Because I like to keep busy, as well as my day job and this blog, I’m also on the committee of a social group in Sheffield, organising monthly events for our members. We love a nice foodie do so, for last month’s night out, we decided we’d try out private dining at Fancie.
I got in touch with Fancie about two months beforehand, to explore our options and see what we could do together. After waiting a few days to hear back, a quick Twitter exchange confirmed that my initial email had gone AWOL, so I re-sent it. Amanda, Fancie’s founder, quickly responded to me and we arranged a date for me to go in, have a nosy round and chat through our plans further.
I’d eaten at Fancie a few times before, but I’d never been upstairs. So, when I went to meet with Amanda and she showed me the upstairs area we’d be in for our event, I was amazed. I never knew there was such a large, light-filled space up there.
We set the date, talked about drinks offers and discussed various menu options. I’d previously enjoyed one of Fancie’s seven-course taster menu extravaganzas, so was keen to put on one of those. Fancie were happy to work with us to come up with a bespoke menu; Amanda recommended we have a read through some of their previous menus for inspiration.
We liked the sound of one of the menus so much, we decided to just go for it with no alterations. At £23 a head for seven courses and a glass of prosecco on arrival, this was such good value and took our tastebuds on a world tour.
Once we’d chosen a menu, we needed to pay a deposit of £5pp to secure our booking. I agreed with Amanda that I’d give her our final numbers and drinks pre-order one week before our event; Fancie had kindly done us a really good deal on wine if we pre-ordered by the bottle.
On the night, 22 of us rocked up to Fancie:
The place looked lovely and the staff were friendly and smiley. We were sitting at one gorgeous-looking long table:
There were some very pretty, rustic-looking floral arrangements along the centre of the table:
After we’d all had our glass of prosecco and a bit of chit chat, we took our seats ready for the feast to begin.
And it began with gusto- the opening dish of chorizo, morcilla (mis-printed as mortadella on the menu) and bravas potatoes was gorgeous. Crispy potatoes and garlicky aioli sat atop a round of well-seasoned morcilla, which was concealing a lovely, thick slab of tasty chorizo. I’ve never met a chorizo I didn’t like and this one was no exception:
We left Spain then and headed to Italy for spinach and ricotta cannelloni. This was a hit with vegetarians and carnivores alike and the filling was really fresh. The spinach still had some bite to it, too:
The Moroccan lamb kofta tagine split opinion on the table. Some thought it lacked spice, but others thought it was spot-on; personally, I was in the latter camp. I still wasn’t overly “wowed” by it, but it was pretty tasty. It’s a tough gig for a dish with five other savoury courses to be compared to:
Next up, we were on familiar ground with the UK offering of fish pie. With a good ratio of mash:filling and generous amounts of fish, including some big meaty salmon chunks, this was really good. It felt odd not to have it covered in ketchup and with a mountain of peas on the side, as is my usual approach, but this was a great little pie:
The veggie alternative to this course was billed as a butternut & tomato pie, so naturally I was expecting some sort of butternut squash, tomato-ey loveliness. This is where my only real disappointment on the food front happened. When it arrived, it looked like stewed tomatoes with cheese on top. The vegetarian sat next to me said it just tasted of tomatoes. I queried it with one of the waitresses, who spoke to the chef; we were told that the tomatoes had been cooked in a butternut stock. We weren’t totally convinced and that flavour wasn’t coming out. I’ve not taken a picture of it, but you can imagine.
Anyways, the next dish redeemed things with an all-American burger. Naturally, I thought the tiny burger bun was almost too cute to eat. The burger (a slightly flattened big meatball, I guess) was juicy and those fries- well, I’ll be going back for more of those:
The last of the savoury dishes was a taco, served with guacamole and sour cream. This was surprisingly picante, which worked for me as a real spice-addict. The pork was really tender. I would definitely eat a full-size one of these:
Dessert was a Sheffield speciality and the perfect way to end the night: a Fancie cupcake. We had a choice of chocolate or Victoria sponge, and Fancie happily provided takeaway boxes for those of us who were too full for pudding straight away (all the ladies!). I enjoyed my chocolate cupcake the next day with a glass of milk, perfect:
All in all, our night at Fancie was great and I’d definitely consider hosting future events there. It was great value and we had a lot of freedom to shape the menu. Amanda was very helpful in the run-up to our event and the staff on the night were faultless. They dealt with a surprise vegetarian very well (better than I did!) and just kept smiling all night, despite repeated trips up and down the stairs to ferry things to us from the kitchen.
Having the upstairs to ourselves added a real sense of exclusivity and it was great to see the event come together and everyone enjoying themselves. I particularly liked the arrangement of us at one long table and had the chance to chat to lots of different people because of this.
Apart from that issue with the one dish, feedback from all our guests was really positive and many said they’d be back. Fancie have just launched their summer menu, so I’ll be heading back soon to check out what’s new.
Fancie is at 359-361 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8PF. They’re open 9am-11pm Monday-Saturday and 9am-6pm on Sundays. Or, if you just want to grab a quick sandwich or cake to go, check out the bakery next door, which is open every day from 9am-4pm.