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“Severly mediocre at best.”
Review of Rafters

Rafters
Ranked #2 of 1,466 Restaurants in Sheffield
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $154
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Opened in 1994 and now under the ownerships of Manager Alistair Myers and Chef Tom Lawson Rafters has long been accepted as one of Sheffield's finest restaurants. The combination of the highly skilled & creative cooking of Tom and the kitchen team partnered with the knowledgeable, friendly and relaxed service of Alistair and the front of house team partners to make the best dining experience possible. Both brought up locally Alistair went to Tapton School where he did his work placement at the Forte Post house and has been hooked on the catering industry ever since.Leaving school at 16 to pursue his chosen career in a work based modern apprenticeship Alistair has worked in some of the best Hotels and Restaurants in Sheffield and the surrounding area learning his trade always with the ultimate ambition of opening his own restaurant one day. Tom started cooking at the age of 13 when he was first introduced to the highly regarded Sheffield College for a one week cookery course in the summer holidays whilst at High Storrs. It was this initial introduction that sparked his passion and ultimately led him back to Sheffield College where he completed his Professional Chefs diploma and was named college chef of the year. After leaving college Tom has worked at the highest level in Restaurants and Pubs in Sheffield and the surrounding area, maintaining and gaining local, regional & national recognition wherever he has cooked. Working together for the past 5 years it is the shared vision that dining is about the whole experience and not just the kitchen or dining room that brought Alistair & Tom together to embark on the journey of running their own restaurant working together as one team with the goal always being to delight and satisfy the customer.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Severly mediocre at best.”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

This was my fourth time visiting Rafters on an annual basis. I've always been impressed by the food, it's always blown me away. Well that's all changed. We went this week and we absolutely underwhelmed by Rafters' offerings. Firstly I had a venison carpaccio. All I could really taste was venison, there was no complementing flavours or depth, just the flavour of venison. For my main I had beef. This was the biggest disappointment of the night. There was a watery, salty gravy that surrounded a circle of swede mash and a bit of beef. Again there was no richness. There was enough meat, but that was pretty much all you could taste. There was oxtail on the plate, which just added a soft texture, but no taste. When i've been before, the main was accompanied by vegetables, but not this time. It felt like just eating a bit of meat. Pudding was okay (though ice cream was half melted, so had obviously been on the plate for a while). When I've visited before, there was deep, rich flavours which compliment each other. It just wasn't there. I don't think I'll be going again and wouldn't recommend it. It was excellent a couple of years ago (when it won its awards), but I think now its not worth it. I won't be spending a lot of money to find out if it's improved.

The woman who served us was lovely though.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank SimonSheffield88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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481 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Sheffield”
Reviewed December 5, 2012

Rafters serves excellent and imaginative food that is cooked to perfection and tastefully presented, in comfortable and unpretentious surroundings.

There is a fixed price menu with 4-5 options in each course that provide both variety and interest. They also serve a little amuse-bouche at the start of the meal and a Trou Normand between courses which is a nice touch. Service is pitched at just the right level - no-one hovering over you to pour the wine but attentive to your needs.

The wine list is extensive and the house wine was tasty and functional as you would expect.

We spent a lovely evening there recently and will certainly be going back soon.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AdamSSheffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
surrey uk
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“We visit Rafters from London!”
Reviewed November 27, 2012

Definitely the best restaurant in Sheffield and we think top of our favourites in UK! we can only go once or twice a year as we are London based, but what a treat it is!! The food is outstanding, we have never been disappointed. The service is also excellent, especially from Jamie! Next year we plan to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary there :)

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dihargrave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Probably the best restaurant in Sheffield”
Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

Well, certainly the best meal I've had in Sheffield for as long as I can remember. Ambience great, service impeccable, and the food delicious. Each course was thoughtful, well presented and really tasty. Palate cleansers the same. Having a sweet tooth my personal favourite was the tiramisu with mini donuts. Definitely will be returning again soon.

Helpful?
Thank beckahodgson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent food, cosy surroundings”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

My partner took me here for Xmas Eve 2011. I have been trying to get back in on a Saturday night since then. This place is that good you have to be early to get in.

I have eaten at many mitchelin star places, I am not saying this to brag, but in comparison the standard of food is up there.

Value for money is exceptional, set price menues of £25.00 or £36.95 is nothing in comparison to what you may pay elsewhere for food not of the same level.

The setting is more 'informal' that you might expect but this is in a good way. Nothing 'stuffy' about the clientel or staff leads to a relaxed and sociable atmosphere, accompanied by great food.

I just hope that I am able to get a table again soon...

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank scholsey08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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