Rafters is the highest rated restaurant in Sheffield in the Good Food Guide. We went there for Sunday lunch. We expected, among other things, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, mainly I think because there was a picture of it on their website. The lunch menu however is shown below:
As you can see it makes no concession to Sunday at all. This however is a good thing. We have long held the opinion that chefs in fine dining establishments struggle to stamp their own personality on something about which everyone has such clear expectations. They may do a great job with Roast Beef, but it's not going to be their's which all others fail to live up to forever - that honour goes to the diner's Mum. (Incidentally, at least two other tables appeared to have come expecting a Sunday roast)
Anyway, if Roast Beef had been on this menu I would have ordered it and so would not have ordered the Guinea Fowl dish that is shown in the biggest picture in the collage above. That would have been a shame, because it was absolutely excellent. I had had the Quail dish (top right) as the starter, as well as a crispy quail's egg as an amuse bouche (not pictured) so my meal contained a lot of poultry, and I loved it all. In particular I think the Quail with black pudding and Broccoli, and also pine nuts and a little cylinder of meat made, I presume, from the quail's leg meat, was one of the best starters I have ever had.
Mary had the Whipped Stilton (bottom centre) followed by the Turbot (bottom right). She thought them both excellent. They must have been as I didn't get to try them (I usually do).
For dessert Mary had the Amalfi Lemon (bottom left), which again she ate all of, and liked it a lot. I had the Iced Banoffee Parfait (middle right) which was lovely. An especially nice touch was that each of the banana slices had its own individual brittle caramel top.
The portents for this meal were not good when we went in, There were road works outside and there was a lot of pneumatic hammering going on. Then Mary had a little difficulty with the quite steep stairs (the restaurant is upstairs above shops and there is no disabled access). Then we found there was no Roast Beef. However when we left we thought it was one of the best meals we had ever had in a non-Michelin starred place, and better than some that had stars.