Spoil yourself with Yorkshire’s great places to eat

We invited some of our writers to indulge themselves at some of Yorkshire’s finest eating places – and they discovered something for every taste.  Brock went for a burger, Zoe ordered the oysters, Anna opted for an old-school curry, Andrea treated the kids to fish and chips, and vegetarian Gill nibbled Asian-fusion tofu.

 

THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER

We’ve seen Zoe Ross eat a dozen oysters at a sitting and come back for more the next day. And the day after that. She’s sampled the slippery shellfish on four continents, but she discovered that Whitby is oyster-lovers heaven.


Guinness or champagne? Either’s traditional with oysters – and I had been told to indulge myself, so I did the obvious thing and ordered a glass of Black Velvet, that seductive half-and-half blend of stout and bubbly. But Rob Green had a surprise for me.

“Try this,” Rob said, handing me a shot glass. “It’s an oyster shooter. Down the hatch!.” A strong Bloody Mary with an opened oyster in it – what a superb hangover cure. And a dozen more plump, freshly opened oysters to follow; what bliss. They know how to treat a girl at Green’s of Whitby, and as Seafood Chef of the Year 2009 Rob is a connoisseur of everything that comes out of the sea on his doorstep.

*Green’s of Whitby, 13 Bridge Street, Whitby tel (01947) 600 284

www.greensofwhitby.com

BURGERS IN YORK

R.P. ‘Brock’ Brockman loves a fine hamburger, and has the waistline to prove it. He reckons York is right up there with its US namesake when it comes to a classic burger.

As an American, I know my hamburgers. In fact, I’ve hunted the mighty burger to its lair from Kansas City to New York and from sea to shining sea. So it was with an eager sense of anticipation that I headed for the Gourmet Burger Kitchen in old York, taking a freshly-whetted appetite with me. The Gourmet Burger is a winner of The Observer’s Best Cheap Eats Award, and friends had recommended it, so it had a lot to live up to. I had the BBQ burger and found it very much to a Kansas boy’s fancy (even though health and safety rules deprived me of a rare one). The salad was crisp, fresh and flavourful, and a real ice-cream milkshake topped it off. As John Travolta says in the famous scene at the beginning of Pulp Fiction: “That is a tasty burger.” Yes sirree, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen offers more bangs for your buck than a smokin’ six-gun.

*Gourmet Burger Kitchen, 7 Lendal, York tel: (01947) 600 284

 

FISH AND CHIPS AT THE SEASIDE

Andrea Oates, Lily and Arthur nosh into good old fashioned fish and chips at the Magpie Café.

Somehow, fish and chips always taste better at the seaside. Our fish supper from the justifiably famous Magpie Café (71 years old, and claiming to be ‘the best fish and chip shop in the world) was no exception and well worth waiting in the queue for.

After a busy day crabbing and flying kites on the beach, huge pieces of golden battered cod and haddock, with a big pile of chips and mushy peas for the traditionalists in the family, and garlic mayonnaise for slightly more adventurous, were just the ticket.  As a slight nod to healthy eating, we washed it all down with some fresh orange juice – but if we’d been in the mood for sometjing stronger, there’s a good wine list, too.

*The Magpie Café, 14 Pier Road, Whitby tel: (01947) 602 058

www.magpiecafe.co.uk

 

CURRYING FAVOUR IN LEEDS

Scots love their curry, so Anna Millar and partner went straight for Aagrah, one of Leeds’s longest-established Asian restaurants

There’s something wonderfully old school about Indian eatery, Aagrah. Something of an institution since it first opened its doors almost thirty years ago, the emphasis here is one hundred percent on the food. Set on the ground floor of the BBC North building, right next to the Playhouse and a couple of minutes walk from hip hangout, Wardrobe,  you are greeted at the door by staff in traditional Kashmiri dress. The ample menu boasts everything from delicious lamb karahi to the delightful, award-winning murgh hyderabadi, a rich chicken dish with garlic, ginger and fresh cream. And to cool the palate, a glass of the ubiquitous Kingfisher. Opulent but laid back furnishings and excellent service complete the picture.

Aagrah, St Peter’s Square, Leeds, tel: (0113) 245 5667

THE LADY LUNCHES

Jo Foley finds that even in a luxury spa there’s no way that she’s going to miss out on a hearty Yorkshire-style lunch.

There’s only so much self-denial you can take in a spa – particularly if you’re there for a couple of days.  So indulge in the therapies and then enjoy what else is on offer. At the Devonshire Arms, what’s on offer is great, delicious food, bursting with local flavour and crying out to be savoured. The Devonshire’s main restaurant, the Burlington, is a Michelin starred affair, but for lunch I’m going for the Brasserie. It has all the style of a metropolitan cafe with all the comfort of the best country inn. The menu lauds the best of the local suppliers. Anything with mutton has to be a favourite with me, and their mutton and barley soup is exceptional. For a main course – oh, go on then, I’ll have the local bangers and mash, though I could have chosen a Yorkshire ploughman’s, sirloin steak, or a pork pie made just down the road. And do end with a serious blow-out. Can’t decide which pudding to plump for, madame? Have them all. It’s called a Tasting Platter. After which it’s time for a very long walk to burn off all those sinfully delicious calories.

*The Devonshire Brasserie and Bar, Bolton Abbey tel: (01756) 710 710 www.thedevonshirearms.co.uk

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