Pa’s Bistro: New Kelham Island venue is keeping it in the family
With Kelham Island’s reputation as the city’s fastest-growing foodie hub now firmly established, another welcome addition to the area’s burgeoning café scene arrived last month in the form of Pa’s Bistro.
Ideally situated on the corner of Green Lane, opposite the up-and-coming Little Kelham development, the spacious venue provides an all-day setting for quality food – from leisurely breakfasts and lunches to evening wining and dining – while placing an emphasis on traditional customer service and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Freshly baked pastries are available daily courtesy of Cawa bakery and lined up on the bar are a tempting selection of award-winning Fuggle Bunny ales alongside lagers and craft beers.
Owner Conan Smythe is keen to stress the strong family ethos etched into the business. The initial inspiration behind Pa’s came from Conan’s father, a hardworking ex-serviceman who in over 32 years of employment after leaving the army never took a day off sick. “He had a plan for his retirement and gathered the whole family around to let us know that he wanted us to open a bistro/bar together. He had it all mapped out. Sadly, just five weeks later he passed away, so we decided to open Pa’s as a tribute to him.”
It’s a tight-knit team, with Conan’s daughter providing the hospitality experience and serving customers; while on the food side of things, his close friend of over 10 years Gavin Bradbury works as Head Chef after previously working in kitchens around the world from Greece to the US.
Which brings us nicely onto the food – a veritable selection of British mealtime classics from fish and chips to braised lamb shank, combined with guilty pleasure desserts such as Gavin’s special lemon and lime tart which we’re told took him four years to perfect. “I wanted to put together a menu based largely around fresh English produce,” said Gavin. “Keeping things local and seasonal is very important, so we purchase from the butchers Bradway Meats, All Seasons provide our fruit and veg, while our pies and brownies come from Bloomers of Bakewell.”
The food being brought out looked superb, and since we were very much in the mood for some comfort scran we decided to order a couple of mains, opting for the homemade turkey burger and 8oz sirloin steak respectively. The burger was a winner on two fronts: plenty of flavour and the leaner meat choice reducing any feelings of guilt while tucking in. It was in good company too with delightfully hefty chunky-cut chips and crunchy onion rings with poppy seeds in the batter for an extra kick. My dining partner made all the right appreciative noises while tucking into his juicy-looking steak, which came with the same moreish onion rings, mushrooms and grilled tomato.
To finish off, we ordered the aforementioned lemon and lime tart as well as a chocolate brownie with ice cream. Four years of experimentation by Gavin had certainly paid off as the tart was a sweet, tangy delight, accompanied with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream to smooth things out. The brownie, as all good brownies should be, was pure indulgence: gooey chocolate with a mango sauce on the side to counter-balance the flavours. It rounded off two very hearty courses that had us sloping back to the office ready for an afternoon nap, but still immensely satisfied with our gluttonous lunchtime experience.
50 Green Lane
0114 275 3664