An evening @ Eric’s Restaurant, Huddersfield

It’s the last week of the school summer holidays and we are having a family get-together, I’d organised dinner out with the adult siblings in the family. This happens just a few times a year so I wanted us to eat where we could have a good feed!! I’d read a review on Eric’s Restaurant a few weeks ago about how amazing their Sunday lunch had been, and by coincidence when I looked into it further found that the place had been named the Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year for the North East 2014.

Since the restaurant opened in 2010, its built up a very faithful following from locals, bloggers and restaurant reviewers alike!! It sounded like an excellent choice to have family dinner. The owner Eric Paxman has worked with some notable chefs in the past, including Marco Pierre White and Bill Granger so has learned from some of the best in the business. The restaurant is in Lindley, Huddersfield, I had no idea where it was at all, but the lads who went to 6th form college nearby were more familiar with the area.

IMG_4074 IMG_4072 On entering the restaurant we were welcomed straight into their bar/waiting area, I noticed the place has been decorated very tastefully and looked very comfortable. We’d ordered a bottle of Prosecco which was light and crisp, a good way to start our evening. This allowed us some time to peruse the menu, I thought their menu looked very good and had something for everyone, with 9 starters, 8 main courses to choose from and lots of variety in terms of main ingredients. It took a few minutes for some of us to choose just because everything sounded so mouthwateringly good on the page. We finally chose our starters and some wine and were happily tucking into the lovely soft bread that was brought to our table.

Bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Our starters were brought over and I was immediately impressed by the generous portion sizes, I’d ordered the scallops and had never been given 4 scallops in a starter before, quite unusual I thought! Everyone was really pleased tucking in happily and I thought mine was particularly yummy. Perfectly cooked, the scallops slightly opaque and soft in the middle, lovely crust on the outside, the relish with its peppers were a good match for the delicate scallops and didn’t overpower the main ingredient. The spring roll was crisp and had a generous filling of crab, carrots and ginger. Other comments on the starters were that the pig cheeks were very tender, the sticky sauce was sweet and not too sickly. The Bolster Moor farm black pudding was one of the highlights of the evening, it was lovely and soft with just the right amount of flavour. The halloumi cheese was said to be the best they’d ever had. The seabass dish was also found to very good, lovely and crisp with a delicate amount of spice. It was felt that more spice could have been used, as the apricot and cumin chutney was more than a match for the seabass and overpowered the delicate flavour of the fish. All in all it was a good introduction to the food at Eric’s and I was hoping it would give us an indication of the quality and portion size of food we would receive for the main course.

Pan fired King scallops, crab, carrot and ginger spring roll, sweet corn and red pepper relish
Pan fired King scallops, crab, carrot and ginger spring roll, sweet corn and red pepper relish
Sticky braised pig cheeks, potato rosti, "Bolster Moor Farm black pudding, apple,  tarragon jus and crispy shallots
Sticky braised pig cheeks, potato rosti, “Bolster Moor Farm black pudding, apple, tarragon jus and crispy shallots
Toasted halloumi, paperdelle pasta, piperade and basil pesto, shallow fired basil crisps and Kalamata olives
Toasted halloumi, paperdelle pasta, piperade and basil pesto, shallow fired basil crisps and Kalamata olives
Crisp tandoori seabass, apricot and  cumin chutney, cucumber and mint raita
Crisp tandoori seabass, apricot and cumin chutney, cucumber and mint raita

Well I wasn’t wrong on the portion sizes, it seems like generous portions are the way to go here at Eric’s and long may it continue!!! When I was brought my dish I said ‘wow, there is no way I can eat all of this’ as it was massive.

Fillet of locally reared pork fillet and confit belly, creamy mash, buttered cabbage, french black pudding and apple jellies
Fillet of locally reared pork fillet and confit belly, creamy mash, buttered cabbage, french black pudding and apple jellies
Chargrilled 28 aged 'Bolster Moor Farm' fillet steak, sautéed woodland mushrooms, roasted tomato and triple cooked chips
Chargrilled 28 aged ‘Bolster Moor Farm’ fillet steak, sautéed woodland mushrooms, roasted tomato and triple cooked chips
Pan fried fillet of hake, tomato fondue, braised fennel and kalamata olives, wilted spinach, potato gnocchi and saffron aioli
Pan fried fillet of hake, tomato fondue, braised fennel and kalamata olives, wilted spinach, potato gnocchi and saffron aioli
Roast rump of lamb, buttered Cavalo nero , chargrilled courgettes and home cooked beetroot, garlic and rosemary dauphinoise, roasting juices
Roast rump of lamb, buttered Cavalo nero , chargrilled courgettes and home cooked beetroot, garlic and rosemary dauphinoise, roasting juices
Chargrilled tuna steak, sauteed Cornish new potatoes, braised red peppers, french beans and avocado mayonnaise
Chargrilled tuna steak, sauteed Cornish new potatoes, braised red peppers, french beans and avocado mayonnaise

As you can see all dishes were again extremely generous in terms of portion size but also with presentation. They looked fantastic and very appetising. I loved my dish but knew there was no chance of me eating it all as it was so big. I’d ordered the pork dish, the fillet was excellent, no hint of dryness here which can be the case with poorly cooked meat. This was moist, succulent and had a yummy sweetness. The belly pork was as tender as you would expect with this cut of meat and had a salty crackling which was tasty, (not quite as good as my mam or dad’s but not many are). The apple jellies were a perfect partner with the pork and gave a nice sharpness to the whole dish, with yummy black pudding, creamy mash, well cooked greens and a rich, glossy sauce to die for it was certainly a well loved dish, not just by myself, but by two others who helped me to finish it off!!! Other examples of comments from the rest of the table were the fillet steak was well cooked, medium rare as requested, it came with a huge basket of excellent triple cooked chips, lovely and crisp while the potato still had plenty of give in the centre. It had a very tasty sauce on the side which bound all the ingredients together, it looked like an aioli of some sort but I can’t be sure. The tuna was perfectly cooked, pink in the middle and the lamb was moist with rosemary dauphinoise which were a real winner. To be honest I think that all the main courses were much appreciated by all diners involved and everyone was extremely full. But this didn’t stop some of the party wanting desserts. They offer a short and concise selection to choose from, all £5.50.

Creme brûlée with mixed berries and shortbread
Creme brûlée with mixed berries and shortbread
Selection of ice-cream
Selection of ice-cream

I assumed the salted caramel and chocolate ice-cream were extremely tasty, as sat next to me was a diner who didn’t really utter a single word during the dessert course, apart from saying how yummy the big the portion was. I think there’s a general consensus that when the dinner table is quiet that’s a good indication of tasty food being eaten. This was a great example of that! The creme brûlée was also well received, with its perfectly thin, crisp, caramelised sugar top. Lovely and warm in the middle, deliciously creamy with lots of vanilla. It was polished off in a matter of minutes. In matters other than the food the place had a really nice atmosphere, there was a very cosy feel to the upstairs dining room which was furnished very tastefully. It’s definitely a popular place as this was a Wednesday evening and the place was full. Eric himself even came into the dining room on many occasions bringing dishes to tables and helping to clear up too!! The service from good overall, with the waiting times for food from the kitchen low and we were never waiting too long for the next course. What could be improved in the future was the amount of information waiting staff have on what’s run out, this happened a couple of times during the evening with wine and desserts. The waiting staff had to keep returning to tell us what we’d ordered had run out, where I felt that if they were regularly updated this would make service flow a little better. This is a slight niggle as I found the service was very pleasant and friendly. The total cost of dinner was £280 for 5 people, including a generous tip. Food: large portions, cooked well, varied and interesting menu. Service: good, at times need more fluid communication in terms of what’s available. Atmosphere: lovely, cosy feel, tasteful and modern decor. Value for money: certainly not the cheapest of dinners, but great for a special occasion. If you want something lighter on the pocket, they offer an early bird menu at just £17.95 for 2 courses and £21.95 for 3. Also there’s a fixed lunch menu at £14.95 or £15.95.

Eric’s Restaurant
75 Lidget St
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
HD3 3JP
01484 646416
www.ericsrestaurant.co.uk/

Eric's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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