SITTING beside the busy road linking Mirfield with Huddersfield, there’s not much to tip off passing motorists as to what culinary pleasures may or may not be on offer inside the Pear Tree.
Nothing about the traditional looking pub on the side of the Calder and Hebble Navigation betrays the level of grub available on the inside.
While it is now calling itself a restaurant and bar, it looks like a bog standard boozer when you walk through the front door.
The menus do little to stir your emotions, mainly covered with standard pub fare, such as steak pie, burgers, fish and chips and lasagne.
It’s only when you cast your eye over the specials board that you start to get a hint of the talent at work in this hostelry’s kitchen.
On my midweek visit, the four starters on offer included goats cheese and beetroot terrine, mini Caesar salad, black pudding and beef tomato tower (all £3.45) and calamari rings with lemon and dill dressing (£2.95).
The main course specials were butternut squash and sage risotto, confit of duck leg and black pepper mash, chicken dhansak, and finally roast chicken, pea and sweetcorn in a chicken broth with a herb dumpling.
With such exotic fare on offer The Pear Tree must be nudging on the door of the Gastro-pub club.
As a fan of the bloody sausage I elected for the black pudding tower while my girlfriend took a gamble and went for the goats cheese terrine.
Our starters came very promptly, indicating the chef here is no slouch.
My tower arrived as described with a perfectly cooked fried egg on top, and I say that without a hint of sarcasm, it’s harder than you'd imagine to get a ‘sunny side up’ egg right.
The black pudding tasted decent and the presentation was good but if I was to nit-pick I’d say beef tomatoes are a poor substitute for some decent cherry tomatoes or similar as they're nowhere near as sweet.
The terrine looked amazing with three slabs of multi-coloured pink and white cheese laid out on a nicely decorated plate, sprinkled with beetroot cubes and balsamic dressing.
But while it was an interesting dish at first, the flavours soon became too intense to eat on their own and we both agreed that some kind of bread or crackers were needed.
On to mains, and as hinted at earlier the menus do nothing to convey what you’re letting yourself in for.
However, luckily for my girlfriend I’d been here before in an off duty capacity and knew that these simple dishes were all home cooked with the best quality ingredients you'll find for far less than a tenner per dish.
My steak and ale pie was up there in the Pie Premier League and would make anything Denby Dale can produce, frankly, look pathetic.
I jest of course, but I think you get the idea. This is a hefty portion, absolutely stuffed with meat in home made shortcrust pastry and gravy.
The hand made chips are lovely, chunky fluffy and crispy, and even the peas are just right.
I probably shouldn’t have been surprised as later, on scanning the menu, I noticed a little message to punters, “All vegetables are cooked al-dente, if you want them softer please let us know”. Clearly the good folk of Mirfield aren’t used to such nicely cooked veg.
Despite complaining that there was no space on her plate to cut up her food, my girlfriend soon changed her tune when she tasted her perfectly fried fish.
The haddock was glistening white and fleshy under the light crisp beer batter.
The chips were handcut, and chunky with the skins showing.
The belt-loosening portion was also amazing value for money (£6.95), at least a few quid cheaper than the pre-prepared frozen stuff many chain restaurants pump out.
The gigantic portion of pie and chip also passed the value test at only £7.95, only £2 more than meal deals at most of the fast food chains we seem to flock to when we're hungry.
With our food arriving in under 15 minutes, why bother shoving such mass produced rubbish down your throat, when you can have home-cooked style food like this brought to your table by a very attentive team of waitresses.
We didn’t have room for a dessert each, but if we had, Eton Mess, coffee and walnut cake and Mississippi pie were on offer. We plumped to share the latter with a scoop of ice-cream (£3.45) and it was decent, not out of this world, but better than average.
With a range of cask ales and lagers on offer and no intrusive music pumping out, this hidden gem seems to offer everything for people who want freshly cooked hearty food at reasonable prices in a comfortable surroundings – no fuss, just good old fashioned meat and potato stuff with a glimpse of flare.
Just one complaint, please get rid of the sachets of sauce, you’re better than that.
259 Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, WF14 9DL
Tel 01924 491360
Website www.thepeartreemirfield.co.uk Opening hours Monday & Tuesday: noon - 2pm & 5pm - 9pm. Wednesday to Saturday: noon to 9pm. Sunday: noon to 6pm. Bar 11am to late.
Disabled access Yes
The bill £30.25
Would you go back? Yes