When Matt Shields and Mike Yates took over the Sun Inn at Lightcliffe in April, their aim was to create a welcoming place with good food at the centre of the community.
Matt told the Examiner: “If we can build our business with our customers in mind I think we’ll do just fine.”
In August, new head chef John Dale arrived, formerly of the Three Acres, among other places. Fast forward to a cold and rainy Wednesday night in November and we put it to the test. My companion, golfing chum and Clifton-dweller Christine remembers the pub from many years ago, when it was rather run down. She was impressed by its re-incarnation.
No waiting around, a cheerful young lad who looked like he was about to start secondary school any day greeted us straight away and showed us to a table with the words: “Come through this way, my dears,” making us feel like octogenarians.
He led us through a rabbit warren of rooms and cosy alcoves seating a range of customers of all ages, from children with families to young couples and pensioners. Each room had an individual atmosphere; the decor throughout was the flavour of the moment – earthy naturals.
Wood panelled walls and floors with a mixture of wooden and upholstered chairs, and muted Farrow and Ball colours on the walls lent a homely feel to the place, enhanced by good use of candles and soft lighting.
Chris and I decided to show him there was life in the old gals yet, and moved in a sprightly fashion to a table nearer the bar with a better view of everyone’s coming and goings. So far, so good. The Sun Inn is warm and welcoming with tasteful decor and a friendly waiter – so what about the food?
The menu has a range of starters at around £5 and main courses at £10. At first thought we’d misheard the attentive young man as the deal seemed too good to be true: any two courses for £10. This offer runs from noon to 9pm from Monday to Thursday, and noon to 6pm on Friday and Saturday.
From the eight starters, we selected the prawn cocktail and spiced Thai fishcakes (one of two appetisers with a £2 supplement). Both dishes were very well presented on modern white crockery with the chef’s attention to detail evident in the arrangement of the food and accompaniments.
The prawns were a good size and, although they had presumable been frozen, tasted very fresh in a rich Marie Rose sauce. The coating on Thai fishcakes could have been crispier, but they tasted like they had just been made, their delicate flavour complemented perfectly by the rich, sweet chilli sauce.
At this point I should mention another highlight of the evening: the half-litre carafe of house white. This was an excellent Chilean sauvignon blanc; crisp, fruity and very smooth – a bargain at £8. We had all on not to order a second, but resisted as I was driving.
We stuck with the two for £10 (or three courses for £13) deal for one dish, but to put the restaurant through its paces, we blew £7 of the Examiner budget on an upgrade to a 10oz sirloin steak. It was a good decision.
Ordered medium, it was spot on. The sirloin was very pink, tender and lean with enough fat around the edges to pack plenty of flavour.
The Sun Inn has forged links with a number of local suppliers, and we felt the general quality of ingredients was high.
My ‘proper scampi’ of hand-breaded North Sea tiger prawns was served with a shallot and caper salsa on a piece of slate. The large prawns were delicious, and accompanying sweet potato fries a delight.
The only disappointment of the night was the vanilla panna cotta with berries and raspberry coulis, which was rather bland.
Christine was so impressed, she returned four days later for the Sunday carvery, which was “fab”.
VERDICT: Two very satisfied customers. Definitely worth a visit.
The Sun Inn
152-154 Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe, Halifax, HX3 8TH
Tel: 01422 202230
Opening hours Food served: Monday to Saturday noon to 9pm. Sunday breakfast 10am to noon & carvery noon to 8pm
Disabled Access: Yes
The bill: £ 38.50 for two including extras & wine
Would you go back? Already been