Steaks Are High For Sheffield Chef
One of Sheffield’s brightest young chefs has crossed the divide to give a Rotherham restaurant a new lease of life.
Matt Hodkin, formerly of the Wig and Pen and Milestone has headed to the other side of the M1 to take the reins at Vasco Lounge Bar and restaurant, one of the city’s finest places to eat. And he intends to make his presence felt as they strive to attract custom from across the region. Joining Matt are former Milestone employees Robert Buchanan and Steph Walker – all planning on bringing a bit of Sheffield culinary class to the other side of South Yorkshire.
So what can punters expect at the Wickersley restaurant?
“It’s modern British dining at decent prices refined with contemporary culinary techniques,” explains Matt. “I’m really into working with temperatures and textures – so for instance with our Mushroom risotto with tarragon ice cream, we have ice cream with a hot dish.” Not necessarily something Rotherham folk are used to.
Like most good quality independent restaurants, everything is cooked fresh on the premises; they source locally where possible with a strong emphasis on using seasonal produce.
And while bringing Matt and his team in is clearly a new statement of intent, truth is Vasco has been producing some of the best food in Rotherham since it opened six years ago.
Owner Trevor Dakin told us why it’s well worth 15 minute drive from Sheffield city centre.
“We’ve always had good chefs and produced great food but Matt’s taking it a step further,” he explains. “I love watching them at work – it’s a privilege. I’ve had great chefs here but never a team as strong as this.
“We’ve always had a good name in Rotherham but we really feel the quality of the food justifies people travelling from Doncaster and Sheffield. We’re perfectly placed, just over three miles from junction 33 of the M1 and one mile from Junction 1 of the M18.”
And for those who want to make a night of it, there’s a downstairs bar serving more casual bar food and drinks, while Wickersley itself is a burgeoning hotspot. For those of you yet to visit Rotherham – leave your prejudices behind. This is like the Eccy Road of the city – with stylish boutiques, local delis, a family butchers and in The Masons Arms, one of the most successful pubs in the country all within a few hundred yards.
So next time you are looking to treat yourself, why not shed those preconceptions and jump in the car and head over to Vasco?
Vasco, 169 Bawtry Road, Wickersley, Rotherham S66 2BW. Tel: 01709 531999. www.vascobarandrestaurant.com