Saturday, 9 June 2012

La Perle, The Wicker, Sheffield

Ok, this is just going to be a quick one about a place I've been meaning to blog for a while.

On discovering that a friend lives close to where I work, and that she sometimes works from home, we decided to meet for lunch. Now, finding somewhere to lunch down by Victoria Quays is difficult, very difficult. Yeah there's that cafe (Quays 1819) but it's pretty dull to be honest and service is very slow (and don't get me started on the chain hotels that way), so we decided to head to The Wicker. There's a fair bit of choice down there, but it's mostly kebabs and curries. Wanting something lighter we decided on La Perle.

La Perle is a pretty simple place; wobbly tables, badly scrawled specials board (I can never read the damn thing) and bad photocopies of the standard menu. The food, however, is pretty good and it's cheap. Very cheap.

We're greeted by a waitress neither of us have seen before. She has an incredibly broad Yorkshire accent and insists on calling us love in every single sentence that comes out of her mouth. We order meatballs along with an earl grey and a coke. After settling down at our table the waitress returns to inform us that they have run out of the meatballs. Humph. Another trip to that illegible specials board! This time we order the salmon from the specials and the merguez sausages from the standard menu and a side of aubergine to share.

The merguez sausages were served with a decent dollop of home made hummus and home made garlic bread. Sausages and hummus were damn tasty. Garlic bread was a bit bland and the salad was positively sad (slices of cucumber must have been sliced hours ago as they were completely dehydrated of all their juices).The price (£3.99) was excellent and the portion was more than enough to make for an adequate lunch.

Having said that, I was glad that I'd ordered the Zaalouk, or aubergine with tomato, garlic and a 'hint' of cumin. The aubergines were perfectly creamy and the spicing was good. My only criticism would be the amount of oil in the dish; not one for dieters.

My friend enjoyed her salmon; I didn't take a picture as this lunch was more about catching up than the food. She did mention that there was a fair bit of oil in the sauce though.

La Perle are well known for their cakes (in fact they will be the thing that draws you in from the street as you can see the beautiful display from the window), so we decided it would be rude not to indulge and ordered a large slice of strawberry cheesecake to share with an americano coffee each.

At this point service came to a halt and as we both had work to get back to, I went to the counter to enquire as to the location of our dessert! The waitress had forgotten; at least she was honest about it, but she then went on to serve someone else before sorting us out. Another humph, but hey, we got there in the end.

The cheesecake was good and a slice was more than enough for us. Coffee is surprisingly tasty. Not the best in the world, but if you're down that way and in need of a caffeine hit, then you won't go far wrong here.

We split the bill; £11.50 each which I think was an absolute bargain.

So if, like me, you work that way and have struggled to find somewhere for lunch, give La Perle a go. If you're off for a trip to Castle Market, then just walk that little bit further to The Wicker for a spot of lunch first (and a wander around Martins Caribbean store) first.