29 Sep New neighbourhood restaurant set to take flight in Hillsborough
A new fast casual restaurant is set to light a fire under the Hillsborough food scene, as the S6 suburb prepares to welcome a new neighbourhood restaurant serving up interesting dishes at affordable prices.
The Orange Bird, which takes its name from a poignant scene in the film Green Book, promises to be a ‘buzzy’ and inclusive restaurant and bar, filling a gap for a much-needed top-quality restaurant in North West Sheffield.
All of the dishes will be cooked over coals, or will at least include an element of charcoal, including the desserts, and will use an array of seasonal ingredients to create unique dishes such as pig’s ears, Koji buttered sweetcorn and homemade ice creams, as well as a whole host of interesting vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Owners Anne Horner, who has lived in the area for 20 years, and Matthew Duggan-Jones both honed their skills at Sheffield city-centre café Marmadukes. Matthew also has experience in two different Michelin star establishments and will take on the cooking duties, while Anne takes responsibility for the front of house.
“We want it to be a real neighbourhood restaurant that people can afford, but is still high end”, says Mathew, “The menu is going to constantly change but the main element will be the fire. We’re going to be cooking on charcoal, and hopefully, eventually wood. I’m a South African, so I was born there and lived there until I was 15, and BBQs is what they do there, similar to Australia.
“Some of my best food memories are from the fire. I remember my dad cooking whole lambs over the spit and just tasting the fat dripping off and it just being incredible. I think I’ve just always been obsessed with cooking that way, so I think we’d quite like to incorporate fire into almost every element of the food, including the desserts.”
Anne added: “We’ve got some pretty interesting ingredients to show off. My daughter, who’s 17 said, ‘don’t put pig’s head on first’, but it’s just about really good quality ingredients and Matt is such a good chef, and what good chefs can do is cook cheaper cuts really well. He knows the processes and cares about how things turn out.”
The restaurant will take over one of the units that used to be home to the longstanding Hillsborough Electrical, just on the tram stop and across from another new Middlewood Road cafe, Molly’s Cafe and Deli.
Anne said: “I feel like there’s such a buzz in Hillsborough, it’s a busy place, and it’s not being utilised. The area is crying out for it. We’ll be something independent and different”
Matthew added: “I love the buzz of a busy restaurant. One of my favourite restaurants is Ivan Ramen in New York, where the music’s really loud and it’s always full. There’s queues out the door, and I don’t know if we can achieve that, but I like the place to be busy. I don’t want people whispering.”
A drinks license application is pending and they will eventually offer a select, interesting cocktail list. But, for the time being, they plan to keep things simple on the drinks front, opting for good wine, beers and the odd G & T.
For Anne and Matthew, the restaurant has been two years in the planning, and they hope to be open by the end of October. However, the opening date and the way in which they open is dependent on the ever-changing guidelines surrounding the pandemic.
Anne said: “When COVID hit we made the decision to still go for it, thinking well, we’ll just do take out. Then everywhere opened and we thought, great. And now, we are where we are. So, the contingency plan, if we do get to a local lockdown, is still takeout. It’s just the not knowing that’s the hardest.
“We can’t wait to get going now. We’re really excited, but I don’t think it will feel real until it’s open.”
We cannot wait to give this one a try. Roll on the end of October!