I’ve lived in Cambridge all my life, apart from a brief few years up north to bag myself a degree and a Geordie husband, and it’s true to say that the 80s and 90s were a bit of a foodie wasteland. But in that wasteland, there was a cosy childhood glow that was Sweeney Todds. I am sure that by today’s fussy standards it would be judged harshly, but at the time it was bloody great. The first place to serve a little jug of sauce to pour over your ice cream, massive knickerbocker glories that you’d only heard about in American kid’s shows and glass windows in the floor to watch the water. All seriously cool when you’re a kid. Then it became Bella Italia and erm, yep, the less said the better. The food was poor and the wheel was no more. Sad times.
But the good times are back Cambridge dwellers – Sweeney Todds is now Millworks and is back to its former glory. It’s the latest opening from Cambs Cuisine so great food and a sympathetic revamp were pretty much guaranteed. We headed along to relive the dream.
We went to give it a try early lunchtime, with two crazy children in tow, so naturally I went for a Bloody Mary – the mum’s acceptable, only-just-past-noon, cocktail. It woke me up a treat – tingly, sour and with a great punch of heat too. There are some great beers and nicely put together wine list but my husband went for a DC. And it was his birthday. Sometimes I wonder about him.
Then on to the food. The girls chose from the well-thought out kids’ menu – Tilly opting for fish fingers and chips and I chose grilled chicken for little Gracie. They were generous portions and so nice to see some green on the plate. I would be lying if I said that the activity menu – designed by Jessica from Cambs Cuisine herself – and food kept them still and quiet for the entirety, but it helped us get through the starters in peace at least.
Pork scrumpets for Pete and a novel take on Peanut Butter and Jelly for me – Chicken Liver Peanut Butter and Quince and Cranberry jelly. The scrumpets vanished wihtout trace so I can’t report on them, but my chicken liver was really great – the toast was maybe a little too charred and I would have loved a little more nuttiness from within the pate rather than just on top, but it’s a corker of a dish nonetheless.
Tempted by the superfood salad, but aware that the chance for good steak comes round rarely, I went for the flat iron steak with bernaise. The cut of meat was perfect – soft and tender but keeping it affordable at £12 for this generous portion, The chips were hands down the best I’ve hand in a while (only two others hold a candle locally in my opinion but that’s for another post) and that bernaise. I would like a jug to take home and pour over every meal please. Tip top.
Pete had the Marrow Melt BBQ burger and loved it. Unfortunately it arrived just as our two had their own meltdown. Our lovely server, Shane popped in under the lights for him and helped to entertain the kids like a complete star. She can now never do any wrong in our book.
I would love to say we stayed for pudding and re-tried those ice creams but the full-crazy child behaviour prevented that and we had to make do with a mini roll in the car on the way home. So the lure of pud, those chips and more bernaise will have us back soon.
We’re so happy this great spot is back on top and that we can once again wander down to the Mill pond for a pint and through to Millworks for some great grub as often as young children allow.