Friday, 22 March 2013

The Milestone, Kelham Island, Sheffield

Having really enjoyed a meal at the Wig and Pen last summer I was really looking forward to a birthday tea at sister restaurant the Milestone. The formula here, the original one of the two, is more or less the same. High end pub food with a few gastro flourishes, served in simple surroundings, with set menus offering remarkably good value.

We ate from the early bird menu which gives you three courses and a drink for only £16.50. Hard to beat for what can feel like a special occasion meal for under twenty quid.

A salad of beetroots, truffle, whipped goats' cheese and pickled nuts felt pretty special, even though I couldn't detect the truffle (I'm not sure I've ever detected the truffle in any dish where it's presence was advertised. Maybe because it's used in such miniscule quantities or maybe I just wouldn't recognise a truffle if it slapped me round the face). The nuts added an extra textural dimension and a hit of acidity to the tried and tested earthy beetroot and dairy combo. Lovely stuff.

The mains were toward the more straightforward, pubbier end of the spectrum, and strangely what I didn't love quite so much. The burger was fantastic in almost every way: sturdy bun with a bit of chew to it, house made burger sauce and pickles, rustly chips, a high quality patty with a distinctive beefy flavour. The only let down was that it was a little overcooked, just that bit over so a little succulence and pinkness had been lost.

We shared both mains, A's choice being the Yorkshire mushroom macaroni cheese, truffle (allegedly), madeira and rocket leaves. The madeira was present in little jelly cubes that melted into the pasta creating bursts of fruitiness, a clever touch that reminded me of eating a cheese and chutney (or even cheese and jam) sandwich. The whole was suitably cheesy but it did lack some of that gooey unctuousness you get from a baked version.

Puddings were very much on the more ambitious side of things; quaking pudding, apple and celery, honey and walnut tart sounded and looked a bit complicated. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with celery, appreciating it's value as a base for better things but generally running a mile from it in salads or as a dipping utensil, so it's certainly not something I'd normally choose in a pudding.

Would I choose it again in a pudding? I might, it was perfectly pleasant though I'm not really sure what it added to the dish. The quaking pudding, in essence a baked egg custard minus the pastry, was a delight, all wobbly nutmeg-y loveliness. The tart, eaten on the same spoonful, provided the pastry and a sweet, nutty contrast to the mild custard. Apple in lurid green puree form prevented the whole from cloying.

You couldn't mistake the other pudding, a vermillion-bright assortment of goodies, for anything other than a plateful of rhubarb. Jelly, puree and candied pieces were all alive with flavour, but the mousse was a bit dull. Fun, but to be honest I'd rather have a crumble.

Service was good, and it's worth repeating that the three course early bird menu will cost you just £16.50 including a glass of wine or a pint. Outstanding value for cooking of this standard. I'm not sure I chose the very best dishes this time round, but I am sure that you'll be very well fed at the Milestone.


84 Green Lane
Kelham Island
S3 8SE

Milestone on Urbanspoon

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