WHAT’S in a name ...?As we get more and more sophisticated in our tastes and as eating out becomes an increasingly popular pastime there is a lot of talk about various venues and menus and a lot of names bandied about.
Haute cuisine, fine dining, gastro pubs, bistro menus, we are spoilt for choice.
But do we really know the difference?
BBC TV Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace, former greengrocer, costermonger and farmer, sums it all up quite simply: “It’s all about a good plate o’ food.” And when it comes to eateries – good value for money.
The new operators of The Dunkirk Inn, Denby Dale, the two Pauls – Clarke (the “gaffer”) and his business partner Higgins, are refreshingly candid in their assessment of their food service.
They serve up honest-to-goodness pub grub – and very tasty it is too. So good in fact that we called in for meals with them twice in the same week.
We first ventured in on a Monday lunchtime. It was wet and dank outside but we got the warmest of warm welcomes to cheer us up.
Andrea, the lady behind the bar was friendly and most helpful. She brought us the lunch menu, but we liked the sound of the ‘special’ Mexican Burgers, spicy bean concoctions served in a brown bread bun and, as a side dish, the biggest bowl of chips I have ever encountered.
There has been a recent dramatic breakthrough in the acquired art of chip-making. After the beer revolution and the fresh bread revolution comes the re-birth of the great British chip – and the homemade Dunkirk ‘fries’ are right up there with the best of them.
Initially we ordered two small portions, but were advised to share a larger bowl. We were however not prepared for the monster serving that appeared.
We ate our lunch heartily – two helpings of most generous proportions for around a tenner. Great value for money – and we didn’t need much for tea!
Suitably impressed, and after studying the evening menu and specials board, we decided to book in for four on the Friday.
A table had been reserved for us in the restaurant area and a young waitress brought the menus. ‘Gaffer’ Paul came over to say hello and talked us through the specials available that evening.
They were very busy. There was a large group of party-goers celebrating in the main bar and Fridays have become traditionally fish nights at the Dunkirk. These are proving popular, with the result that there was only one portion of haddock left and three servings of Pan Seared Scallops.
So we thought we’d help out and ordered all three helpings of the scallops, and as friend Barry liked the sound of the Spicy Italian Meatballs, served in a rich chilli, tomato and fresh basil sauce, everybody seemed happy.
The scallops were presented in large bowls with a creamy aromatic mushroom sauce. They were delicious, done to a treat and as we had by now discovered, the Dunkirk way is to make sure nobody goes home hungry.
The spicy meatballs also received the Sheffield seal of approval from visitor Barry – and it now goes with out saying, his portion too was of generous proportions.
We all went our separate ways with the mains. I ordered the Dunkirk Chicken Breast, two volcanoes stuffed with brie, spinach and cranberry sauce and wrapped in bacon. Carol chose from the specials board and went for the Salmon and Prawn Risotto, served in a creamy white wine sauce. This met and even exceeded the discerning standards required by our risotto buff. Barry went for the Pan Fried Seabass, served on a bed of crushed new potatoes, in a tangy lemon sauce which instantly won his complete approval and his wife Mavis opted for the more rustic choice of Steak and Guinness pie. All the meals came with the option of chips and side salad or chef’s potatoes and a terrine of fresh seasonal vegetables or side salad. Mavis went for the chips – and was duly astonished by their abundance – but we all chipped in to help her out.
Dunkirk chef John Paskell’s largesse precluded us from indulging in his tempting-sounding desserts menu, which included Lemon Panna Cotta, Homemade Cheesecake, Homemade Apple Pie, White Chocolate Brownies, Hot Steamed Chocolate Pudding, Raspberry Trifle as well as Cheese and Biscuits.
The extensive main menu also offered soup, Chicken Liver Pate, Homemade Brie Wedges, Smoked Salmon and Prawn Fishcakes, Creamed Garlic Mushrooms, Homemade Yorkshire Pudding in onion gravy, Zuccina, Fish Goujons and Prawn Cocktail.
For mains there was also Duo of Lamb, Homemade Lasagne, The Trio of Yorkshire Puddings, A Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake, Mushroom Stroganoff, Sirloin Steak Garni and Slow Roasted Pork Loin. On the Specials menu were Fresh Ham and Tomato Bruschetta, Pan Fried Duck Breast, Vegetable Tortillas and Sweet and Sour Chicken and various side order choices.
There is a separate lunchtime menu, a children’s menu and Sunday Special Customer Choice Deals.
The Dunkirk team stepped up to the plate for us and served up unpretentious traditional pub grub with a twist – and the price is right.
The Dunkirk Inn
231, Barnsley Road, Denby Dale. Huddersfield. HD8 8TX
Website:@ www.thedunkirk inndenbydale.com @
Opening hours: @ Food Service - Monday-Thursday noon to 3pm/5.30pm until 9.30pm. Saturday - noon until 4pm/ 5.30pm until 9.30pm. Sunday noon until 6pm.
Children: @Welcome. Special menu
Disabled: @Full access
The bill: @£71.20 for four including all drinks.
Would you go back?@ Will do@