Well Fancie That? A Savoury Success On Eccy Road
After venturing into the world of the savoury in their new day time cafe on Ecclesall Road, Fancie has been quick to realise that there's more to life than a spot of brunch. And with a full three courses to play around with, the evening meal has got to be the most exciting part of our culinary lives. Taking on chef John Parsons (the well-respected chef of Kitchen, now closed) was Amanda’s next smart move.
On learning of how much I recently enjoyed brunch at Fancie, Amanda was kind enough to invite me back for dinner and she booked the husband and I in one Friday night. Being one of the first to sample Fancie's evening menu, I was quite surprised to find that the cafe had a fair few diners in and the atmosphere was easy and relaxed. After a friendly welcome from the crew of waiting staff we settled down to our table where we were left to enjoy our choice of wine (Fancie is currently BYOB) and make our choices from the menu.
Now, Fancie is primarily a day time cafe and, as such, the furniture and décor ain't exactly white linen tablecloths and the like. With nik naks and kids toys scattered around there's no pomp here and the feel to the place suits both the menu and the BYOB policy.
And that menu … it’s positively down to earth, affordable and homely and fans of John’s cooking will find that his personality sings from it. Wanting to work my way up to a heavy main dish I went for one of two vegetarian starters. Tostada of Pumpkin (£7) was two light and crisp tortillas stuffed with a spicy pumpkin filling sat on top of a bed of beans in a tomato sauce. It was tasty start to the meal; simple, with warming and comforting flavours.
Thanks to the intriguing name of Bus Station Kefta (£6), the husband couldn’t resist the meatballs. And it’s only now, after a quick Google, that I understand the meaning behind the name. Cooked to a Moroccan recipe these meatballs are popular in bus stations across the Middle East and North Africa. Here, in more comfortable surroundings, these lightly spiced meatballs were served with a tomato sauce and halloumi. It was a decent sized starter with about 6 meatballs and some bread that came in very handy for mopping up the sauce.
Onto mains and I had plumped for the super comforting Homemade Corned Beef Hash (£12). Fancie’s chefs cure the beef themselves, ensuring that this is a quality product, and the soft chucks of meat were served in a patty with chunks of onion and potato running through. The deep fried duck egg added further richness making the whole plate extremely sumptuous. Capers and a slice of gherkin helped lift the dish a little.
The husband went for a favourite of mine; Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks (£14). Here the meat had been pulled and was served with fried potato dumplings and a light horseradish cream. As is always the case with this meat, it was incredibly tender and juicy thanks to the slow cooking. The husband could have done with a little more of a kick to the horseradish, but he thoroughly enjoyed the dish; another plate of comfort food.
This homely theme continued through to desserts with the husband’s Sticky Toffee Pudding (£5.50). It’s probably the husband’s favourite dessert and he was satisfied with Fancie’s version. The sponge pudding was light; the sauce was sweet and tasty. I went for the Salted Chocolate Tart (£5.50). A thick slab of a deeply rich and chocolaty tart was served with a salted caramel sauce and I have to admit that, despite enjoying it, it was a bit too much for me and I wonder whether the lemon posset would have been a better option.
Both of us had been pretty impressed with our time at Fancie. The food was good, comfort eating food, but there were a few lighter fish and veggie options available too. The pricing is affordable and it’s the kind of place that you could either have a quick bite or the full three courses. Service had been spot on and there was a good atmosphere to the place … I’ll be back.
Clare's Food Blog is sponsored by Nonnas Cucina. Get 50% off Nonnas Pizza every Wednesday when you quote Exposed! www.nonnas.co.uk/pizza