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Rafters restaurant

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Went there tonight for a meal and very nice it was too. Excellent food, attentive but not in your face service, lots of little freebies chucked in and two courses with drinks and coffees was less the £35 a head. Plus while you expect portions to be small at fine dining type places the mains were not gut busting but with veg on the side you actually got fed rather than just a "gastronomic experience". I'll definately go again.

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I've only ever heard good things about Rafters, good on them!

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I'm a restauranteur and in my opinion rafters is one of the best restaurants in its category in sheffield! the proprietor Marcus is a top chef.

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This is a proper restaurant! And whilst not cheap is very good value for money compared to other places that think putting on a pricey menu means they are top chefs. These dont stick around for long in Sheffield. The fact that places like Marco's and Rafters have been around for years is testament to the quality and value.

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Not been for years but always used to be one of the best places around. Sounds like it still is. Good on them.

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I can only agree. Had a very good meal last month.

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Glad to hear it's still great. Had some nice meals there with family when I was much younger but that was going back MANY years...... might book there soon!

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Thought I would go full food critic and see how hard it was!

 

3 weeks after Boris gave the go ahead for dining out I ventured to Rafters in Sheffield. Most Sheffielder’s from the West side of the city will know this gem of a restaurant. Carefully hidden above the Sheffield Window centre, it is an unassuming looking place from the outside.

 

Rafters has 2 AA rosettes, and is listed in the Michelin guide, though it may not hold one of the coveted stars the food is of an excellent standard. Currently their dinner option is the £80 6 course fixed menu, which would put it firmly in the star bracket in terms of pricing. But Sheffield is an odd place for dining. High end restaurants tend to struggle against the Yorkshire adage of quantity over quality. Restaurants come and go here, but Rafters in its current guise has been here since 2013, owned and operated by Alistair and Tom. The restaurant pins a lot of its success on subtly embracing Yorkshire culture, from the personalised Rafters cutlery, Sheffield of course. The addition of the much-loved Henderson’s relish in the butter served with bread (Lea and Perrins is ultimately a swear word in these parts.) They have even taken the opportunity to upgrade all their tables with beautiful solid oak tables from Richard Carr, supporting independent and family run local businesses at times like this is essential.

 

My first restaurant meal, out after the pandemic was a more relaxed brunch in Birmingham. But having seen the protocols that had been put in place there it gave me confidence that the sector was taking this seriously so they could re-open and welcome guests back to their venues.

 

We were booked for dinner on the Saturday evening, so the six-course tasting menu it was for us. No allergies and no alterations needed, though they were offered. We also opted for the wine flight, you may as well let the experts do their job and just enjoy the food and drink as it arrives. Interestingly the Wine on this evening was quite England weighted with the first 2 wines both being from here. A Guinevere Chardonnay from Kent followed by a barrel fermented Bacchus from West Sussex, both excellent accompaniments to their relevant courses.

 

The menu was at our table ready and waiting for us in a uniquely wax sealed envelope, along with our own bottle of sanitiser, this is Summer 2020 remember. What followed were 6 and more terrific courses with interspersed surprises just in case we were still hungry, no danger of that here tonight.

 

The early surprise was 2 perfectly runny quails eggs served on straw, swiftly followed by the Baron Bigod & Broccoli tart, Baron Bigod is Britain’s first unpasteurised Brie to be made on the farm in traditional large (3kg) wheels, ladled by hand with milk from the farm’s French-bred Montbeliarde cows.  It is aged to perfect ripeness, with a rich buttery softness towards the rind contrasted by a fresh, lactic core.  The French will be jealous…

 

Then followed the perfectly cured thinly sliced hand dived scallop, delicately finished with cucumber and avocado, micro herbs and edible flowers. This was the first introduction of the unique tableware, beautiful handmade pots from Paul Mossman pottery, Paul hand makes every single piece and signs the bottom of each individual pot, plate, bowl. Made just outside of Sheffield in Staveley.

 

Then came one of the more surprising stand out courses, you would wonder what can be done with five small tomatoes, well wonder no more. Isle of Wight tomatoes dressed in elderflower, lovage & hazelnut pesto, spicy salad, multi seed crackers, whipped Yorkshire fettle & tomato & elderflower essence. You may wonder what Fettle is? Well Feta is a protected region within the EU, but you won’t stop a Yorkshireman improvising.  Made with whole ewes’ milk, it is handmade and hand-salted for each cheese to encourage the piquant, lemony flavour and slightly crumbly texture. Matured over a minimum of two weeks, the salt infuses the whole cheese. They then hand-wax each truckle to lock in the fresh flavour and creamy texture.

 

The Cornish place, again delicious. Accompanied by a Sauvignon Fume from Germany, finished at the table with a mussel chowder and chive.  The meat main course Wortley Estate Lamb, Rump & rib finished on the BBQ, courgettes, basil & artichoke, cooked to a perfect pink with the rib served on the side, meat falling effortlessly from the bone.

 

We finished with a small lemon posset and English Strawberry mousse, in fact I had 2, as my dining partner was starting to struggle. There is a true skill to being to eat an entire menu that may be overlooked sometimes. I did have flashbacks of recreating the Mr Creosote in the Monty Python scene when the Pistachio Macaron arrived, but I battled through.

 

It is worth noting additionally in these unusual times what additional precautions are being taken for both your and the teams safety. Tables have been removed to enforce the necessary social distancing. All waiters wear masks, and the short wine list is available online. The food menu was as mentioned on our table prior to arrival. There was also sanitiser on entry. I felt they had done everything that could be asked of them, though I did feel for the chefs working in the heat with both masks and visors.

 

Some people have suggested that the reopening of restaurants and bars is too risky. I disagree. These places need to be open. They not only are a needed social outlet, but they provide a living for many families across the country and if opened and operated safely they are no more of a risk than when you go to Tesco in my opinion. These restaurants aren’t looking to make a profit for the rest of 2020, they are looking to survive. This means we need to go and support them, and that is fully what I intend to do. Even more so in August when we get the Rishi “Eat out to Help out” scheme up and running. If they are all as good as Rafters then hopefully the future will be bright for those who make it through.

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1 hour ago, jamesogt said:

Thought I would go full food critic and see how hard it was!

 

3 weeks after Boris gave the go ahead for dining out I ventured to Rafters in Sheffield. Most Sheffielder’s from the West side of the city will know this gem of a restaurant. Carefully hidden above the Sheffield Window centre, it is an unassuming looking place from the outside.

 

Rafters has 2 AA rosettes, and is listed in the Michelin guide, though it may not hold one of the coveted stars the food is of an excellent standard. Currently their dinner option is the £80 6 course fixed menu, which would put it firmly in the star bracket in terms of pricing. But Sheffield is an odd place for dining. High end restaurants tend to struggle against the Yorkshire adage of quantity over quality. Restaurants come and go here, but Rafters in its current guise has been here since 2013, owned and operated by Alistair and Tom. The restaurant pins a lot of its success on subtly embracing Yorkshire culture, from the personalised Rafters cutlery, Sheffield of course. The addition of the much-loved Henderson’s relish in the butter served with bread (Lea and Perrins is ultimately a swear word in these parts.) They have even taken the opportunity to upgrade all their tables with beautiful solid oak tables from Richard Carr, supporting independent and family run local businesses at times like this is essential.

 

My first restaurant meal, out after the pandemic was a more relaxed brunch in Birmingham. But having seen the protocols that had been put in place there it gave me confidence that the sector was taking this seriously so they could re-open and welcome guests back to their venues.

 

We were booked for dinner on the Saturday evening, so the six-course tasting menu it was for us. No allergies and no alterations needed, though they were offered. We also opted for the wine flight, you may as well let the experts do their job and just enjoy the food and drink as it arrives. Interestingly the Wine on this evening was quite England weighted with the first 2 wines both being from here. A Guinevere Chardonnay from Kent followed by a barrel fermented Bacchus from West Sussex, both excellent accompaniments to their relevant courses.

 

The menu was at our table ready and waiting for us in a uniquely wax sealed envelope, along with our own bottle of sanitiser, this is Summer 2020 remember. What followed were 6 and more terrific courses with interspersed surprises just in case we were still hungry, no danger of that here tonight.

 

The early surprise was 2 perfectly runny quails eggs served on straw, swiftly followed by the Baron Bigod & Broccoli tart, Baron Bigod is Britain’s first unpasteurised Brie to be made on the farm in traditional large (3kg) wheels, ladled by hand with milk from the farm’s French-bred Montbeliarde cows.  It is aged to perfect ripeness, with a rich buttery softness towards the rind contrasted by a fresh, lactic core.  The French will be jealous…

 

Then followed the perfectly cured thinly sliced hand dived scallop, delicately finished with cucumber and avocado, micro herbs and edible flowers. This was the first introduction of the unique tableware, beautiful handmade pots from Paul Mossman pottery, Paul hand makes every single piece and signs the bottom of each individual pot, plate, bowl. Made just outside of Sheffield in Staveley.

 

Then came one of the more surprising stand out courses, you would wonder what can be done with five small tomatoes, well wonder no more. Isle of Wight tomatoes dressed in elderflower, lovage & hazelnut pesto, spicy salad, multi seed crackers, whipped Yorkshire fettle & tomato & elderflower essence. You may wonder what Fettle is? Well Feta is a protected region within the EU, but you won’t stop a Yorkshireman improvising.  Made with whole ewes’ milk, it is handmade and hand-salted for each cheese to encourage the piquant, lemony flavour and slightly crumbly texture. Matured over a minimum of two weeks, the salt infuses the whole cheese. They then hand-wax each truckle to lock in the fresh flavour and creamy texture.

 

The Cornish place, again delicious. Accompanied by a Sauvignon Fume from Germany, finished at the table with a mussel chowder and chive.  The meat main course Wortley Estate Lamb, Rump & rib finished on the BBQ, courgettes, basil & artichoke, cooked to a perfect pink with the rib served on the side, meat falling effortlessly from the bone.

 

We finished with a small lemon posset and English Strawberry mousse, in fact I had 2, as my dining partner was starting to struggle. There is a true skill to being to eat an entire menu that may be overlooked sometimes. I did have flashbacks of recreating the Mr Creosote in the Monty Python scene when the Pistachio Macaron arrived, but I battled through.

 

It is worth noting additionally in these unusual times what additional precautions are being taken for both your and the teams safety. Tables have been removed to enforce the necessary social distancing. All waiters wear masks, and the short wine list is available online. The food menu was as mentioned on our table prior to arrival. There was also sanitiser on entry. I felt they had done everything that could be asked of them, though I did feel for the chefs working in the heat with both masks and visors.

 

Some people have suggested that the reopening of restaurants and bars is too risky. I disagree. These places need to be open. They not only are a needed social outlet, but they provide a living for many families across the country and if opened and operated safely they are no more of a risk than when you go to Tesco in my opinion. These restaurants aren’t looking to make a profit for the rest of 2020, they are looking to survive. This means we need to go and support them, and that is fully what I intend to do. Even more so in August when we get the Rishi “Eat out to Help out” scheme up and running. If they are all as good as Rafters then hopefully the future will be bright for those who make it through.

Rafters is fantastic but this post all sounds very promotional rather than a real review. Good luck to the place though I intend to visit again soon.

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20 hours ago, Brooker11 said:

Rafters is fantastic but this post all sounds very promotional rather than a real review. Good luck to the place though I intend to visit again soon.

If they want to pay me ill send them my details!

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Great post Jamesogt,  Rafters is a fantastic restaurant and I hope this review encourages people to support them. 

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