The following review has been written by Sheffschefs after a visit to the establishment. All visits are made anonymously, as ordinary paying customers. To read user reviews of this restaurant click here.
Dam House bar restaurant is tucked away on Mushroom Lane, overlooking the lake in Crookes Valley Park and we imagine it would be the perfect spot to while away an hour or two with cool drinks in the height of summer.
We headed there on a winter's evening, keen to try out the food as this newly opened restaurant. The bar area is extensive and takes up a large part of the establishment's footprint area - this surprised us a little, as for some reason, we had expected it to be more restaurant than bar. There was plenty of room to settle with a drink and have a good look at the menu, but as it was so large and brightly lit, it didn't quite start the process of pre-dinner relaxation for us.
Our orders were taken in the bar area and we then moved through to the restaurant area just before our starters were served. The restaurant appeared to seat about 50 and on the Saturday night we were there, it was fairly full. In all honesty, we weren't overly keen on the decor... it has a very 'pubby' feel to it, largely because of the bold geometric print carpet and the pub style pictures and artefacts. We couldn't put our finger on what else gave it this feel, but then realised that it was the chairs, which are low backed, as opposed to the more standard high back of a restaurant seat.
Things got off to a great start with our appetisers, which received a full thumbs up from both of us. The cone of wild mushrooms was delicious, with light, crisp pastry and a really tasty port cream sauce. Judging by the number of these coming out of the kitchen, they were one of the most popular starters. Our second starter was butter bean soup, which was deliciously velvety and seasoned to perfection, so by this stage, the food had definitely impressed us.
We had very high expectations of the main courses, but in the event felt a bit let down by them. The Turbot Fillet came on a bed of mixed vegetables, with a few new potatoes and the Breast of Pheasant, which should have come with baked cabbage and lardons was presented with what seemed to be the same vegetable selection as the fish. We never did find out what had happened to the cabbage! Both main courses were quite acceptable, but given the £14 and £15 price tags, we were expecting something really special and we both felt that our main courses had been quite a bit short of this. It was little things rather than anything major and to be fair to the chefs, our disappointment was possibly compounded by the acoustics of the place, as we had the irritation of the till pinging constantly behind us, plus the music from the pub pumping from the speaker above, neither of which was conducive to having a relaxing meal.
There were quite a few small groups in, and it appeared that they were having a good time, so if you're looking for somewhere for a good night out with a group of family and friends, Dam House could be a consideration. There is plenty of room in the bar and they also do bar meals until 6.30 pm with a good range of food at considerably lower prices than those in the restaurant.