Food Review: The Sportsman

The Sportsman has been and probably always will be your classic suburban Sheffield local. Located in the heart of Crosspool, an affluent part of the Steel City, it’s got a large catchment of locals who’ll always need feeding and watering. But after a recent refurb, which has seen the interior, exterior and the menu given a makeover, it’s now likely to appeal to folk from even further afield.

The menu at the new look Sportsman is probably not too dissimilar to one you’ll have seen at similar pubs before. Starters such as parsley breaded mushrooms vie for your attention with crispy calamari and king prawn cocktail. Wanting to sample as much as we could, we went for the Ember Sharing Platter which combined the first two alongside garlic ciabatta bread and a selection of olives and dips. The mushrooms were tasty and succulent; as good as I’ve tried at plenty of higher-charging establishments. My three year-old has an olive obsession (what toddler prefers olives over chips?) so she happily took care of those in quick time.

In terms of mains, the menu covers the usual bases (steak and ale pie, scampi and chips) as well as offering a few surprises such as slow-cooked pork belly and chorizo and halloumi and chips. I thought the set menu looked like good value. Two courses for £9.49 (or £7.29 if you eat during the day) is a deal in anyone’s book and with my rump steak chargrilled beautifully and well complimented by a balanced Bordelaise sauce – I was pleased with my choice.

My other half is watching what she eats so took on a salad; the chicken, bacon and avocado one to be precise. It’s a fairly staple dish but was light and fresh and there was certainly plenty to get through. My two course meal came with a great little pud; a mini peach and raspberry cheesecake which came with a coffee or tea of your choice. It was actually a decent portion for a mini pudding and was fabulously flavoursome – I’d heartily recommend it. The kids desserts were great too – 66 ice creams – essentially an upside down 99 which went down a storm.

It was peak time on a Friday admittedly, but even so, The Sportsman was rammed with hungry punters and trust me, no-one was leaving hungry. And with decent flavours, generous portions, affordable prices and a decent refurb up its sleeve, it’s easy to see why. We’ll be back.

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