Review: Raffina by Reece Elliott

It’s been over two months since MasterChef star and born-and-bred Sheffielder Reece Elliott launched his Raffina venture, joining the city’s densely populated stretch of restaurants lining Ecclesall Road.

Situated just after the bend taking you past Endcliffe Park, the restaurant is hard to miss with its standout glass-fronted exterior and a distinctly more modern façade than surrounding buildings in the area. Inside the décor is very much ‘chic European bistro’ with plenty of natural light, colourful furnishings and plush seating.

We were welcomed warmly and shown to our table by a friendly member of staff, Guy, who recommended a fresh, easy-drinking bottle of Fiano to accompany our meal – a summery Italian wine to complement the Italian-influenced menu.

For starters, we ordered the pan-fried king scallop and the wild mushroom and truffle arancini. The sumptuous-looking scallops were ample in size, tender and succulent, served with charred sweetcorn for a subtle smokiness, confit tomatoes providing a touch of tang and a luxurious nduja and parsley butter that I couldn’t get enough of. My partner was equally impressed with the arancini, praising its crunchy texture, the savoury, peppery flavours and the rewarding richness of the truffle hollandaise.

Succulent pan-fried king scallops

The wild mushroom and truffle arancini

Appetites well and truly sharpened, we dived into our mains. My miso caramel glazed sea trout arrived looking nothing short of delectable. There was a lot to register amidst the mouthwatering presentation: two generous fillets of fish served on a bed of pak choi, tempura batter mussels, creamy pieces of prawn and wasabi ravioli, an umami-rich dashi sauce, all topped with salty samphire stalks. If it was a lot to take in visually, the taste experience provided an absolute rollercoaster experience of combining flavours – one that I’d gladly jump on again and again.

The miso caramel glazed trout looked as good as it tasted

My partner’s plaice fillet arrived looking equally resplendent. The plaice was topped with squid ink pomme maxim (fancy potato chips, basically) and shaved truffle, supplemented by leeks and potato fondants beneath. This delightful bundle of food was accompanied by black truffle mousse and a white onion and thyme puree, which was swiftly declared exquisite. The delicate fish was a great pairing which allowed the more complex, rich flavours to come through and the portion size just right to keep us looking forward to dessert.

The plaice fillet topped with pomme maxim

And I could look no further than the salted caramel custard tart, a winning sweet and decadent combo topped with cappuccino ice cream to combat the oncoming post-meal slump. I was mercifully allowed a spoonful of the chocolate and hazelnut delice – crunchy on the outside, velvety smooth on the inside, and paired with sweet orange sorbet for a fresh, citrusy hit. It was a rewarding end to a fantastic evening of exciting, innovative food where passion practically jumps off the plate. I’d put it firmly in the ‘must-visit’ category for any Sheffield foodie.

Salted caramel custard tart with cappuccino ice cream – stunning

Two fittingly decadent desserts to round things off

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