Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Old Queen's Head, Sheffield (and a bit of a foodie update)

I first visited The Old Queen's Head about a year ago. Situated by the bottom of the bus station it wasn't somewhere I'd ever fancied trying, but my colleagues had suggested a trip and I saw no harm in tagging along. Sadly I was wrong as the food was below average. The prices were cheap and cheerful and the drinks were fair enough, but I wasn't keen on a return visit ... until I spotted them on Twitter and I gathered that new owners were in place (this, I gather from the Sheffield Telegraph, is not actually true. Same owners, but the pub has been relaunched).

Things got even more exciting when I heard that they were going to start doing Czech food. Now, my experience of Czech food is neither wide nor particularly good. A break in Prague 4 years back taught me that the food was pretty heavy as we mostly ate meat and carbs with little, or no, veg or salad, but I do like the idea of being able to try more of this (in fact any) cuisine here in Sheffield.

And although they're still in the early stages of developing the Czech menu, The Old Queen's Head has put a couple of Czech specials on, including goulash. Served with bread dumplings the portion was a good size at a decent price of £6.95. Tender chunks of meat were served in a lightly spiced, warming, gravy and the dumplings were unlike any I have tried before, lighter than the dumplings we're used to, but good for mopping up juices.

To be honest a bit of greenery (some kale or cabbage) would have been a good addition to the plate, but the lacking veg wasn't exactly a deal-breaker. Sadly my colleague and I did have an issue with the warmth of the dish as it was a little cool, but this was rectified swiftly and without any fuss.

Beer fans will need to know that this is a Thwaits pub, and although that doesn't mean a great deal to me, it did mean that I could try a half of Crow Black which is an easy drinking dark beer. Readers who have visited the pub in the past will be glad to know that it's been refurbished and it's looking good. The new side of the building is quite contemporary whilst the original features of the old side have been cleaned up and are on show.

Make sure you give this one a go. It's great to see somebody trying something a bit different and I encourage them all the way!


In other food news ... fans of South Indian food will be glad to hear that Maveli restaurant has opened in the premises of Tamarind (previously Saffron Club) next to Hui Wei. I had a very brief nosey at the menu tonight (there weren't any take away menus) and it looks interesting so ... watch this space!

And talking about South Indian food, Urban Choola on London Road has finally opened its doors. With links to the guys behind Amigo's it promises Indian street food. Check out some of the reviews on the Sheffield Forum here.

Mamas Grill on Exchange Street, next to the old Market Tavern, was short lived (sadly; the food was good and the staff were friendly) and it closed a few months back. However there is hope as a new set of owners have moved in. Opening as Frehiwet Habesha, the restaurant will be open 9am - 11pm Mon-Thurs, 9am - 5pm Fri and Sat 9am - 5pm and Sunday 9am - 11pm. A poster on the window also claims that there will be a DJ and Live Concert every Fri and Sat night. I'm not too sure on the nature of the cuisine, but a Google of the restaurant's name suggests links to Eritrea. Go. And tell me what it's all about!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff! Keen to try some of these new places. The word 'Habesha' pops up in the name of a few Ethiopian restaurants I've heard of, the food in these places is usually very good. Czech and South Indian are also welcome additions to the city centre.