YOU’VE heard of the Hairy Bikers but what about The Hairy Lemon?
This popular Mediterranean restaurant in nearby Halifax certainly has a name to remember and it was with great curiosity that we drove the short journey down the Ainleys and into neighbouring Calderdale.
To be honest, we decided on The Hairy Lemon as a venue for our night out, out of pure mischief and simple curiosity about the very unusual name.
Parking up in the town’s Lord Street – just a two minute walk from the central Bull Green roundabout – we soon spotted the sizeable restaurant which was reasonably busy for early on a cold winter’s Tuesday evening.
The Hairy Lemon’s choice of name was inspired apparently by its namesake in Dublin, a favourite with the original owner’s wife who hails from the Irish city. Current co-owner Matthew Monaghan decided to stick with the name and it’s certainly one you’re not likely to forget in a hurry.
So what could we expect from a restaurant with such a memorable name? Well, it’s basically a tapas style dinery with a welcoming and spacious contemporary interior and very pleasant relaxed atmosphere.
Inspired by the Mediterranean, it offers an extensive choice of tapas dishes from all over the region including Greece, Spain and Cyprus.
For tapas novices, there are two ways to do this. Either order individual dishes from the extensive menu or choose three dishes each for just under £10 and any extra dishes you might fancy.
To get things under way, we decided to choose our three dishes each and an extra Greek salad.
After much debate we settled on our nine dishes which proved a great mix of tastes from around the Med and allowed all three of us to dip in and try a bit of everything.
Our choices read like a who’s who of Mediterranean cuisine: houmous with pitta bread, filo pastry triangles filled with Fetta and Halloumi cheese, Beef Stifado, grilled Halloumi cheese, a vegetarian butter bean casserole topped with Fetta, Pan Catalana bread topped with tomato, olive and garlic paste, garlic and herb mushrooms, Pollo Al Ajillio creamy chicken with white wine and garlic and Patatas Bravas, delicious deep fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce.
We all tucked into the dips and breads first before embarking on our tour of the Med.
There were a few tastes I’d not experienced before: the grilled Halloumi cheese was delicious, the Beef Stifado was rich and extremely tasty and the Patatas Bravas were spicy and filling.
The Hairy Lemon offers a choice of around 40 tapas dishes which were all generous portions, unlike other tapas bars I have visited.
We were certainly filling up fast but still had room to try a pudding.
Puds at The Hairy Lemon are displayed on a blackboard and although the choice is limited, we found something we all agreed on.
Three of us decided to share at two desserts Sticky Toffee Sponge with cream and Banoffee Pie, followed by a couple of cappuccinos to round off a great evening out.
Although there was nothing mind blowing about the puds, they were filling, sweet and tasty which is all you would ask of a dessert really.
The Hairy Lemon, with its simple Mediterranean style decor and quality food, is well worth a drive to Halifax for a meal out.
Tucked away down a side street, this restaurant proved a real find and provided us with a genuine taste of the Med and a great night out.
The Hairy Lemon
Lord Street, Halifax.
VENUE: The Hairy Lemon,
TELEPHONE: 01422 366611
OPEN: Daily for food, Monday and Tuesday 4pm to 9pm, Wed and Thurs 12pm to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm, Friday 12pm to 2pm and 5pm to 10pm and Saturday all day from 12pm to 10pm.
CHILDREN: Yes, welcome.
DISABLED ACCESS: Disabled access but toilets are upstairs.
THE BILL: £55.10.
WOULD YOU GO BACK? Yes, we enjoyed it very much.