***5 minute read***
If you’d have told me that I’d be spending my birthday in a shipping container, I would have laughed in your face.
I have a birthday bucket list, which consists of a list of places that I need to visit on the 25 of July each year. (Yes I am gratuitously telling you my birth date, on the off chance you want to buy me a coffee – soya latte if you’re asking).
This year the destination for my birthday meal was Jöro Sheffield. I didn’t know it was in a shipping container. I never read reviews of a place I am going to visit – if I had read these reviews, I would have known and perhaps rescheduled a visit on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year.
Truth be told, even the unrelenting heat wasn’t going to stop me from visiting Jöro, which has been on my radar since it opened over two years’ ago.
There is car parking space on-site, which was a little bonkers to find, considering the amount of roadworks going on in the area of Kelham Island.
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior of corrugated steel. Housed in Krynkl Space at Kelham Island, a place that nurtures start-ups and small businesses, Jöro is conveniently located on the ground floor.
Inside is all wood, potted plants and fresh flowers, a real nod to nature and I feel, all things organic. We dine from the tasting menu, which I think is a great way to get to know the chef’s cooking as you get to sample a larger swathe of the menu by tasting smaller plated portions.
The menu is subject to daily changes due to seasonality, availability and dietary requirements. Our five course tasting menu is served with a few pre-starters.
Radishes (Koji emulsion, hay ash) are crunched through in a matter of minutes and are especially good when swiped through the luxuriously unctuous cream. The hay ash has a gorgeously earthy quality, which makes me eat these Ken Holland radishes faster. (Note: Ken Holland is Jöro’s vegetable supplier renowned for his incredible organic urban cultivation. I will be checking his website later to see if he delivers.)
Miso cultured butter served dramatically atop a cold stone is pure joy, the umami notes marrying well with the gloriously chewy sourdough with a subtle yeasty tang.
Linseed crisp cracker is gossamer thin and needs to be handled with care for three seconds, as you chart its trajectory from plate to gob. Piping of smoked beetroot is intensely sweet, whilst elderflower and goats curd somehow magically makes this cracker seem more filling than it is.
Tomato tartare (basil, smoked olive oil) is spiced with a hefty punch that has me smiling.
The classic lamb and mint pairing is given an imaginative twist, with this little bowl of emerald green wizardry. Peas cooked in lamb fat still retaining a slight bite are wonderful to eat, and paired with mint and Yorkshire Fettle elevates the dish to new heights worthy of leaving you breathless.
I swap out my beef with prawn, which is why there are two mains written about here. My BBQ North Sea prawn curry is utterly gorgeous. A magnificently meaty prawn is sublime with a schmear of mustard yellow curry in all its coconutty, spicy glory.
Dining partner’s beef is enjoyed with equal gusto. BBQ Highland Wagyu goose skirt is succulent, whilst the accompanying Shiitake and onion should be celebrated in their own right. I will never forget that taste of onion (yes I tasted a sliver), and it is worth a return trip to Jöro for this alone.
Roast Goosnargh Duck is perfectly rendered, with Norland Moor bilberries providing that sharp tang cutting through the rich meat.
Ice yoghurt with undertones of dill and jalapeño leave you befuddled for a minute, as your taste-buds try to clarify if this dish is sweet or savoury. In the end I mark it as an inbetweener – that is savoury with a kick of pepper, gently coaxing you into dessert territory with the creamy canvas of yoghurt.
Strawberries and cream don’t come more grown up than Jöro’s playful twist on the classic. Annabel’s Strawberries with sheep milk ricotta ice-cream is a bowl of tremendous flavour. I have never tasted strawberries like this, it is as if there are a hundred strawberries condensed in that small bowl, the intensity of strawberry-ness increasing with each spoon.
A biscuit-y disc is a pleasant surprise that has a hint of coconut, oats and toffee. And here is where I find myself in a “Catch 22” situation, because I want to eat the dessert so badly, but this means finishing it, and I am not ready to bid goodbye to one of the most stunning desserts I have eaten this year. It is a bittersweet moment, and I console myself that I will be back soon and hope this dessert is on the menu then.
Winding down, we suck on cubes of creamy fudge and intensely fruity pastilles whilst ruminating over the stellar cooking at Jöro. The restaurant is holder of a Bib Gourmand in the 2019 Michelin Guide, 3 AA Rosettes plus many other accolades. A shipping container is at first thought, an unlikely location for cooking of this level. Yet somehow, Jöro fits nicely into Krynkl by challenging people’s perceptions and feeling emboldened in the process.
Fudge and fruit pastille
There is a wine flight available with the tasting menu as follows:
- Tomato tartare + Oliver’s Bloody Mary (Albourne Estate 40 Vermouth, Clarified Tomato Dashi. Tomato Vine Oil).
- Peas + Parra Jimenez 2017, Verdejo, La Mancha, Spain.
- Prawn curry + Evolution White, Sokol Blosser, Oregon, USA.
- Wagyu goose skirt + Coste Di Moro Lunaria 2015, Montepulciano, Abruzzo, Italy.
- Goosnargh duck + Blaufrankisch (Judith Beck) 2015, Gols, Austria.
- Strawberries and cream + Zuccardi Torrontes Tardio 2016, Mendoza, Argentina.
Luke French is the head chef at Jöro, whose inventive cooking is pushing boundaries and showcasing the best of British produce. Hats off the front of house, chefs and entire team in providing exemplary service, especially in this inferno heat.
I also apologise to Team Jöro for ignominiously scraping each bowl (so pretty, where is your dinnerware from?) with the spoon as I greedily finish each and every single morsel that I cannot bear to waste.
Team Jöro, I will be back, I fervently hope to see you and the strawberry dessert again.
Rating: (1: Hate – 10: Love)
Restaurant name: Jöro Sheffield
Address: 294, Shalesmoor, Sheffield S3 8US
Thursday 12:00pm–3:00pm | 5:30pm–10:00pm
Friday 12:00pm–3:00pm | 5:30pm–10:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm–3:00pm | 5:30–10:00pm
Telephone: 0114 299 1539
How to make reservation? Online
Head chef & Co-owner: Luke French
Restaurant Manager: Oliver Kaviani
Caters for dietary requirements: Most dietary requirements can be catered for however they do require 1 week’s notice on tasting menus.
Wheelchair friendly: Yes, but do give the restaurant advance notice so they can allocate a suitable table.
How to get there: Located in Shalesmoor, Jöro is not far from Sheffield city centre, and is easily accessible by taxi and public transport.
Website + social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Whilst in the area: Kelham Island, one of Sheffield’s oldest manufacturing sites is becoming something of a destination hang-out spot. From real ale pubs (The Riverside and Gardener’s Rest are just two to mention) plus Peddler, the monthly street-food market and Kelham Island Museum, once you get to Kelham Island, there is no point in leaving.