Diners of the Colne Valley have bemoaned the lack of a top class restaurant since the closure of the Weaver’s Shed in spring 2013.
The Weaver’s started so brightly; the renovation was impressive and the food was good.
So much so, that I know of one or two people who actually ventured ‘Over the Tops,’ leaving the safety of the Holme Valley to try it out – and were duly impressed.
Okay, so the service wasn’t up to much, but the staff were friendly and willing – if somewhat inadequately trained for this level of cuisine.
For the last couple of years there has been excitement in Golcar about the much anticipated opening of a restaurant on the main street.
The village’s gentrification and the rejuvenation of village life, complete with Golcar Lily Day, has been going great guns. All that is now lacking is a couple of restaurants and perhaps a wine bar.
The building renovation started – and then ground to a halt but in October, just as the locals were abandoning all hope, the restaurant finally opened.
The Duck and Spoon can best be described as modern British ... and yes, it was worth the wait.
The owners, the Townend family of Scapegoat Hill, have come up trumps.
Expensive fittings, much attention to detail and lots of wood been lavished on the refurbishment to create a high quality, contemporary interior. The main dining area is upstairs, with a bar and a few tables at ground level.
Fairy lights are strung around the beams to soften the slightly stark atmosphere, although dimmer lighting and a few candles would create a softer ambience in a heartbeat.
We had a friendly welcome for our early Friday meal and service throughout was attentive and helpful. The restaurant was fairly empty on arrival, but started filling up around 8pm.
The Townends have had the good sense to bring in Mark Heap, the former chef at the Weaver’s Shed, and although the surroundings are quite different, the quality of the cuisine shines through.
The à la carte menu is not large, and I’ve heard complaints that it is not changed often enough for some diners, but there was enough to whet our appetite, plus a couple of blackboard specials.
Sautéed mushrooms with griddled black pudding and Yorkshire blue cheese, soup and home-made nachos were among the starters. The anti pasto platter ordered by the family in the corner looked particularly appetising.
Trish plumped for the coarse chicken liver and mushroom paté. Like all our food that evening, it was well presented and boasted a range of individual complementary flavours. The paté was delicate; with the chicken, mushrooms and herbs all in balance.
My Thai cod and prawn fishcake served with a chilli and lime mayonnaise was delicious. So much so that I had eaten half of it before I remembered to take a photo for the website.
It had a crispy exterior and a hint of coconut and while the cod and prawn were not identifiable, the flavour was all there.
Chicken, lamb, duck steak, a vegetarian lasagne and risotto were on offer for mains. Sticking with the south east Asian theme, I had the Thai green curry, which arrived on a large banana leaf.
The curry was creamier and milder and the tender chicken pieces larger than normally served in a Thai restaurant. Again, the chef’s touch was delicate, with the lemongrass coming to the fore – but not too much.
The Barbary duck leg was impressive – although there were a few too many truffled potatoes underneath for Trish’s liking. Another vegetable alongside the braised red cabbage wouldn’t have gone amiss, as side orders bump up the cost.
But the tender duck fell off the fork and had a real depth of flavour, enhanced by the sloe gin and blueberry jus.
The range of desserts (all £5.50) were nicely presented and included black cherry Bakewell, warm chocolate brownie, hot choc fudge cake and a torte.
Sadly, we’d no space and moved straight on to coffees.
VERDICT: High quality food in modern surroundings.
117 Town End, Golcar, Huddersfield, HD7 4QA
Tel: 01484 652000
Opening hours: (Kitchen) Wednesday to Saturday 2pm to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm (bar till 11pm), Sunday noon to 6pm
Disabled access: Yes through side door, disabled toilet
The bill: £58.20 for two including drinks and coffees
Would you go back? Definitely