REVIEW: World is your oyster at Sheffield street food canteen

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield'Roy Pemberton and Christopher Smith
Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield'Roy Pemberton and Christopher Smith
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America for breakfast pancakes, then a satay-soaked lunch in exotic Malaysia before dinner in Egypt.

That kind of transatlantic feast of a trip is, sadly, out of reach for all but obscenely wealthy time travellers.

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield'Pozole

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield'Pozole

But now, thanks to Sheffield’s new street food café the Four Corners Canteen, it is possible to eat on such a global scale - without going any further away than Abbeydale Road.

Former Tapton School pupils Christopher Smith and Roy Pemberton cooked up the concept while watching the World Cup in Brazil in summer 2014.

“I was away for eight years and about four or us were saving money for the World Cup in Brazil”, said Christopher, who has spent time in Korea, Istanbul, Australia and America.

“When we were there we were eating at local canteens and Roy said ‘we should do this in Sheffield’.”

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield'Bajon Fishcakes

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield'Bajon Fishcakes

Fast forward a year, and the venue was chosen when Christopher called in for a haircut at a nearby barbers, and was told the former takeaway would soon become available.

Since then the pair have transformed the venue with their bare hands, even building the furniture.

Its bright, rustic chic look and relaxing soundtrack emulates that of restaurants you can find lining beaches and vibrant city centres around the globe.

Pictures of far-flung destinations line the walls, and behind the counter is a blackboard with the main attraction - the menu.

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield

Last Saturday it included items from a traditional Mexican stew to another offering from Uganda.

Christopher added: “We didn’t want to be tied to one cuisine like Italian or American, we wanted to have complete freedom, we find something that we think will work and then make it.”

With the world as their oyster, it is to be expected that the seasonal menu and specials will change frequently.

Customers are also urged to share their own suggestions of recipes, which could produce some interesting results...

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield

Four Corners Canteen'Abbeydale Road 'Sheffield

“If there is somebody who has lived in Hungary and said ‘you’ve got to try this’ then we can”, said Christopher.

“Its going to be far better than searching for Hungarian food and finding 15 recipes for goulash.”

The canteen has been open for just six weeks, but it has already hosted its first event with a gig and the next stage is to move to evening openings, as it currently closes at 5pm.

When we wandered in for our first meal of the day it had barely struck noon, but affable Chris was happy for us to choose from the lunch rather than breakfast options.

That said, my fellow diner was tempted by the Big Sur breakfast.

It comes with goodies such as avocado, hash browns, pancakes and fruit as well as the obligatory bacon and eggs.

The American in him decided to go for a Juicy Lucy burger (£6.50), instead.

Service was super swift and our cups of tea - made with loose tea and DIY teabags from China - had barely brewed before food appeared at the kitchen hatch.

Its worth noting the service was superb for such a laid-back venue, friendly, informed and with attention to details such as ice with cold drinks and milk jugs with the hot ones.

With a single bite his burger’s hidden centre was revealed - and a veritable sea of gooey, melted cheese gushed out on to hands and plate.

It was food porn at its very finest.

The well seasoned, high quality meat patty was ‘all proper’, he said through mouthfuls of it, and it came served in an attractive brioche bun.

On the side were some tasty, crispy wedges, and chilli jam instead of ketchup, which was a nice surprise.

I’d only noticed there was a potential starter - Tawainese pork buns which take days to craft from scratch - available when nipping to the ladies.

My loud dismay at missing out prompted a check on the batch cooking, and sadly they had burned in the ‘furnace’ like oven.

Never mind.

The Bajan fish cakes (£6) looked more like bhajis than something you could pick up at the supermarket.

There were heaps of crisp, golden batter with succulent saltfish inside, plus a creamy sauce and minutely chopped flecks of vegetables, chillies or herbs.

Underneath was a mound of well seasoned, slightly spicy rice and beans. A light pink sauce - possibly tartare based - was drizzled on top.

There was a little too much batter for my taste but perhaps that’s how they do it in the Caribbean - I wouldn’t know!

Over the channel then, for desserts, crafted by the chef’s French girlfriend.

Okay - so brownies aren’t crêpe or tarte tartin.

But they were too good for us to care.

My peanut butter option had a thick layer of the salty sweet paste, with an extra drizzle of chocolate on top.

His dreamy double chocolate brownie was simply to die for, with a perfect chewy inside and chunks of white chocolate scattered on top.

Finding a worthy rival - especially for £2.50 - will be challenging.

We paid a bargain break price of £25.20 all in, including five hot or soft drinks between us.

Four Corners Canteen

150 Abbeydale Road