This is what we made of the food at vegetarian and vegan restaurant in trendy Sheffield neighbourhood

Specialising in seasonal, plant-based menus filled with smaller dishes intended for sharing, V or V promised to be an enjoyable dining experience.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 2:13 pm

And I’m pleased to report the Kelham Island restaurant more than delivered.

The last time I visited the historic site in Wharncliffe Works that today houses V or V, it was just before Christmas in 2017, when it was occupied by a pop-up bar that was sparsely fitted out with just a few benches and portable heaters; and as a result, was absolutely freezing.

So it was a real joy to see it transformed into a light and airy, professionally-finished space filled with plants, which does the building justice and makes for the perfect setting for a vegetarian and vegan restaurant.

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Vegetarian and vegan restaurant, V or V in Wharncliffe Works, Kelham Island opened in 2019

My dining companion and I visited on a Sunday afternoon, after the quick and easy process of making a reservation online through their website.

The couple of staff members working when we arrived were friendly and welcoming to every dining party that visited, and explained that the dishes are smaller and are best when shared, tapas-style.

With that in mind, we selected five savoury plates to share, and were told that everything would be cooked fresh, and thus, each of the dishes would be brought out as soon as it was ready.

The first dish out was the vegan dish of hen of the woods mushrooms in a tempura batter, served with tartare sauce; oyster leaves and seaweed salt.

The tempura hen of the woods dish. Picture: Scott Merrylees

The dish was cooked to perfection and the subtle flavours of the mushrooms and tempura batter were well balanced with the tart and tangy tartare sauce.

Next out was the vegan dish of Za’atar flatbreads, which were served with a fava dip; house pickles and ferments; grilled Turkish peppers and herb oil.

The flatbread was fresh, warm and just the right level of soft. The fava dip was very tasty and similar to that of the Egyptian dish of ful medames, and worked well with the rest of the accompanying ingredients.

Our favourite dish of the meal came out next and was comprised of soulvaki kohlrabi, also known as a German turnip, with courgettes; mint and olives.

V or V is housed within Wharncliffe Works in Kelham Island

The vegan soulvaki kohlrabi was utterly delicious and reminded us of baba ganoush, which orginated in Lebanon. It had a barbecue taste that is rarely achieved in meat-free dishes, and the minted courgette complimented the rest of the dish.

The final two dishes were fried winslade cheese with calabrian chilli and pea shoots and the vegan fried ‘Dutch style’ Yorkshire maris bard potato served with peanut sauce; garlic mayonaise and roscoff onion.

The winslade cheese was decadent and very tasty; and the tempting potato dish reminded us of the Spanish dish of patatas bravas, which is often associated with tapas.

The combination of the peanut sauce, similar to a satay, and garlic mayonaise made for an inviting and memorable combination.

Za’atar flatbreads, which were served with a fava dip; house pickles and ferments; grilled Turkish peppers and herb oil. Picture: Scott Merrylees

We were pretty full after sharing five dishes, and could easily have been satisfied with four; but were so tempted by the orange polenta cake, served with an orange blossom and pomegranate glaze and blood orange sorbet that we opted to share it for dessert.

The cake was was both gluten free and vegan, but there was no compromise on taste, because it was light and luscious.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with V or V.

After a rise of popularity in vegan junk food, and vegetarian substitutes, both of which I enjoy; it was great to try a range of dishes which put seasonable vegetables centre stage, drawing on a range of international cuisines to create a sensational smorgasbord of flavours and textures.

With two drinks, the total bill came to £55.

Visit: https://vorvsheffield.co.uk/ for more information.

The exterior of V or V in Wharncliffe Works, Kelham Island. Picture Scott Merrylees