Colne Valley villages are starting to get spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes, bistros and restaurants.
Both Slaithwaite and Marsden now have a great choice and Golcar has had the Duck and Spoon for a while which is now under new ownership.
It offers afternoon teas during the day and an evening menu … and both look more than promising.
And with Golcar’s sizeable population there’s plenty of people there to impress and to try to draw in as repeat customers because that’s what any restaurant’s ultimate success ultimately depends on.
It was smart when it was first created and it’s smart now with the bar and a few tables downstairs and a few tables with the main restaurant upstairs.
With the exposed wooden beams it’s retained Golcar’s weaving heritage and embeds it as a real part of an area of Huddersfield that is steeped in history.
We went for the evening menu that offers six starters, six mains and five desserts. Just the right number.
We began with the smoked salmon with egg, capers, parsley and creme fraiche and the other starter was spicy nachos with mature cheddar, jalapeno pepper, creme fraiche, guacamole and salsa. Presentation is the key and both dishes were well presented.
Plenty of salmon – this a summer dish that conjures up thoughts of long, hot summer days – you never know, it may happen even here – while the nachos are home made so thicker than those you’ll feast on from a packet stretched out in front of the telly.
Although dubbed spicy nachos the spice really came from the jalapeno peppers – we always have a big jar of these little green beauties on the go at home – while the guacamole could have been stronger for me and the salsa given more of a kick.
Other starters include battered plaice goujons, ham hock and duck terrine and posh mushrooms on toast featuring prosciutto, poached egg and truffle oil.
For mains I fancied something lighter so went for the pan seared red mullet with king prawn, chilli and lemon butter while wife Ruth had the 10oz chargrilled ribeye steak with roasted vine tomatoes, large flat mushroom, rocket salad and twice cooked chips which they were only too happy to swap for the lighter sweet potato fries that they usually just serve with a lamb and cumin burger.
If you’re a tomato fan you’ll be in heaven with the vine tomatoes, big, juicy and quite dominating on the plate with the salad undressed – just ask for some French dressing or whatever you fancy. Steak was well done just as Mrs Hirst likes it – over the years there’s many a time the well done in restaurants has come out medium – and the sweet potato fries were spot on. Try them at home and your kids will thank you forever.
Other mains include confit duck leg featuring truffle mash potato, roasted red onion, blueberry and gin jus; roasted chicken breast with creamy dauphinois, black pudding and parsnip puree; lamb and cumin burger in a brioche bun with red pepper, courgette, salsa, paprika cheese, sweet potato fries and slaw and for vegetarians butternut squash and chestnut mushroom risotto with parmesan shavings and truffle oil.
For dessert we shared a blueberry Eton Mess, again well-presented in a tall glass. Now that’s a pudding and nothing humble about your blueberry. It’s fruit many may not think to use but few things so small are packed with so much flavour. You can’t beat cream and meringue as a pairing, simple yet delightful.
One course costs £14 per person and with a starter it’s £17.
Decent value in pleasant surroundings with good service from a young team who sure are up and down these stairs quite a bit even though they also have the services of a 'dumbwaiter', which would save the wearing down of all that shoe leather.
And, even better, it’s just a walk away. Pity that walk’s all uphill for us.
Duck and Spoon
Phone: 01484 652000
Opening hours: Food opening times Tuesday to Saturday 12noon to 3.30pm and 5pm to 9pm, Sunday 12 noon to 6pm. Closed Mondays.
Disabled: Downstairs with a toilet
The Bill: £61.40, including a bottle of wine
Would you go back? Yes