A cutting edge Scandi restaurant in a shipping container in Sheffield, anyone? It’s quite a concept. Krynkl is the brainchild of a super-trendy local architect, a three storey building constructed of 28 stacked up-cycled containers: ‘a space built for work and play; hip hidey-holes for the 21st century creative’ colonised by, amongst others, a gym (USP: ‘we savour the pain’) a hair salon and gallery along with Joro. We took our big coats but didn’t need them – inside, it’s warm, helped along by low lighting and a genuinely genial welcome.
Chef Luke French (previously of much-garlanded gastropub The Milestone) has been experimenting with his ‘hyper-seasonal’ offer and he’s come up with quite an extraordinary menu. ‘A meal built of many small plates’ is the idea, and you can either choose randomly from a list of about a dozen, or push the, er, container out with a tasting menu (8 courses, 45 quid, ‘please allow 2 hours’).
We pretty much ordered everything and in no particular order came warm peas in allium oil and garlic cream, the colour of spring, with added crunch courtesy of tiny shards of oak smoked bacon, followed by a deep dish of fabulous Cornish mackerel with pickled artichokes; as straightforward as it sounds, it disappeared in two mouthfuls. Next up, three fat Shetland apple-poached scallops in mussel and dill sauce – postcard-pretty, it completely hit the spot. French monkeys around with foraged finds, chucks black garlic into charred greens, barbeques Heritage carrots and isn’t afraid to mess with miso, koji and XO.
When he isn’t plating up on a massive table by his open kitchen, French brings your food – or sends one of his elves, who know everything off by heart; provenance, method, purpose. They’re a cheery bunch, darting about, filling your glass, NOT asking you how it’s going every two minutes. French says he’s cool with people not ‘getting’ all his ideas, that it’s so experimental he’s going to have the odd miss. No misses in desserts though: two ‘bars’ of aerated white chocolate dotted with shoyu koji fudge instantly dissolved on contact with my tongue, sending shock waves through me, bordering on the indecent. Really though!
You’ll have a good night; French knows what he’s doing, and while he takes his food seriously he’s not up himself – there’s fun to be had, and terrific range of taste, texture and colour. All this in the arse end of town, with traffic pounding past on the A61. Just keep reminding yourself you’re in Shalesmoor and not a chichi Copenhagen suburb.