The independent coffee and café scene in the North is constantly growing. Those further south think they have it all in the Big Smoke, but Yorkshire has some great offerings for coffee and food, including an increasing interest in our favourite cuisine – Scandinavian. At the weekend I travelled to Sheffield to visit Upshot Espresso. This trip came about after stalking them a bit on their Instagram. I noticed that they have recently added a weekly special of Smørrebrød to their Saturday brunch menu – so I obviously had to go and try it.
A quick reminder for those of you who are unsure what a smørrebrød is; it’s an open topped sandwich served across Scandinavia (particularly Denmark), with a range of delicious toppings, usually including cured meats and fish, and pickled vegetables.
In Upshot, the door and the bar are perpendicular, so as soon as we entered we were greeted by two smiling beards. The décor is simple with blocks of colour on the walls and a mix of different small tables, chairs and stools to sit at. We chose to sit in the window of the main room, but the small back room looked light and comfortable for next times’ visit.
Upshot have always had a great (and well deserved) reputation regarding their coffee and they certainly didn’t disappoint on this front at all. On the grinder that day were beans from The Barn, Berlin. As always, I chose a flat white and it was served to me with an information card about the coffee including its origin (Rwanda) and tasting notes (blood orange, milk chocolate and raisin), as well as a detailed description.
It wasn’t only the coffee that impressed though; the food was delicious too. I obviously opted for the Danish Eggs Smørrebrød. This weeks offering included Nordic salt beef, a poached duck egg, beetroot syrup and pickled golden beets served on rye. Not only did it look the part, with very beautiful presentation, but it also tasted amazing; a classic combination of meat and pickled veg.
Though I was mainly visiting for the Scandi special, the concise selection of other brunch-style dishes available looked just as delicious. My friend chose the bacon sandwich, a simple choice, but it was still done very well. It arrived on a brioche bun with the choice of ketchup, brown sauce or chilli jam.
Previous toppings to the smørrebrød have included salmon with beetroot hollandaise and wild mushrooms with parsley cream, the thought of which are making me want to visit Sheffield every week.
We would love for you to recommend anywhere that does a good smørrebrød we should try!
Written by Helen Tennant