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Food review: The Wortley Arms, Sheffield, September 2018

Worltley Arms, Sheffield - head chef Andy Gabbitas
Worltley Arms, Sheffield - head chef Andy Gabbitas

From the moment we set foot into The Wortley Arms, it’s clear that its long history and deep Sheffield roots are embraced and celebrated.

Originally built as a coach house in 1753, its original features – a wooden revolving door at the entrance, plus exquisite fireplace and panelling – remain to this day, and are the foundations of the historic decor.

Slow roasted pork belly, with braised lotus root, Korean BBQ sauce, pork samosa, and Wortley Arms allotment courgette kimchi at The Wortley Arms.

Slow roasted pork belly, with braised lotus root, Korean BBQ sauce, pork samosa, and Wortley Arms allotment courgette kimchi at The Wortley Arms.

The tables feature heavy Sheffield cutlery and its menu boasts a remarkably local footprint, with goods from Crawshaw’s Seven Hills, Meadow Meats, Moss Valley and Fox’s Potatoes, as well as vegetables from the Wortley Arms allotments, which can be seen from the window.

“Our wines comes from Mitchells at Meadowhead, and many of our beers and ales are from Bradford Brewery,” says manager Jamie Ellis.

“The owner and chef, Andy Gabbitas, does his best to use local suppliers and local produce. After being here for ten years, he knows what works, and while we have some staples that remain on the menu, he likes to mix things up a lot.”

The menu is a fantastic mix, with everything from black pudding scotch egg, and octopus, to belly pork, and beer-battered fish and chips. My husband I both choose to start with seared scallops, allotment courgette, peas and broad beans, and sorrel beurre blanc. The presentation is exquisite and the scallops are melt-in-the-mouth good, packed with flavour from the surrounding greenery. A side of bread arrives hot from the oven, salty and with a crunchy crust and fluffy middle.

The Wortley Arms

The Wortley Arms

For the main course, I opt for a 10 oz Seven Hills sirloin steak with chips, ranch salad and field mushrooms, while the husband chooses the 7 oz lamp rump, with courgette and halloumi fritters, sun dried tomato hummus and harissa sauce. Our four year old, after happily ploughing through most of the bread, is allowed to order off the menu - a tasty portion of sausage and mash.

The lamp flakes away and is tender, as is the sirloin, and both are generous portions and cooked to perfection. The courgette fritters are fresh and packed full of flavour, while the harissa and halloumi give a nod to the dish’s middle eastern inspiration. My steak comes with delicious, fat, hand-cut chips, and the tasty mushroom gives a nice umami pop. We resist dessert, and luckily a lovely handful of flapjack pieces with our coffee is a perfect sweet finish. At £71.15, including two glasses of wines, a juice, tea, and coffee, we can’t wait to go back.