The Angel Inn at Hetton

About six months ago I’d heard that The Angel at Hetton was looking for food bloggers to give complimentary vouchers to. It’s fairly common these days for restaurants, and in particular PR companies, to engage with food bloggers to spread the word about their ‘product’. It’s very much the modern way of doing things and can be a very effective way of spreading the word, especially if the bloggers have plenty of followers.

So I applied for the voucher and it arrived, worth £25. Generous, I thought, as I slipped it into my man cupboard (where I keep all my stuff).

And there the voucher sat, for quite some time, until we decided on a run out one Sunday for a spot of lunch in the Dales. Hetton is just North of Skipton – so not even an hour from Leeds – so very easy to get to. We’d booked an early 12 noon slot and by the time we’d arrived, we were ready for some snap as we say round these parts. Opting to sit in the bar (which I’d recommend if you decide to go), by the roaring log fire was the perfect location for the top-notch lunch we were about to enjoy.

Plenty of our friends had already been to The Angel so when we told them we were going it was old news. I kind of wondered if that’s why they were trying to spread the word again via food bloggers – The Angel has been very popular for a long time and these things definitely go in cycles, with newer restaurants coming on the scene and more established places becoming less in vogue.

But the relaxed, friendly country pub atmosphere at The Angel is spot on. Not even close to pretentious gastro, it wears its food credentials lightly with only the menu the giveaway that there is some serious foodie activity here. I’d say we were in Blue Lion territory here – another outstanding, unpretentious North Yorkshire inn serving outstanding food.

We both opted for the irresistible roast beef (topside) for mains and were delighted to be asked how we wanted it served (pink), I had the black pudding scotch egg to kick off and J had the ham hock terrine. Both starters were lovely. The mains were fantastic, probably the best Sunday lunch we’ve ever had in Yorkshire. The beef was perfectly cooked, the vegetables packed with flavour and the Yorkshire pudding would have floated away if it wasn’t full of red wine gravy. Admittedly we were ready for a roast dinner and it did not disappoint.

As if we weren’t full enough, the dessert menu looked too good to miss out on and we greedily hoovered up sticky toffee pudding (sublime) and pumpkin tart (different). Hardly able to move we sipped our coffee contentedly and congratulated ourselves on our superior decision-making this Sunday afternoon.

Three course Sunday lunch for two came to £62, including drinks which we though was excellent value — certainly in the price range of most places in and around Leeds. The only downside is you have to get in your car to get there, but if you pick the right day weather-wise then it’s a real Brucie Bonus to behold the fabulous Yorkshire Dales in the milky winter sunshine.

Note for vegetarians – there were lots of very good-looking veggie options on the menu, definitely not just a one option afterthought. We will definitely return.

 

 

Prashad Vegetable Handi

After the culinary delights in recent weeks of The Old Vicarge (Sheffield) & the ‘original’ Loch Fyne (…well you can guess where) it was back to the day job and my Veggie Indian exploration. My first three attempts, were by my reckoning a decent attempt but there were mistakes. Firstly, I failed to properly prep in advance……well I am a man. And secondly, I failed to read the Prashad recipe properly……like I said….I am a man. I decided on this latest attempt, to throw my manliness to the wind and do the job properly – just as Kaushy had gone to the trouble to explain

Some chill out music on (Karima Francis – The Remedy….in case you’re interested) and I prepped my ingredients ala Saturday Morning Kitchen (or Blue Peter if you’re of a certain age) see below…..A fairly therapeutic exercise, although i’m not sure it should take the 1 1/2 hours it actually took!!

Onto the cooking. A handi, I am reliably informed is a round, deep, thick-bottomed cooking pot, so why the wonderful wife said use a wok, I have yet to work out. The great thing about this particular dish is that after the prep, it all goes into the single handi (or wok….in my case) and there’s no multi tasking involved…phew. I caramelised onions after I had browned cumin seeds in oil. After this, I stirred in blended tomatoes, potato, carrot, some water (well 300ml to be precise) and left to simmer for 7-8 mins (why are these recipes so vague). I then added the now familiar masala paste (which I just adore – green chillies, garlic, root ginger & salt), turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin and fresh coriander. I stirred in red & green peppers, cauliflower and a bit more water (well 100ml exactly) and allowed some more simmering time……or as I have interpreted it….beer timeThe final element is to stir in the peas and after the cooking is complete stir in (Prashad) garam masala and leave to rest for 15 mins to allow the flavours to develop. Having tasted the curry both during cooking and after resting, I can report they really do…who’d have thought. The final result, by following the recipe and having everything properly prepped, was without doubt my biggest success to date and not by coincidence the tastiest curry I have made and eaten.

In recent weeks we have been enjoying these recipes with a nice bottle of the red stuff but the flavours are just too dominant to get the best from the wine, so this was washed down with my favourite Anchor Steam ale (San Francisco indy beer), which was altogether more complimentaryNext up…Ratalu (garlicky curried purple yam – whatever that is)….can’t wait…

Loch Fyne, Scotland

Last weekend we spent a really enjoyable two days North of the border in Scotland with fellow Globetroffers T&K. From Yorkshire it’s a good three hours to Glasgow, then we travelled a further two and a half hours to Argyllshire on the western side of the highlands – so it’s no quick jaunt but the scenery really is stunning up there and the lochs and mountains are a wonderful backdrop to any foodie adventure.

As it turned out, the hotel Groupon deal we bought was a hit and miss affair, with the emphasis on miss – though I have to say we’ve not laughed this much in ages. We were on a trip down memory lane as it was a hotel we’d previously visited twenty-three years ago as callow twenty somethings…would the hotel have changed and would we notice the difference?

Well, yes and yes.

But this post isn’t about the hapless Fawlty Towers style service we endured and the random nature of the hotel food, but the sublime lunch we had at the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and restaurant, which is conveniently situated right on the banks of the loch.

We decided to dine out on saturday lunch at the first and best version of the Loch Fyne chain – streets ahead of its chain brothers and sisters by the way – as our dinner the previous night had been deeply traumatic!

Anyway, the Oyster Bar is actually a very large wood built restaurant with a lot of covers and masses of spankingly fresh fish. We were in heaven. This is a proper foodie destination with quality shellfish, fish and other delicious highland fare. J and I opted for a dozen mixed oysters which included Fyne natives – all remarkable. T&K had the soup from the specials board which far from being dull delivered rich comfort. Mains for us were lobster for me with chilli, garlic and coriander (had to be done) and mussels for J (ditto) with sea bream and salmon fulfilling their destiny for T&K. It was all beautifully on point and the service was impeccable too.

It might be in the middle of nowhere but it’s very much a destination.

We washed all this down with a couple of bottles of house (French) chardonnay, light and unoaked and although everyone complained they were stuffed, my lunch was so light I could have scoffed a pud but decided it would look greedy. This was seafood of the highest order, right up there with Hix or Stein in Cornwall, and proof that when your ingredients are as good as this, just keep it simple and you will delight the crowd.

And we were delighted. Heading back to the Flowery Twats hotel, we were ready to face the vagaries of the evening meal safe in the knowledge we’d had a marvellous lunch.

Well worth the detour if you’re in the (rather large but very dramatic) neighbourhood.

Rib Shakk at Anthony’s Piazza

Friday night out with D&G and we took P&T for their first visit to the Rib Shakk. We ordered two ultimate platters which have a rack of St Louis ribs, a full rack of beef short rib, half a rack of baby back ribs in a classic BBQ sauce. Ten chicken wings accompanied by fries corn BBQ beans and slaw !

We washed it all down with rosé and red wine, plenty plenty food for 5 of us infact each platter will adequately feed three.

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We then received 5 wonderful cup cakes to share because unfortunately for Pat she’d had a glass of water spilled down her back oops.!! The young lady was more than apologetic and we were more than stuffed to the gunnels when we’d eaten them all !!
A very enjoyable night had by all

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It is very good value for money if you want comfort food , very tasty and good service despite the mishap.

Tess and Dawn

Layne’s Espresso

The Leeds coffee shop scene is dominated by the big chains, I guess like every big city in the UK. I like a Starbucks or a Costa as much as the next guy but you can’t beat a local coffee shop for local people.

Layne’s is exactly that kind of place.

Tucked away behind the station (great location) and sandwiched between Leeds Brewery’s fabulous Brewery tap and the new kid on the block Friends of Ham, Layne’s is flying the flag for independent coffee in the city. Along with La Bottega Milanese and Mrs Atha’s there is a small but beautifully formed groundswell of coffee excellence gaining some momentum.

This morning I ordered a flat white and a decidedly tasty cheese on toast and watched the discerning regulars come and go for half an hour or so. Layne’s is a cool, friendly and uniquely Leeds sort of place – warm and Northern.

Next time you’re hankering after a coffee boost, skirt around the chains and head for Layne’s – hey there’s a tagline for free…sorry. I only wished I worked in the city centre then I could make this my regular stop.

 

Bonfire Night and Bramley Park

Bonfire night kind of happened on two nights for us this year (don’t ask).

Friday night saw us get stuck in to the traditional pork pie and peas with red wine vinegar pickled onions – which were a first rate treat. The pies were from Bentleys of Pudsey and of the highest quality. The peas were from a tin and very acceptable.

Post Bramley Park firework display we headed back into the warmth (it was blinking cold i can tell you) to enjoy a lovely piece of pork shoulder that had roasted for a good four hours or so. Shredded with forks, it made the perfect bonfire night comfort food.

Kendell’s Bistro, Leeds

Last night’s dinner confirms my continued assertion that Kendell’s Bistro is still the best restaurant in our home city of Leeds.

On Globetroffers we’ve been banging the drum for Steve Kendell and his fantastic team for many years and will continue to do so on last night’s evidence. Judging by last night’s packed out restaurant, the word has seriously got out and diners seeking sublime food and drink in an intimate ambience need to look no further.

As our local restaurant scene continues to grow and become more competitive, Kendell’s will simply stick to its knitting carving a niche as the only french bistro style restaurant worth visiting in Leeds, which is amazing really.

Julie had home cured salmon to begin which she declared delicious and a change from her usual Chicken main (which is amazing in itself) to hake with mussels cooked in a bag, which was aromatic and delicately beautiful. Still reeling from J’s non-chicken choice, I stayed true to type and hoovered up the boudin noir (rich and unctious) followed by the ribeye with bone marrow which was a dish so rich and comforting I could have used it as a sleeping bag in minus 20 degrees weather conditions (which I might indeed try). this was washed down by a superbly unusual Sancerre Pinot Noir recommended by Maitre D’ John, a seriously good wine for the price.

We rarely get to dessert and as such, we’re rubbish gourmands. But in truth the starters and mains are so consistently good we’re not worried. Service was attentive and well organised as it needed to be on a jam packed Saturday night. Dinner for two is usually around the £100 mark at Kendell’s and it’s possible to eat here for a lot, lot less if you get in early for the early bird menu (see pic above) but we were a la carte and went for it. Still, I  think it’s great value compared to what £100 will buy elsewhere in the city.

I think it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be reading this blog and not been to Kendell’s. On the off chance you’re a Martian that has recently decamped to Leeds then ‘zarjaz difox flox di eppient coazkip jixe di quiaxet’ which roughly translated means go to Kendell’s for the early bird or if you’re feeling flush opt for the al la carte as soon as you can.