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‘One of the most exciting restaurants in Yorkshire, if not the UK’ – Jöro, Sheffield

5 years ago

HOUSED in a couple of retired shipping containers on Sheffield’s former-industrial Kelham Island, Jöro makes beautiful and functional use of its space, and lack of, respectively.

New-Nordic and Japanese flavours, techniques and attitudes influence a kitchen whose resourcefulness and imagination expose the potential of local British produce, focusing on unlocking sensations hidden in humble ingredients.

High-end references are presented in an accessible way, deceptively ‘simple’ dishes enriched with technical prowess and a complex understanding of flavours – sometimes both at once.

Avoiding typical high-end ‘premium’ ingredients means that this is all offered at incredibly good value

Aura Potato may be whipped into a small bowl of nourishing soup, like the best possible expression of Smash imaginable. Concealing a bright green slick of chive oil beneath, beads of translucent burnt butter float on the surface of a vitalising celeriac broth, transforming it into something resembling hot-buttered cider.

Sourdough’s tang, meanwhile, is fortified by a miso-tinged cultured butter; while the old-school eye-roller of beetroot and goat’s cheese is dragged into modernity – presented alongside yuzu as blobs of pure emulsified flavour, on a shard of linseed, suspended in time and space as a translucent cracker. These are just the snacks to get you in the mood for the main menu.

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Classics and staples are revamped with modern flavours, too, conscious of provenance and responsible sourcing: Scottish mackerel, cured with English wasabi and yuzu hits all the familiar cues of smoked salmon with horseradish while being just different enough to spark intrigue.

Likewise, Norweigan cod with a green salsa version of tartare sauce lends delicate freshness to hefty seaside flavours. It’s not all cover versions and nostalgic references, though; hot smoked eel in a seaweed broth with dainty cubes of barely-holding-it-together silken tofu is unlike anything else.

There are rare glances towards nose-to-tail cooking – grilled duck heart is served with the breast, as well as a slick of hoisin and wilted wild garlic – but there’s a good balance between catering to the squeamish and using less-prime parts of the animal. Impossibly tender pork belly is served with katsu ketchup, gutsy lamb shoulder is finessed into an elegant broth, and duck receives the preservation treatment (as a lot of produce does, allowing it to be served out of season), served as air-dried ham with white asparagus and a spruce foam.

It’s fruit and vegetables that benefit most from the Jöro treatment, though, seen in the likes of roscoff onions – fudgy and slow-roasted in onion dashi, bracing from a quick pickle, crisp layers unfurled after being brined and fried – and barbecued broccoli with fermented garlic and aged parmesan, a masterclass in layering flavours of umami which your tongue might never fully recover from.

Avoiding typical high-end ‘premium’ ingredients means that this is all offered at incredibly good value; dishes are available a la carte but, for £50 and £65 respectively, you can get nine and twelve-course tasting menus, served with flawless timing and presented by the chefs that make them.

This truly modern fine dining restaurant is not just making a play for ‘most exciting restaurant in Yorkshire’, it could make a case for the UK title too.

Read more about Jöro here.

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