The Inn at Troway – a hidden gem
After a recent visit to The Inn at Troway, Sheffield Unchained contributor Emma Wells was inspired to search out more information about the BrewKitchen group responsible for the venue.
We fancied something different for a Saturday night restaurant treat, so my partner and I decided to try The Inn at Troway. In all honesty, I didn’t even know where Troway was, but I knew the Inn was part of the BrewKitchen restaurant group in Sheffield and I was keen to track it down.
In case you are wondering, Troway is a small village nine miles south east of Sheffield city centre. The Inn is situated in an impressive location, with panoramic views over the Moss Valley. Inside, the pub retains enough tradition to feel cosy and welcoming, but with a modern touch that includes racing green walls, numerous artworks from Sheffield artist Pete McKee and fresh flowers on the tables.
The menu offers a good variety of dishes, with nibbles and starters including honey glazed chorizo with garlic and thyme and smoked mackerel, apple and fennel salad with beetroot and horseradish mascarpone. Main courses range from traditional pub classics such as fish and chips with minted mushy peas, to more unusual options such as ox cheek with horseradish mash, bacon, cabbage, and parsnip crisps. There is also a good selection of desserts, which is always the first thing I look for on a menu!
From the nibbles selection, I decided to try the deep fried squid with piri piri mayo and lemon while my partner opted for a starter of chicken, ham and black pudding terrine with homemade piccalilli, salad, and toast. Both were very tasty, and we were impressed with the portion sizes, particularly of the squid which was definitely more than a nibble!
For our main courses, we had chicken and Parma ham, tomato and olive ragout, with char grilled new potatoes and pesto dressing, and moules marinere with rustic bread and French fries respectively. The chicken was beautifully cooked, and the dish was full of flavour. My partner also enjoyed getting stuck into his large bowl of mussels.
Although we were fairly stuffed by this point, we decided to dig deep and order a dessert between us. It was a good job we did, as the rather delicious chocolate and orange brûlée with homemade shortbread was also a pretty sturdy portion!
Having visited other BrewKitchen venues, I was intrigued to find out more, so I met with Finance Manager, Rebekah Wood. Rebekah said that BrewKitchen started in 2007 with the coming together of two parties: beer aficionados Jim Harrison and Simon Webster from the Bakewell-based Thornbridge Brewery and award-winning chef Richard Smith and his wife, front-of-house expert Victoria.
The four wanted to combine their backgrounds and expertise to create venues that would provide an experience of high quality eating and drinking, derived from a union of cask beer and cooking with fresh, local ingredients.
BrewKitchen first took on The Cricket Inn at Totley in 2007, followed by The Inn at Troway in 2008. They then took over the Rose Garden Café in Graves Park, to offer something different to the two pubs. Rebekah told me that the café is doing well, and a new ice cream hatch is being installed for this summer, which they are hoping will prove popular with park visitors.
Following that, the group took on Spice Market Café on Ecclesall Road, which subsequently became Relish, and is now Smith and Baker following a rebrand in 2014. Rebekah explained that the idea with this venue was to try different styles as trends changed, and following the closure of Artisan in Crosspool, the group wanted to provide a new fine dining establishment. The other two venues joining BrewKitchen in 2012 were Graze Inn, also on Ecclesall Road, and The Beauchief. Outside catering is also a big part of the business, with LSJ Catering covering events such as weddings and music festivals.
Rebekah explained that the BrewKitchen idea is that each venue offers something different, and that Richard Smith oversees menu development, working with the head chef of each establishment. The suppliers are the same throughout, with local and British ingredients being used wherever possible. Rebekah told me
Richard is so inspirational and creative, when he’s talking about food his passion really comes across.
She explained that even as the group grows, Richard works hard to ensure he still gets involved with the menus, making time to motivate and encourage the chefs. At The Cricket Inn, head chef Marco Caires is Portuguese, and he has influenced the menu with dishes such as Cataplana, an Algarve-style fish and shellfish broth.
The head chef of the Inn at Troway is Luke Grayson, who has worked with Richard to create a menu which is more traditional, although a pizza oven has recently been installed so ‘pub pizzas’ are now featuring on the menu. The idea with this venue is to try to create a place where people will come throughout the week, and there are different offers every day such as two-for-one burgers on a Monday, and free kids meal with an adult meal on a Saturday. The Inn’s front-of-house team is working hard to get to know the people who eat in the pub, and to find out what they would like from the venue. Rebekah said
We’ve really tried to think about what the community would want from their local pub, a reason to go out for your tea that’s affordable but still good quality.
As well as serving high quality food, the aim at BrewKitchen is to provide a good range of craft beers from Thornbridge Brewery in all their venues, including regular offerings such as Jaipur and Lord Marples and a selection of guest ales. Rebekah explained that the priority for BrewKitchen is to create places where people can relax, and where families and children are welcome. She told me
Even at Smith and Baker where we provide high quality dining, we don’t want it to be somewhere where people feel uncomfortable. The ethos is good food, good service, comfortable atmosphere.
That’s certainly how we felt at the Inn at Troway, and we are looking forward to trying out more of the six BrewKitchen venues.