Abbeydale Road restaurant reveals opening datePosted by: Ashley Birch
The Teller is set to open this week!
Waaaay back in July, we told you about plans to transform a former antiques centre on Abbeydale Road into a brand new restaurant and bar serving small plates of ‘great quality food, with a difference’, and owners have now announced that the wait is finally ver and the kitchen will be open this Friday 13 December from 5pm
Owners are hoping the superstitious nature of its opening date won’t mean any more bad luck for them, as they embrace it by opening with a 13 plate menu, and offering 13 per cent off all food orders on opening night!
We absolutely can’t wait to try this one, and back in October we sat down with head chef Sam Armitage to find out what he has in store for Sheffield food lovers and spoilers – it sounds (and looks) amazing!
“High end food in a really relaxed setting is what we’re going for” says Sam, who is taking a break from mucking in with the build alongside co-owner Andy Mastin to talk to us. Al Stephens makes up the trio of owners who are hoping to add to the already thriving Abbeydale Road food and drink scene.
“Andy and Al said, when we sat down and discussed bringing me on board, that they’d thought about tapas but they didn’t want to do anything cheesy.” Continues Sam: “So I suggested that we do a tapas style service, but make it our food.
“I’ve got a love for produce, ingredients and technique, as well as experience and knowledge of fine dining so I want to use all that, but in a bullshit-free setting. We want the same level of food that you’d get in a fine dining establishment but in a much more relaxed environment.”
At just 25, Sam has been busy racking up the experiences over an eight-year career which spans an apprenticeship in a Gastro Pub at just 16, to Michelin star services at Fisher’s, and ‘busy as f**k services’ in The Devonshire Arms.
Sam said: “This is a chance for me to put myself in a restaurant and reflect who I am in the food. One of the things I learned from Luke (Joro’s patron chef, where Sam has also spent time in the kitchen) is that everything that goes on his menu are things that he would love to eat. You have to stay true to yourself, so everything on the menu is something that is personal to me and ties in to me.”
“At least I can say, when it’s reviewed, that it’s my food. It’s shit scary but that’s more fuel for me and more reason to make it better.”
To get the most out of the menu, they recommend each customer opts for two or three plates, which range from £5 - £7 each, creating a sharing menu that gives people the chance to try bits and bobs they may never have dreamed of ordering.
“We will only be using locally sourced ingredients, and it’s about bringing out the best in humble ingredients, so for my vegan cauliflower curry, we take the cauliflower, break it down and use the whole cauliflower.
“Going further with the nose to tail idea, my signature meat dish, that I’m trying to champion, is the stuffed pig’s trotters. I’m hoping it’s going to be one of those dishes that people think, ‘I’ll try it’ and then once they’ve eaten it, they say, ‘oh my god, have you tried the pigs trotters at The Teller?’
“I’ve not seen anyone doing it. The classic French dish is usually stuffed with a mousse, braised and served with mash potato and jus. That’s very classical, so there’s a nod to that in my version but my favourite food in the world is Szechuan, so I’m using Chinese dried fungus and chicken and making a stuffing seasoned with preserved pickled mustard, putting that inside the boned out pig’s trotter, and cooking it for twelve hours so all the gelatine comes out and goes into this beautiful sausage. Then they go in the fridge and we cover it in dehydrated pig skin to serve.
“At first glance, the menu doesn’t reveal everything that’s in the dishes. For instance, the lobster mac and cheese says just that, but it will be made with handmade pasta, thermidor sauce and lots of other little treats. There will be other different things that I’ve cooked in restaurants, put in my bag and worked on.”
The full menu consists of eighteen plates, six of which will be vegan, as well as six desserts and three bar snacks. Sam said: “I want to open people’s eyes to what vegan food can be. Coming at it from my meat-eaters perspective, with a completely open mind, I can do some really cool and creative dishes. The big no no is falafel so that won’t be on there, and there will be no vegetable presented as burgers either!"
The menu will also be hyper-seasonal, changing with what ingredients are at their best in each season, and between 12pm and 6pm on Sundays the menu will be slightly different, offering a Sunday Dinner ‘Build your own feast’ style set menu. Sam said “The way I do Sunday dinner at home, is we put everything on the table and everyone helps themselves, so that’s kind of the concept for Sunday’s at The Teller.”
First up will be three choices of starter; a soup, pate of the week, or cured fish of the week, followed by your choice of three mains; porchetta, which is an Italian-style stuffed loin of pork with plenty of crackling, vegan wellington of the week, or roasted rib-eye and braised short rib. There will then be a whopping four pages of side dishes to build your menu. There will also be the option to pre-book your own joint if you’re coming mob handed, which they will carve at the table for you.
The restaurant will be open four and a half days a week, closing on Mondays and Tuesdays and doing half days on Sunday. “We want the staff to be working hard, but we also want them to have lives as well,” says Sam: “We want people to feel human and be happy to work.
“Mental health is a massive issue and I would hate to think that I have contributed negatively to someone’s mental health, because I know in the past I probably have. I want people to feel like I’ve lifted them up, rather than dragging them down.”
We can’t wait for this one to open, and by the sounds of it, neither can Sam. He said: “I’m feeling buzzing and really excited to have the freedom to express myself.”
For more info and updates head over to their Insta page here.