Graze Inn Bar & Restaurant is the latest venture in the Brewkitchen group. Thornbridge Brewery and chef Richard Smith came together to create a “funky country kitchen” bar and restaurant, located on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. It only opened 6 months ago at the end of August 2012 so at a guess I’d say they might still be finding their feet.
It was early afternoon on a Thursday, on entering the Graze Inn we were welcomed by the white and pale grey colour palette and bamboo lighting fixtures. The mood lighting behind the bar changed in and out of various colours which elegantly filled the room. As we arrived half an hour before our restaurant booking, we decided to order a drink and sit in the bar first, one Corona and a glass of Red Wine please. Luckily for us we were in time for Happy Hour which meant 241 on cocktails and bottled beers between 5 and 7 Monday to Friday – so once we got to our table at around half 5 we ordered a cocktail each.
The kitchen is open so customers can see the chefs making the fresh dishes which is always a nice touch as it brought the smell of the cooking into the venue. Personally I loved the décor, it was friendly, inviting and felt like a country kitchen. Being a blogger, I like to research and check places out on other foodie blogs before I visit. Because of this I had high expectations for the interior of the place and it didn’t disappoint – stylish and comfortable. We were seated at the front of the restaurant on a raised platform, above us were hanging vintage birdcages and on the wall arched mirrored windows hung opening up the space and projecting the lighting in the room. If I had to rate the atmosphere of the place it would receive a definite 10 out of 10.
It has to be said that the menu is a bit of a mish-mash of current foodie trends and British classics. Deciding against a starter because rumor has it they are rather on the large side (?) we went straight for a main. The selection on the menu is separated into different sections, Great British Flats (the Graze Inn’s take on pizzas) / Rotisserie (chicken) / Mains / Pastas & Risottos, with a particular focus on the rotisserie chicken and British flats. All dinners received a selection of breads with oil and vinegar whilst they waiting for their order which was a nice touch and the breads were delicious.
I was finding it hard to decide and couldn’t choose between the Thornbridge Beer-Battered Fish & Chips with crushed minted garden peas (£9), Half Rotisserie Chicken with a choice of three sides (£9) or the Rump Steak, Sticky Caramelised Onion Jam with Webster’s Stilton, watercress, horseradish oil flat bread (£10). Using the process of elimination (always a good tactic in restaurants) I went for the Fish & Chips, but alas on ordering I was informed there was none available! So in the end I went for the Rump Steak flat bread.
Fish and Chips was a bit of a boring original choice so I’m actually glad they had none as the Rump Steak on that flat bread was *mwah* (kisses the air). It was so succulent and that’s coming from someone who’s experienced the steak of Flat Iron. The flat bread base instead of the usual dough of a pizza was light and crispy, it complimented the toppings of stilton sauce, horseradish oil and watercress. The only disappointing part of the dish was the sticky caramelised onion jam which was not sticky, nor jammy. I expected a sweeter texture but unfortunately it tasted more like softened onions which hadn’t quite got to the caramelised stage yet. That said, I’d order it again in a second as that meat, ah, it was gorgeous!
My dining partner (a Sheffield lass) had visited before and wanted to try something she hadn’t before and went for the Three Scottish Salmon Croquettes with lemon butter sauce, green salad (£8). On ordering, the waiter told her that the dish might require sides as it was just 3 croquettes with a leaf salad on the side, so she ordered mushy peas and chips as sides. She was glad he’d given her the heads up as although it was listed as a full price main it did require something extra. The croquettes were nicely presented on a dish and the sides arrived in decorative side dishes, the fries came in a mini colander for example. I had a taste of the salmon croquette and must say they were delicious, a smoky flavoursome taste, soft inside and with a crunchy outside. My dining partner particularly liked the mint mushy peas she had ordered as sides and insisted I try them also. They weren’t pureed like most mushy peas but delicately mixed together with the mint to create an interesting texture and flavour.
We were both more than happy with our choices of mains and cheekily opted for a second cocktail instead of a desert. Two Peach Bellini please, still available on the 241 so very reasonably priced at £3 each! I’ve never had a peach bellini before (a mixture of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach purée), always cherry or blackberry, but it was lovely – the cocktail menu offered a choice of different flavours so you’d be sure to find one to your taste.
As we only sampled the mains at the Graze Inn I’m unable to review the starters or deserts but as a customer who spent 3 hours at the Graze, indulging in two cocktails, bread and a filling main I can tell you I was very pleased with the £32 bill. At £16 each we felt it was very good value for money. The service was tip-top and the menu offered an array of dishes, something for everyone. Situated along the “trendy” Ecclesall Road in Sheffield I would most certainly return and recommend to anybody visiting the area.
ADDRESS – Graze Inn, 315-319 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8NX
CONTACT – RESERVATIONS 0114 267 6666
OPENING TIMES – Open seven days a week, every day except Christmas Day. Food is served from 11:30am-10:30pm. Bar is open for coffee from 9:30am and stays open til 11:30pm
WEBSITE – www.grazeinn.co.uk
TWITTER – @GrazeInnSheff