Mustard And Punch
6 Westgate, Honley
Venue Mustard And Punch
Tel 01484 662066
Opening hours Monday to Saturday 6pm to 9.30pm
Disabled access Yes in upstairs.
The bill £53.80 including coffee
Would you go again? Absolutely
THE wonderfully-named Mustard And Punch must be doing something very right – especially in such a tough recession.
We phoned on a Tuesday night to see if they had a table for two that evening, not really doubting that they would.
“I’ll have to check,’’ came the reply. “We can fit you in at 8.15pm’’ was the result of a check on the bookings list. Being a born-again cynic I thought they’d be plenty of tables free when we got there the obligatory 20 minutes late.
But many of the tables both upstairs and down in this quaint village Tardis were taken. A Tardis insofar as it looks like a small shop window from the outside, but that’s pure deception. It stretches back quite some way both upstairs and down inside, but no Dr Who or surreal enemies cluttering up the place.
Inside, its wooden floors and wooden panelling along with old sketches and the odd copy of an old Punch from the 1890s on the walls conjure up a cosy setting of times past.
Some pencil sketches date back to the 1930s and 40s. There must have been some unrestrained glee when they were spotted and snapped up.
What the owners do seem to be doing very right at the moment is ditching the A La Carte menu in favour of a set one – £18.50 for two courses and £21.50 for three. A slight A La Carte element remains as several of the dishes will cost a couple of quid or so extra – the rump steak is one and the cheese board another.
But a smart move, especially as both options include half-a-bottle of wine per person.
The menu is not a long read – and it certainly doesn’t need to be.
Starters include grilled black pudding and herb-crushed potatoes with Granny Smith jus; feta and tomato spring roll with cucumber salad and mint salsa; roasted vine tomato soup with pesto creme fraiche; roast chicken and walnut salad with blue cheese, green beans and garlic dressing.
For mains there was red sea bream with braised cherry tomato fondue and rocket leaf salad; a 6oz Yorkshire rump steak with saute potatoes, onion rings and peppercorn sauce; braised ham hock and leak pie with creamed mash potato and mustard veloute; oven-roasted chicken breast with creamed dauphinoise potatoes and shallot sauce and, for our vegetarian chums, asparagus pancake with poached duck eggs and hollandaise sauce.
So, a smallish choice, but you’re still spoilt.
Black pudding never makes an appearance at our house – and why should it – so I tried that. A fair slab of the stuff that’s an acquired taste for many, but ideal with the herb mash and the Granny Smith jus giving it a tang.
More of a tang came with Ruth’s feta and tomato spring roll – but that’s cheese and cherry tomatoes for you. Certainly not short on the taste test and we convinced ourselves it was a healthy option.
As for mains, the rump steak at just £2 extra was more than worth it. It was so tender it came with visions of someone up all night bashing it into total submission. That was the tenderest steak I’ve had in years and, even better, it came from Yorkshire so hadn’t roamed far. The peppercorn was super-rich – now that’s how a steak sauce should be.
Ruth’s sea bream was once again lifted by the braised cherry tomatoes and the neat dish of market vegetables was pretty packed with sugarsnap peas, broccoli and cauliflower among its number.
As for desserts, the cheese included Yorkshire mature cheddar from Pickering, creamy and mild blue vein Shropshire Blue and Cornish Yarg, a semi-hard cheese with a nettle leaf rind. But we shunned that in favour of banana and almond tart with rum and raisin ice-cream – the hand holding the rum bottle and, come to think of it, the raisins too could have done with a nudge.
Ruth opted for the signature dish, warm chocolate molten cake with strawberry ice-cream – and you have to allow 15 minutes for this. It duly arrived slightly burned on top, but the chocolate sure was molten.
Mustard And Punch has a terrific website in the form of a menu – it’s worth a browse just to navigate that and mess about with the noisy dots on the Our Menu page. You could even make up a dotty tap dance.
And it also comes with a word of warning: “Some game dishes may contain lead shot.’’
You certainly don’t read that very often.