Lakeside Restaurant

Ponderosa Centre, Heckmondwike


Venue Lakeside Restaurant

Tel 01924 404604


Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. Friday and Saturday (a la carte menu) 7pm to midnight. Sunday noon to 9.30pm.

Children Yes.

Disabled access Yes.

The bill £44.75 for two-course Sunday lunch and drinks for three.

Would you go back? Definitely. Return visits already being planned!

TAKE a trip to the award-winning Ponderosa and prepare to be more pleasantly surprised than ever!

Heckmondwike’s award-winning rural therapeutic centre is already a major attraction.

With its collection of rare animal breeds and gorgeous countryside walks, it’s a hit with adults and children alike.

But now there’s even more – and to miss it would be to miss out.

Since July last year, the beautifully-located Lakeside Restaurant in the grounds of Ponderosa has been serving up cuisine of the highest order.

Lying right on the edge of Ponderosa’s neat and compact lake – hence the restaurant’s name – the venue is an addition that without doubt enhances the whole experience of visiting the park.

Comfortably able to cater for 180 diners, the brand new and elegant building – it also has an overflow area for an extra 70 to cater for all types of functions – boasts a delightful terrace that overlooks the popular water feature which makes it a magnet for any visitor.

In fact, many of the regular diners now bypass the Ponderosa centre completely and head straight for the restaurant.

And it’s easy to see why.

Under the stewardship of experienced chef Adam Cheney, meals are served that could hardly disappoint.

Adam’s time in the kitchen over a number of years has been varied, having cooked to serve all tastes and been actively involved in Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners campaign, aimed at making dishes for pupils healthier and far more varied.

The variation in his cooking is reflected in the dishes served at his establishment.

As well as a highly-popular weekday and Sunday carvery, there’s an eye-catching a la carte menu available on Friday and Saturday evenings.

But for a first visit my wife, Jane, daughter, Amelia, and myself chose to visit for the Sunday carvery.

The quality of the meat and vegetables on show did look tempting and those guests who piled the food up high on their plates to ensure their £9.95 was money well spent all appeared highly impressed with their choice.

However, as well as the carvery, there was a selection of specials for the day that ended up getting the nod.

Scampi and chicken goujons were my ‘guests’ choice, while I plumped for the sirloin steak.

The quality of a restaurant can often be determined by the quality of the steak presented before you – and, mark my words, this was quality!

A beautifully wholesome medium steak was cooked to complete perfection and served with a gorgeous creamy peppercorn sauce.

The only complaint on the sauce front was that there wasn’t more of it because it was so tasty and I’m so greedy!

Meanwhile, the crispy coating on both the scampi and goujons couldn’t have been any better, with the side salads enhancing the dishes wonderfully.

However, the piece de resistence was the mountain of homemade chips that accompanied all three dishes.

Served with mayonnaise, these chunks of potato delights couldn’t have been more ideally suited to the dishes they were escorting.

But even though they were so divine, there were still too many of them to finish off – because there were the desserts to discover!

After the toughest of choices, we decided to opt for the mango and coconut brulee cheesecake, hot chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce and hot ginger pudding served with vanilla custard.

And what a choice we made!

Both sponges were perfect in texture and bursting with taste while the cheesecake was also right up there.

To say all three are very highly recommended is an understatement.

Before dashing off we washed everything down with two large cups of cappucino and then received the bill.

Excluding the drinks – a pint of Kronenburg 1664, a large coca cola and tonic cost us £4.95 – the cost was 39.80 and, take it from me, we all left feeling we’d had wonderful value for money.

The Lakeside Restaurant may have only been open for seven months but, based on this visit, it will be around for a long time to come.