Monday, 23 March 2015

Urban Quarter, Sheffield

Since moving to Sheffield in '98, the city has changed a hell of a lot - beyond recognition in some areas. And one of these areas is Kelham Island. Sure a lot is still the same - quite a few of the old industrial buildings are still there - but there has been a huge influx of residential developments - both flats and houses. And this has changed everything.

Kelham Island has a strong reputation for its real ale pubs - one that pre-dates my arrival in Sheffield. And, although it has been home to the Milestone and Brooklyn Steak House for a fair few years, it's the recent additions of Craft & Dough and Urban Quarter that really excite me.

Both are really informal and they're open for lunch and dinner - great for a stop off on a pub crawl in the day, or an evening meal.

This time we were in Kelham Island for lunch and a few drinks before heading home in time to walk the dog. And, as we'd already tried the pizzas at Craft & Dough, we decided to give the burgers at Urban Quarter a whirl.

The first thing to hit you on entering Urban Quarter is the sheer size of the place. What's more, the tables are nicely dispersed around the restaurant which means there's no chance of feeling cramped. The décor is industrial - concrete, steel, blacks, greys and reds.

We immediately recognised Adam Clark - who had previously worked at the Red Deer - and he was keen to talk us through the whole Urban Quarter ethos. Essentially it's about focussing on a just a few products (they have three burgers on their menu - beef, free-range chicken and veggie) and ensuring that the very best ingredients are used in order to achieve the best possible result. This means that the menu is fairly simple - especially when compared to the places who are pushing out a lot of crazy flavour combinations.

I decided to take advantage of finding a free range chicken burger. Thanks to steaming the meat before frying, the fillet was succulent and juicy. It came in a brioche bun (can you believe that one of the trendy Manchester places is moving on from brioche? Like we need anything else?) with fries sprinkled with fresh rosemary. Gav went for the beef - it topped the chicken for me, but then I should have known I'd have been jealous of a meaty patty. 

We weren't going to order sides, but Adam was particularly keen for us to try the onion rings which are extra special thanks to the inclusion of dehydrated onion in the batter. They were well cooked too - so light and crisp that they rattled when shaken! 

Servings were ample - but not silly - so we had room to share a dessert - a freshly cooked rhubarb and custard doughnut. Ahhh there's nowt better than a freshly cooked doughnut...

Drinks wise we had a pint of Stancill pilsner each and the bill was around the £30 mark which felt about right.

One to go back to.

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