Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Wick At Both Ends - Review

Sadly, an orb floated over the "Ends" bit.
I'm perilously close to falling off the wagon with this food blogging malarkey. The horse is racing away and I'm hanging onto the back of my clunky wagon, perhaps with both hands but possibly only one. My legs are certainly flailing though.

I've had an awful cold, a super new job (hello any bosses reading this!), the search for a new flat and it's all meant that I've become a bit more relaxed about writing and cooking.

What am I still doing though? EATING OUT, that's what.

Anyway, don't panic because I'm far too greedy to ever stop eating and as soon as I get my mind back, I'll be on at you all again. In the meantime, you may now read about the time I was invited to road-test the new Spring menu at the Wick At Both Ends on West Street.

Food Review: The Wick at Both Ends
Address: 151 West Street, Sheffield S1 4EW

Visit Laura's blog at
It really is refreshing to visit The Wick At Both Ends (henceforth TWABE, for the sake of my word count) with a clear head. The last time I was here, I was treated to a flambéed lemon cheesecake shot which also doubled up as a Men in Black ‘Neuralyzer’, causing me to lose all memory between the hours of 11pm and 6.30am.

This time though, sober and strained from work, I stumbled into TWABE to sample the new menu and was immediately tranquilized - not by the alcohol – but by the dreamy low-ceiling, the nooks and crannies strewn with entwined fairy lights and ivy, the muted candles and dark wood flooring. I thought to myself “Wow, it’s good at night and it’s great in the day…I wonder where they get the name from?”

TWABE is more Division Street than West Street but I’m glad it’s chosen the latter as its home. It’s a bit like Caitlin Moran writing for the Times: she doesn’t just take the easy Grauniad route and preach to the converted. TWABE is the same sort of thing and West Street is all the better for it.

My guest ordered a selection of 3 small plates for £10: welsh cockle pies, mini cottage pies and a carpaccio of duck. I decided to gallantly sample the mushroom burger (£6.95) with an extra helping of Y-Fenni mustard and ale cheese.

Now, I don’t want to get too brown-nosey about the burger but this one does beat almost all of the offerings from dedicated burger restaurants. I’ll try to tell you why because after all, that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? It’s the bun – which is so soft and brioche-like, it’s the chips which – shock horror – are included in the price and it’s the piece of information, underneath the burger selection, that doesn’t just say “add cheddar” but permits you to add ANY cheese from the cheeseboard to your burger.

We were similarly impressed by the Welsh cockle pies which, once you broke through the delightful crispy pastry on top, were full of creamy sauce, bacon, leeks and fairly obviously, cockles. These were the pinnacle of the show and are highly recommended. The cottage pie was, well, a cottage pie and it would be silly to expect anything other than a homemade-tasting pot of beef and peas in a gravy sauce (the rich, red wine element being slightly lost) topped with mash. Nothing bad about that though and certainly a safe choice.

And finally was the carpaccio of duck, which was delightful in itself with the port and cherry reduction but - and now I’m being really picky - didn’t need the extra garnish of glacé cherries; a bit like a supremely good-looking bloke wearing too much expensive aftershave.

To finish off, we took 2 of the 3 desserts (which can cleverly be used as 1 of your 3 small plates for £10): cheesecake with a raspberry coulis and freshly baked cookies with ice cream. The other option is baked chocolate fondant served in a teacup, which for me completes perhaps the most faultless trio of desserts on offer in any restaurant, any where.

The fair prices, the quiet, the warmth, the good music, the service and the quality and choice of the food mean that, for me, TWABE is a Sheffield meal you can’t afford to miss out on.

The Wick at Both Ends on Urbanspoon

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