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Oliver's Bistro: Food Review

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You can find Oliver's nestled snugly between Sharrow Vale and Ecclesall, on Hickmott Road. The welcoming bistro opened towards the end of last year and has been serving up delicious scran ever since. As ever, the interior is fresh and inviting, and our server for the evening is Sam, whose friendly manner makes us feel immediately at ease and as if nothing we ask would be too much trouble.

It's been a little while since I last visited but the most noticeable difference is that Oliver's menu has been trimmed down quite significantly. Where once there was a sizeable list of options, there is now a refined à la carte menu of starters and mains featuring meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, all of which are gluten-free. All of the ingredients are locally sourced, many of them from the fantastic independents who dwell just around the corner on Sharrow Vale. They've got themselves a booze licence too, so a range of carefully chosen beers and wines are most definitely on the menu, in addition to plenty of non-boozy drinks.

To start, we opt for the blow-torched mackerel served on pickled cabbage, and smoked duck, apple jelly and parsley oil, but before they arrive we're gifted with a surprise appetiser. It comprises a fennel and onion soup, with a filo pastry parcel adorned with caramelised root vegetables and hazelnuts. The flavours and textures work well together. The nuts provide some very welcome crunch, and at no point does the fennel become overpowering. I am also reliably informed by my dining cohort that it went down particularly well with a few good gulps of Thornbridge's Jaipur.

Moving on to the starters, the duck is rare but with a nice bit of resistance, and the mackerel is cooked to perfection with lovely crispy skin and a good, strong pickle flavour. For our mains we went for king prawn and chilli linguine with garlic, and oak smoked rib-eye served with a parcel of vegetables and jus. The chilli on the linguine certainly packed a punch but it was nothing I couldn't handle, while the king prawns and linguine were super succulent and moreish. The steak was rare and nicely augmented by the jus.

All in all, we left feeling full and happy, and shall certainly be returning soon.

Flick Jackson

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