Domo brings a taste of Sardinia to the Steel City

Built on the site of a former steelworks, the ongoing Little Kelham development has served as a distinct signifier for an area quickly becoming one of the city’s most exciting suburbs. Things got even more interesting when last year it was announced that Domo restaurant would be taking over the ground floor at the heritage-listed Eagle Works, arriving on the scene to ‘bring Sardinian soul food to the heart of Kelham Island’.

Opening back in June, it was an immediate hit with the local community – not least for the free 5-7pm aperitivo buffet (still served on weekdays) and sunbathed courtyard allowing for alfresco drinking and dining. Inside, a spacious restaurant/bar area is designed in an attractive rustic fashion, adorned with Sardinian masks, handwoven baskets and Mediterranean-style plants.

The menu is extensive and reflects the wide-ranging flavours enjoyed in authentic Sardinian cuisine. Divided into two sections, ‘from the land’ and ‘from the sea’, you can see the importance of sticking to tradition with key influences taken from a number of the region’s areas. Crisp pints of Menabrea arrived as we pondered over starters – eventually settling with the grilled sardines, zuppa cozze mussel stew and panzerotto to begin.

A panzerotto is essentially a small deep-fried calzone, popular in southern Italy and traditionally filled with cheeses, tomato sauce and meat. Far from lacking in stature, mine was surprisingly hefty – not to be misconstrued as a complaint since I was starving – and made from fresh pizza dough which pulled apart to reveal a delightful mess of mozzarella, sauce and ham inside. My dining partner’s grilled sardines were covered in a zesty salsa verde sauce and promptly devoured, while we both envied our fellow companion’s choice of the mussel stew – a plentiful, flavoursome offering served in a tasty marinara sauce and aptly paired with a large chunk of toasted bread for repeated dipping.

For mains, and very much in the mood for more carbs, I opted for the risotto of the day which was served with Italian sausage and radicchio. There was a nice contrast between the rich, creamy risotto and slightly bitter-tasting radicchio, then throw in some high-quality sausage meat for a relatively straightforward but hugely satisfying and comforting dish.

Also ordered was the slow-cooked beef stew in a cannonau sauce, served with a side-dish of creamy mash. Admittedly, it can be difficult to make stew look exciting, but it more than made up for appearances with taste: tender, fall-apart braised beef chunks in a deeply flavoured sauce propped up by the famous Sardinian wine and a real winter pleaser.

On the other hand, the third main, a classic Sardinian fish stew Cassola zu Raffela, looked absolutely exquisite. Linguistines, dorade fillet, prawns and squid rings arrived in large bowl dish and swimming in a nicely seasoned seafood bisque.

Stuffed and hugely content, we were going to pass on desserts until we saw a Torta Della Nonna (Italian Grandma Cake) heading to a table next to us. Appetites sharpened once more, we shared a few bites of this sweet slice of Tuscan indulgence, combining a fresh lemon and vanilla filling beneath a thin layer of pastry and pine nuts. All that was left as for the customary post-meal espressos to round things off in true Italian style… bellisimo!

A Castelardo Christmas!
Fancy getting festive Sardinian style this year? Up until December 24th, DOMO will be taking bookings at the restaurant – perfect for family meals, work parties or just as an end of year treat! There are also tables available for New Year’s Eve which will feature a special 10-course meal (£80pp with additional drinks package £40).

Eagle Works, 34-36 Cotton Mill Walk, Little Kelham, Sheffield S3 8DH // 0114 322 1020 //

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