Stunning brunch at Sheffield city centre restaurant was (almost) worth waiting a year of lockdown for

As the plates of strikingly presented food were laid down on the table, I unexpectedly squealed in sheer delight.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 7:57 pm

For after a year of relentless restrictions, a meal out, inside rather than shivering in the elements, and with someone from outside my household, had been a very long time coming.

We’d headed to Tamper at Sellers Wheel in the city centre, which has become something of a byword for brunch and proper ‘wake you up’ barista coffee across Sheffield over the years.

Sure, they turned to take out on their New Zealand inspired treats during lockdown and still do… but it is not quite the same tucking in at home now, is it?

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Food review at Tamper on Arundel Street. Picture: Chris Etchells
Food review at Tamper on Arundel Street. Picture: Chris Etchells

For a start there’s the people watching available when dining away from your living room.

Our table was located right next to the kitchen, with one wall brightly covered in a jungle mural, so the hustle and bustle of staff and fellow diners was brought right to our feet. Happy mums changed their tiny babies at one setting, and at another friends clinked cocktails.

A work day for us meant soft drinks – but two of their homemade cucumber, lime and mint sodas were an icily refreshing start to proceedings.

It didn’t take long for our main courses to arrive. The service is certainly never as good at home.

Food review at Tamper on Arundel Street. Picture: Chris Etchells

A blue plate contrasted well with the veritable palette of colours from my sweetcorn fritters (gluten free and £10). These were the lightest and fluffiest fritters I’ve ever eaten, like eating sweet, light clouds.

A vivid green garden pea and feta mousse provided a creamy topping, while tiny seeds provided crunch. On the plate, artful splashes of apricot and scotch bonnet hot sauce were a treat for the eyes and the tastebuds alike. It was all topped with a perfectly poached egg and golden slabs of salty halloumi cheese on the side (an extra £2).

It was the kind of lunch you could eat every day – and dreamed about during the darkest days of lockdown, when supermarket shortages meant a fishfinger salad was more likely to be on the menu.

Kath had gone for the caponata with no idea what it was, because she loves tomatoes. This thick, rich Sicilian stew of peppers, red onions, olives and aubergine spiced with capers really hit the spot.

Food review at Tamper on Arundel Street. Pictured is the Rejuvinator. Picture: Chris Etchells

Her Cajun spiced cauliflower - rather than poached egg – accompaniment was al dente and super tasty, adding a crunchy texture to contrast with the melt in the mouth stew. It also came with a generous serving of ciabatta bread.

There was no question of having desserts. Sod the waistline, this was a celebration. Our chirpy waiter advised the tempting Eton mess croissant, on the basis there was ‘only one of the bad boys left.’ But we opted for a peanut slice and lemon and poppy seed loaf instead.

The peanut slab (£3.10) that arrived had a delicate crumbly base, sticky peanut filling and ever-so-rich chocolate topping. Kath’s cake was light and moreish, with a tangy topping. No amount of home-made banana bread could ever match this.

Replete, we staggered out, stuffed and stunned and so very grateful to have finally dined out at this fine Sheffield independent once again.

Food review at Tamper on Arundel Street. Pictured is the Salt Beef. Picture: Chris Etchells

We paid £37.70 including two long coffees, and Tamper has a one way system as well as all usual Covid-19 safety measures in place. Booking advised but limited walk-ins available.

149 Arundel St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2NU

Tel: 0114 275 7970

Visit www.tampercoffee.co.uk