The Devonshire Cat has a long-standing reputation as a real ale pub in Sheffield – probably even more so since it was taken on by Abbeydale Brewery in January 2014. And with a detailed bottle menu of over 100 beers, 12 hand-pulls and 14 kegs, you can certainly see why!
More recently, however, the focus has shifted a little to the food side of things. Head chef Peter Lightfoot has been at the Devonshire Cat for three years, but he’s revamped the menu of classic pub grub and introduced a weekly changing specials board. And all of a sudden the Dev Cat, a place I’d never really seen as an option for eating out, was on my radar.
I first tried the food a few months ago at a Cavendish Cancer Care charity night. Despite the pub being really busy with a number of sittings, the food really impressed me. So when Josh, the manager, got in touch to see if I wanted to come back and try the food for the blog, I happily agreed.
We arranged to head down on a Monday night – the first day of our ‘staycation’. Well, I say that, but Gav couldn’t swap his on-call shift so he was actually at work until 4.30pm. I met him in The Bath Hotel (another excellent beery venue) before wandering down to the Devonshire Cat.
Located on the ground level of a new(ish) development of student flats, the traditional pub like interior might surprise some. I think it’s the light from the floor to ceiling windows that does it – we’re just so used to dimly lit pubs!
We headed to the bar to find that the beer selection was on top form – I ordered a pint of Siren, whilst Gav kept it local with one of the (many) Abbeydale offerings.
There were two menus on the table – the day to day stuff which was packed with the classics such as gammon & egg and fish & chips – and the specials menu.
It’s here that I regretted being a little hasty with our beer orders as each special was listed with a recommended beer – a nice touch and something that demonstrates the knowledge of the team behind Dev Cat.
For starter I went for the Sticky BBQ Pork Ribs (£4.95) – mostly because the menu boasted they use Moss Valley pork products, but also coz I bleedin love pork ribs! And, cooked to fall off the bone perfection, these were no disappointment.
Gav had the Beer Battered Brie Wedges (£4.95) – oozy chunks of cheese coated in a batter made with one of Abbeydale’s most popular beers – Deception. They were served with a tangy mango coulis which complemented the cheese nicely.
For mains, we both looked to the specials. Gav had the New Orleans Meatloaf (£8.95) with a champ mash, glazed carrots and BBQ sauce. The loaf was wrapped in bacon and had a peppery tang to it – he was pleased with his choice.
I shocked myself and ignored the meaty gammon & egg and rib feast options and went for the Mushroom Porcini (£9.25). Mushroom ravioli served in a creamy tomato sauce with king prawns was probably the most vegetarian dish I’d ordered in months (and yes, I know prawns aren’t vegetarian)! It did the job though – the mushroom filling was delicious and the sauce was thick and rich. To be honest I think it could have coped without the prawns – not that I didn’t enjoy the plump sweet meat.
We decided to share dessert and kept it relatively light with a Eton Mess Cheesecake which did what it said on the tin and rounded the evening off nicely.
We were completely satisfied with our meal at the Dev Cat. The food was everything I expected and it came with good service and excellent beer. Certainly one to bear in mind next time you’re in town.