Calderdale has had some tough times in recent years, yet its businesses have shown amazing resilience.
Severe floods have devastated some parts – none more so than Hebden Bridge.
So with the autumn chill now replacing the summer chill and, as your mum would say, the nights are starting to draw in we thought we’d venture ‘up the valley’ for a night out.
I’d not heard of Rendezvous Bistro before – I’d just Googled restaurants in Hebden Bridge and then looked up that trusty/untrusty source, Trip Advisor, to see what folk thought of them.
And they seemed to think a lot of this small Mediterranean restaurant, so we thought we’d give it a go.
It’s right in the heart of Hebden Bridge next to the river flowing through it ... and this part with its old bridge certainly is picturesque on an evening. Not bad during the day either.
Inside it’s wooden chairs and has a distinct taverna feel to it.
The menu isn’t extensive but there was hardly anything on it the four of us didn’t want.
And with two courses most days for £10.95 and a bottle of wine for £12 you can’t really go wrong.
Our starters were Buruce (garlic green beans), Aciliezme (spicy homemade tomato and pepper salsa dip Kurdish style served with warm pitta bread), Feta cheese again with pitta and Muskaburek (lamb mince with herbs rolled in pastry).
A couple of surprises here. The green beans were just, well, green beans cooked in garlic yet it brought out the best in them – a dish tastier than it looked.
It shows how easy it can be to make your humble vegetable somewhat less ever so humble.
The salsa dip was fully spiced up while the feta was fantastic – even non cheese lovers can get a kick out of this taste.
The lamb mince was in a delicate pastry, and although it had herbs it didn’t interest the old taste buds as much as the other three.
On to mains which were moussaka (minced lamb, aubergine, courgette, potato and cheese topping with bulgar wheat rice, side salad and dips, tavuk (marinated chicken kebab served with chips and a side salad), vegetarian fajita (mushrooms, peppers, onions and courgette served on a sizzling plate with taziki, cheese salsa and tortillas) and the weirdly named soslu patlican (small cubes of diced aubergine sauteed with onions and peppers in a Mediterranean tomato sauce topped with melted cheese and served with bulgar wheat rice topped with melted cheese).
Another surprise – top dish was the vegetarian sizzler absolutely jampacked with flavour with every bite and the mushrooms were extraordinary.
The soslu is very strongly tomato based and a robust, full-flavoured dish while the chicken kebab was for those who like medium spiced quality chicken while the moussaka came in its own bowl – a quaint and quirky take on a classic dish. All were brilliantly presented.
And for dessert the baklava and ice-cream finished everything with an oozy flourish.
The restaurant was well-heated and cosy and is open for breakfast right through to late at night.
And when we left the food had given us a warm Mediterranean glow on what was becoming an even colder September night.
Rendezvous Mediterranean Bistro
18A Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge. HX7 8EX
Phone: 01422 845025.
Opening hours: 8am–10pm seven days a week with daytime menu running from 8am to 5pm.
Disabled access: Good access but no disabled toilet.
The bill: £71.75.
Would you go back? Yes.