chatting as if we were regulars or old friends. We felt thoroughly welcome and completely sure we’d made the right choice – instantly.
We spent quite some time mulling over the menu and its choice of dishes which are larger than tapas yet not quite enough to stand alone.
The waiter suggested two dishes or a side would be enough and we ordered six in total for our party of three to share. Perfect!
The surprise dish that completely blew us away was the humble hummus (£6).
It comes served with roasted onion and marinated olives plus seeded crispbread which was like nothing I’d seen before. Made by magic from the seeds is how I would describe this translucent ‘bread’, although the waiter did give a much more scientific explanation.
Then we jumped right in with a well selected mix of dishes … if I say so myself. We had been warned that dishes are served Scandinavian style, ie they arrive when they’re ready and it is more a grazing process than everything presented at the same second. It actually didn’t too long from the first dish to the last arriving and the anticipation, while already tucking in, just added to a perfect afternoon.
My absolute favourite was Jerusalem artichoke (£11) – perfectly seasoned and cooked. This is an under appreciated ingredient in a winning combination. For the festive season you will find it served with potato, wild mushroom and apricot roulade. Other plates which should not be missed are the butternut squash warm roasted, red onion and crispy kale salad with almonds and poached pears (£10); venison roasted with thyme and juniper, baby beetroot, venison rosti, celeriac purée and venison sauce (£16); beef cheek roly poly, roasted tomatoes and caramelised onions (£12); and salmon en croute, roasted beetroot, pear and walnut salad (£12).
The chips (£3.50), triple cooked of course, were delicious but we couldn’t finish them off.
I feasted with my mum and my daughter – all three generations were equally impressed. The only dampner was realising the events that we’d missed. We will definitely be booking in for wreath-making next year.
This was a true feast, our tummies were full of yumminess and our hearts bursting with delight. The food, atmosphere and style of Brocco is what I dream about creating at home. Not much chance of that I’m afraid but at least us Sheffielders have this little corner of light for joyful treats through the dark days of winter.