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Here at ‘Barnsley Today’ we’re lucky enough to have two local regular ‘Dining Out’ reviewers in the shape of husband & wife team & self-confessed ‘Foodie Fanatics’ Allan & Kaye Burnett from Hemingfield. Pictured on the left, Allan & Kaye are regularly out & about at various places in the Barnsley area wining and dining and when they very kindly offered their services to us write for us we quickly took them up on the offer. Allan & Kaye began contributing to the magazine in May of 2017.

Featured below are the reviews that Allan & Kaye have done for us and that have featured in the magazine – why don’t you give the venues that are mentioned a try and see what you think? And please don’t forget to say that Barnsley Today sent ya…….enjoy….

Wortley Hall , February 2018

The Wonder of Wortley Hall’s Ruddy Duck Restaurant

We have visited this lovely old place before and walked around its attractive gardens in all seasons. However, we have never experienced the restaurant here, in fact, we didn’t even realise it was there! Thank goodness that we now know about it.

This fantastic restaurant has recently been awarded 2 rosettes for culinary excellence 2017-2018, so we were keen to see what they had done to earn this prestigious award. This is our first review of 2018 and The
Ruddy Duck has set the bar extremely high! The Ruddy Duck restaurant seats approximately 20 people and has a comfortably intimate atmosphere. The quality strikes you as soon as you enter the room, from the linen table cloths and napkins, to the wonderful fireplace and open kitchen. We were greeted by the restaurant supervisor, a delightful young lady by the name of Lilli, and given a choice of table. She presented us with an excellent A La Carte menu, which consisted of a small but excellent selection of starters, main courses and desserts – a choice of 5 for each course.

We were here though to sample the recently introduced 6-course tasting menu priced at £30.00 per person or £50.00 per couple when booked 24 hours in advance.  Our taste buds were tantalised from beginning to end. We started with a deliciously warm miniature onion loaf each accompanied by squid ink breadsticks, served with truffle mascarpone cheese and salted butter! This was followed by individual roasted squash and chestnut arancini (rice balls) with a filling of Ribblesdale and garlic aioli. These were hot and really delicious. The fish course was next and this, once again, did not fail to impress us! Two small pieces of perfectly cooked plaice fillet, roasted in butter, were served with a verjus sauce and mouth-watering mussels. This was accompanied by crispy kale and thinly sliced discs of parsley root. This dish was so light and delicate it was the perfect lead into the meat course – rib of English rose veal. Now this is something that neither of us had previously tried so we were certainly intrigued. We were able to see the senior chef, Gary, as he was cooking and plating up each dish so we were thoroughly intriguedwatching him. Our meat course was served with a potato galette, cauliflower, red cabbage, pickled shallots and caramelised cauliflower puree. The veal was served
perfectly pink and was tender and tasty. Everything on the plate kept its own individual flavours yet worked in harmony together.

The next course was the cheese course which consisted of a mini walnut loaf served with Wensleydale blue vein cheese and a delicious pear and saffron chutney. Once again, the bread was served warm and was a clever accompaniment for this type of cheese. The finale was the dessert, and what a high note to finish on! Lilli informed us that our dessert would be served 7 minutes after she cleared our cheese plates. Rather precise, but she explained that that was how long our fondant would take to cook! Rest assured, it was worth the wait!

The 70% dark chocolate fondant was oozing perfectly when we dug our spoons in. It was served with a sherry ice-cream, home-made white chocolate aero, chocolate crumb and yuzu gel. Simply delicious! The beautiful surroundings, amazing food and first-class service certainly make The Ruddy Duck restaurant an outstanding place. It is the perfect venue for that special occasion dinner, simply enjoy good food or for those who love to try something different and delicious – we can’t wait to visit again!

The Fitzwilliam Arms, Elsecar, January 2018
Midweek feast at the Fitz

The Fitzwilliam Arms is situated on Hill Street in Elsecar, just below Elsecar train station. Our latest review experience didn’t take us far away from home. We have previously visited The Fitz and have always been impressed with the quality and price of the food on offer. This popular local pub has an extension to the rear to accommodate diners, and very warm and welcoming it is too!

This month’s review took us to The Fitz on a Wednesday night, and it certainly turned out to be a mid-week treat, especially as there is a special half price Wednesday menu! This special menu has a choice of 3 starters – Prawn Cocktail and Nachos priced at £2.50 each and Soup priced at £1.95. The main meals range from a Rump Steak at just £6.00 to Spaghetti and Meatballs served with Garlic Bread for just £4.50! For our mains we chose the Beef Sizzler in a Black Bean sauce served with 3 small wraps, Sour Cream and Grated Cheese, accompanied with Rice or Homemade Chips, priced at £6.50 on the Wednesday special menu, and, from the main Pub Classics menu, the Pie of the Day – which was Chicken and Mushroom – and came served with a choice of Potatoes, Garden or Mushy Peas and Gravy, priced at £9.95. The Steak Sizzler was certainly that! It was served on a piping hot skillet and the Steak was stir fried with Onions and fresh vegetables. There was more than enough to fill the 3 Tortilla wraps and the accompanying Rice was fluffy and tasty. There was also a small side salad accompanying this dish which was generously portioned and very tasty.

The Pie of the Day was clearly homemade. Large chunks of Chicken and fresh Mushrooms in a creamy sauce were hidden under a short crust pastry lid. This was served with Mashed Potato and Garden Peas, and once again, was very generously portioned. All in all, with 2 meals and 2 drinks totalling less than £20, it is certainly excellent value for money, with portion size and quality second to none. A wide variety of special offers are available throughout the week, including Saturday steak night – any 2 Steaks from the selected menu and a bottle of wine for only £22.95 – one we will definitely be returning to try!

Friday has a special Fish menu available, priced at £18.00 for 2 people with 2 glasses of wine! Thursday night has 2 Burgers and 2 drinks for £15.00. It’s hardly worth cooking at home with prices like this! Children are also welcome at The Fitz and there is a special children’s menu available. Other meals are also available, including a wide selection from the grill and pub classics. Of course, Sunday lunches are also available.

Call them now on 01226 740191 or just call in – 42 Hill Street, Elsecar, Barnsley, S74 8EL. Browse the website at www.thefitzelsecar.com
Food is served Mon-Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm & Bar open 12pm – Late.

The Tap & Brew, Hoyland Common, December 2017

Tea for Two at the Tap & Brew

The Tap & Brew is a relatively new micropub situated on Hoyland Road at Hoyland Common, just across from the Co-op Supermarket. The building has had some refurbishment recently and is looking in fine shape. It is a double fronted place with plenty of light from the full-length bay window on one side. We were lucky enough to be seated by the window when we arrived for our afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea for two starts at £9.50 per person and increases in price to £12.50 per person to include a glass of Prosecco, and to £14.50 per person to include a double Gin or a Cocktail. The table was set ready for our arrival and we were greeted by the friendly Michelle, who showed us to our table. The atmosphere is very friendly and there were a few locals in drinking and chatting. The table was laid out beautifully, with china crockery and ‘proper’ napkins, no disposable paper ones in sight!

A wide selection of both sandwiches and sweet goodies were sat waiting to be enjoyed. Michelle brought us a freshly brewed pot of tea with a useful jug of hot water to top it up with. We then decided we’d waited long enough and tucked into the tempting looking sandwiches. There was a great selection of finger sandwiches (with crusts removed) including ham, tuna and cucumber, cream cheese and smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise, beef and coronation chicken served in a wrap. Small pots of mustard and pickle were served as accompaniments to the delicious sandwiches. We polished them off and had to have a bit of a breather before we attempted the dessert mountain.

The second tier of the cake stand had two freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream and two butterfly buns. The scones were just warm and very tasty, whilst the butterfly buns were light and had smooth butter cream in the middle. The top tier had a lovely selection of fresh fruit and smaller sweet treats – shortbread, dark chocolate tart and mini biscotti. We still had another two delicious looking desserts to sample and we decided to have a glass of Prosecco to help us on our way! Small espresso cups filled with a lovely, light chocolate mousse topped with cream, and a traditional trifle served very cleverly in a wine glass, were the grand
finale to this delicious afternoon tea. I must say, the chocolate mousse was stunning, and I’m not the world’s biggest chocolate fan!

We decided upon another glass of Prosecco which they have on draft – a massive bonus for this micropub! Whilst enjoying our drinks we had a chat to Michelle who was very positive and upbeat about her new position
in this delightful little bar. She is a local lady who knows many of the regulars and is keen to see this business go from strength to strength. There are plans to serve simple food, such as pie and peas and hot pork sandwiches, from the 20th November. There’s an extensive drinks menu boasting draft beers, craft beers, a variety of gins, a selection of wines and a lovely cocktail menu! Hot drinks are also available for those chilly days and mulled wine (with a free mince pie) will be available on the run up to Christmas.

The Tap & Brew is well worth a visit in our opinion and we shall most certainly be returning again very soon.

The Tavern, Hemingfield, November 2017

Turnaround at the Tavern

The Lundhill Tavern has long been a friendly local and has seen its share of ups and downs over the years. But things are certainly looking up more recently due to a new tenant with grand ideas and ambition for his new venture. David has recently taken over as landlord and is determined to get it right. From researching chefs and seeking advice from MasterChef judges, to updating the décor both internally and externally, he is onto a sure-fire winner. He has recruited a very experienced chef, Dan Self, through advice and research and has given him some control over the menu. We were certainly amazed by the quality and style in which the food was presented and both David and Dan seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet!

The menu is still a work in progress but had a fantastic selection of starters and main dishes. For starters we chose the smoked haddock fishcakes and the creamy garlic mushrooms, both priced at £4.95. When they were served we were very impressed with the style and we were equally impressed with the taste! The fishcake was served on a bed of crushed minted peas and garnished with pea shoots, whilst the creamy garlic mushrooms were served with a warm crusty bread roll. Both dishes were delicious – so much so that we had to swap half way through in order to not miss out on anything!

After being wowed by the starters we were eager to see what the main course would bring, and much to our delight, we were not disappointed! We both chose fish dishes – pan- fried sea bass fillet served with new
potatoes, baby spinach and king prawns, in a caper and parsley butter sauce, and pan-fried fillet of hake, served with a mussel, crayfish and pea risotto, priced at £14.95 and £13.95 respectively.

The fish on both dishes was cooked perfectly and the presentation was very impressive. Both dishes had masses of flavour and were generously portioned. Unfortunately, after such wonderful starters and main courses, we only had room for 1 dessert to share between us! Once again, we weren’t disappointed! Lemon tart served with lemon sorbet was delightful – refreshing and light with a serious hit of lemons! Priced at £4.95 it was
enough for us both to have a taste of something sweet to round off a somewhat perfect meal!

Whilst we were there we chatted to David who informed us of future plans for special themed nights for diners – such as pie night and curry night – to also cater for the locals who just want to pop in for a drink at their friendly local. He has carefully selected a range of beers, wines and spirits and is happy to change and adapt these to suit the needs and tastes of the clientele.

David has plans to introduce a ‘Light Bite’ menu for lunchtimes in order to appeal to an even wider audience. Sunday lunch is also available with a choice of roasts – beef, pork or chicken – priced at £10.95 for 1 course,
£12.95 for 2 courses and £15.95 for the full 3 courses. This is one Sunday lunch we will definitely be trying. David has introduced a Friday special already – Fish and chips for two with a choice of 2 glasses of house wine, 2 mini bottles of prosecco or 2 pints – priced at £24.95. Although we didn’t choose this option, some other customers did and it looked so good we cheekily asked if they minded us taking a picture of their meals.

There’s also a private function room for hire upstairs that holds approximately 60 people, available for weddings, parties, christenings etc. Catering is available and David is happy to discuss your individual requirements with you. David and his team are determined to make this a good, friendly pub for local people to enjoy both their fantastic menu and pop in for a relaxed drink and a chat with friends. If they continue to serve up amazingly presented and delicious food, then they are onto a winner! We wish them every success in their new venture.

The Tavern at Lundhill is on Beech House Road just off Lundhill Road and bookings can be made by calling them on 01226 341045.

The Keys, Hoyland Common, October 2017

Unlock this secret to the Keys at Hoyland Common

The Keys is situated in Hoyland Common, a minute’s drive from Hoyland Common crossroads heading towards Birdwell. It’s been open as The Keys since June 2014 and offers quality food and drink, as well as more recent ventures into special events, such as their recent highly successful Gin Festival.

The outside has been renovated to a high standard and there is a decent sized car park. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the friendly bar supervisor who greeted us by name – clearly, they had been expecting us!

Our attention was immediately drawn to the special gin offer displayed on the bar – with 2 Gins and a Mixer for £5.00 – it would have seemed rude not to sample one of the 50+ gins on offer! Other drink offers are displayed – including 2 bottles of Budweiser for £5.00 and Prosecco at £3.95 a glass or a bottle for £15.95.

The restaurant and pub were both busy for a Friday night and we were shown to a table in the restaurant, where a large party were already tucking into food that both looked and smelled delicious! We had already had a sneak peek at the menu on-line so we had an idea what we were going to order. However, there was also a specials board which caught our eye! We eventually decided on the Pan-seared King Scallops & Pancetta, priced at £8.00 and the Charcuterie board priced at £9.00 (which is also available as a sharing board for 2 at £17.00). When the starters arrived, we were very impressed to say the least! The Scallops were cooked to perfection and well presented, whilst the Charcuterie board had an excellent selection of cold meats and cheeses, accompanied by a selection of breads. Both dishes were delicious and the perfect size. The Scallops were delicately flavoured and perfectly complimented by the crispy Pancetta.

For our main courses, we decided upon the Trio of Koftas from the main menu – a selection of 3 different flavoured Lamb Koftas accompanied by Spiced Rice, Falafel, Lemon Crème Fraiche and Harissa dressings. The restaurant manager recommended the Dressed House Salad to accompany this dish. It was very well presented and flavoursome. All three of the Koftas had their own individual taste and the house salad was a perfect accompaniment. The Spiced Rice was different and delicious! Red and yellow peppers, onions and garlic scattered through the rice, giving it a jewelled effect. Our other main course was from the specials board – Whole Honey Roast Ham Hock served with fat chips and side salad – the last one available! When it arrived, the Ham looked big enough to feed a family of 4! The Ham had clearly been cooked slowly for quite a period of time – the honey was perfectly caramelised and the ham was tender and juicy. The fat chips still had the skin on and the Mustard dressed salad was crispy and an excellent accompaniment.

Unfortunately, after the generously sized starters and main courses, we were unable to sample any of the delicious sounding desserts on offer! We did, however, manage to sample one or two more of the Gins!

The Keys has many plans for the future, including a Pie night on Wednesday evenings and plans to introduce a Curry night in the near future. More events like the recent Gin festival are also planned, and include a Beer festival next year. They also have Afternoon Tea available at £20.00 for 2, with an upgrade to include prosecco for an extra £5.00 per person.

The manager, Chris, was knowledgeable and friendly and clearly comfortable in this environment, chatting to customers with ease and sharing his enthusiasm for his business. He has plans to continue to expand and grow the Keys and we are sure that he will continue to be successful.

Bistro Romano’s, Shambles Street Barnsley, September 2017

That’s Amore

We certainly fell in love with this place. Bistro Romanos is a traditional well established Italian restaurant situated on Shambles Street in Barnsley town centre.On the night we visited, entertainment was provided by a very talented young lady singer called Isabel. This contributed towards a fantastic atmosphere in this lively little restaurant. The restaurant was very busy and we were seated immediately by the welcoming owner, Erjon.

All the tables were lit by candlelight which added to authentic ambience. The menu provides an extensive range of traditional Italian food, with starters ranging from the old favourites such as Garlic Bread to Caprese Salad (Buffalo Mozzarella). After we had ordered, a small basket of warm, freshly baked bread was brought to our table. We eventually decided on Calamari Fritti and the Garlic Mushrooms Crema priced at £7.95 and £5.95 respectively. When they arrived, the Calamari was served with a side salad, a sweet chili dip and a tartar sauce. The mushrooms were delicious and had the perfect amount of sauce. Both portions were very generous and very tasty!

For our main courses, we decided to go the traditional Italian route and chose Romanos special, which was an oven baked pasta dish consisting of mushrooms, salami, ham and chicken in a bolognaise and béchamel sauce priced at £12.95, and the Penne with Salmon in Napoli sauce, priced at £12.95.

When the dishes arrived, they were both steaming hot and very well presented. Both were generously portioned, packed with flavour and the portions of pasta to meat and fish were perfect. Unfortunately, we didnt have room to sample one of the tempting sounding desserts on offer. There were two separate parties celebrating birthdays, and a piece of cake complete with lighted candle was brought out for each of the two ladies. The whole restaurant was only too happy to join in singing Happy Birthday once it was initiated by the staff. Shots of Limoncello were delivered to each table at the end of the meal, a sure fire winner!

The menu at Romanos is extensive and includes a good selection of steaks, fish, gluten free, risotto and a specials board. It has to be said that there’s something for everyone! One can’t help but pick up on how welcoming and friendly this lovely restaurant is. The staff are attentive and helpful without being intrusive, and service was efficient without being rushed. The food is clearly high quality and all meat is sourced locally at Cannon Hall in Cawthorne. A tea time special is available Monday to Friday between 5pm and 7pm. A two-course meal consisting of a starter and a pizza or pasta dish from a selected menu is available for £10.95.

This lovely restaurant is perfect for all occasions, from a romantic meal for two to a get together for a group of friends or family. The reasonable prices, the quality of food, the atmosphere and the service are second to none and it’s definitely amoreon our part! This restaurant is certainly on our top places to visit, we’ll certainly be back!

After speaking to Erjon, the owner, we learned that although he has worked here for over 7 years, it was only in November last year that he took over when the previous owner retired. He has made a few changes to the décor and updated the menu to keep things fresh and interesting. The passion he has for this little restaurant shines through and he is keen to make everyones experience as delightful as possible. If our experience is anything to go by, then he’s certainly onto a winner! Like the saying on the wall says the best of the house – our customers! We felt this was a sincere sentiment and can’t wait to visit again!

The Cock Inn, Birdwell, August 2017

Plenty to shout about at the Cock Inn

Don’t drive too fast down The Walk at Birdwell or you’ll miss this friendly local pub. The Cock Inn is two minutes from Sheffield Road at the top of Birdwell. It may be a little off the beaten track for some people, but it’s well worth the visit.

As we walked in the sound of chatting and laughter echoed around this friendly pub. It’s clearly a favourite amongst locals, who contribute to giving this gem of a place a great atmosphere. The landlord, who was serving behind the bar, obviously thoroughly enjoys his role, as was evident from the permanent smile on his face and cheerful banter. The stone floors, open fire and photographs of old Birdwell, all contribute to the ambience of this cosy little pub. There is also a pleasant beer garden for those lovely days of summer, which is also pet friendly.

The pub was busy for a Tuesday evening with many locals both drinking and eating. The Cock Inn has a traditional pub food menu as well as an extensive specials board. We eventually decided on a Sweet Chilli Chicken Sizzler served with Rice priced at £8.50 and the Surf and Turf at £12.

After we’d ordered our food we observed other meals being served, and must admit to slight “food envy”, thinking “wished we’d ordered that!” However, when our food arrived we were far from disappointed. The Chicken Sizzler was certainly sizzling and consisted of tender chunks of chicken in quite a spicy Sweet Chilli sauce. The Steak was cooked exactly to my liking and the Scampi was crispy and tasty. It was accompanied by the traditional home-made Chips, Onion Rings and Mushrooms. Both meals were delicious! Luckily, we had left room for a dessert, although we did share the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Custard, it didn’t last long!

The Cock Inn also serves a great lunchtime menu from 12noon till 1.45pm. The menu consists of a wide variety of sandwiches and wraps priced at £5.00 each and they also serve an OAP lunchtime special priced at £7.50 for two courses including tea and coffee. They hold weekly quiz nights – Thursday at 10pm and Sunday at 9.45pm. There’s a separate dining room for larger parties, which is also open for Sunday lunches. For the ale connoisseurs there’s a good selection of guest ales available which are changed on a regular basis.

Craig, the landlord, had previously managed the pub before leaving approximately 18 months ago and, fortunately for the Cock Inn, he has returned to restore it to its former glory. There’s no doubt that Craig and his wife Julie have what it takes to put this place back on the map. The Cock Inn is well worth a visit and represents great value for money – we’ll definitely be back.

The Cock Inn is on Pilley Hill at Birdwell, S70 5UD and you can make a booking by calling them on 01226 744227. You can also follow them on facebook search “The Cock Inn” – for the latest information.

Napoleons Casino & Restaurant, Owlerton, August 2017

It’s no gamble at Napoleons – it’s a sure-fire winner!

A visit to the casino was an entirely new venture for us. Napoleons in Hillsborough is situated right next door to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium just off the main Penistone Road, so there’s plenty of parking! It’s open to non-members, although guests must be checked in and registered, but this is quite a simple process.

After checking in, we were shown through to the bar area which is situated at the far end of the casino a few steps up from the gaming tables. We were greeted by the Maitre d who was extremely helpful and showed us to our table. The bar area consists of many comfortable chairs and sofas, whilst the restaurant is reserved for more formal dining.

The bar and late-night menu has a selection of sharing platters available at £10 each. After much deliberation, we decided to choose the Combo Platter which consisted of Chicken wings, squid, onion rings, spring rolls, sweet potato fries, jalapenos and various dips. It was presented well and there was plenty for two to share. Everything was hot and very tasty. There is also an offer available alongside the sharing platters where you can include a bottle of prosecco or a bucket of 6 chilled beers for a total of £25. We thought this was quite a good deal.

The bar menu, which is served daily between 5pm and 3am, has a wide selection of typical bar meals, a variety of burgers, hot sandwiches and pizzas. For our main course, we chose the Sirloin Steak and the Steak & Ale pie, priced at £8.25 and £6.95 respectively. Again, both meals were generously portioned, very tasty and well presented. The steak was well cooked and tasty, served with home-made onion rings. The pie was definitely home-made and the jug of gravy had the additional touch of Henderson’s relish, which gave it a real depth of flavour. “Real” chips were served with both meals. We thought the food was fantastic quality and exceptional value for money.

After we had finished our meals we were invited for a lesson on the roulette table! Pete, the croupier, was extremely knowledgeable and patient with us novices! Following a brief introduction to the rules and etiquette of the roulette table we decided to have a little flutter. An hour and a half later we had doubled our money! Not bad for a pair of first timers…

The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, the staff were very professional and very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Free tea, coffee and soft drinks are available to those playing the tables. Napoleons is definitely worth a visit even for the non-gamblers amongst us – enjoy.

For more information visit www.napoleons-casinos.co.uk & www.gambleaware.co.uk or call Napoleons on 0114 285 5566 or alternatively you can email them at owlerton@napoleons-casinos.co.uk

Online booking and other menus are available via their webpage and it’s strictly 18+ only.

The Junction Bar & Bistro, Wath Road, Brampton – July 2017

The Junction is back and looking good!

Right from the initial contact of booking our reservation, up to the point we left, we were impressed with the professional service we received.

The Junction is a warm and welcoming pub serving meals at lunch time and evenings up to 9pm. As well as the restaurant, there is a comfortable and cosy bar area for people who just want a quiet drink. The obligatory Sky Sports was being broadcast on the big screen TV! All the tables in the restaurant were set with candles and fresh flowers and the décor is fresh and in keeping with the style of the building. The atmosphere was relaxed and warm.

We were greeted warmly and offered a choice of tables, which were well spaced and roomy. After selecting our table, we were offered menus and a wine list. After browsing the extensive wine list, we chose a bottle of
USA Zinfandel rose, priced at £15.99 per bottle. We then concentrated on the menu which consists of traditional pub food and a good grill selection. For starters, we chose the scallops priced at £8.95 and the homemade
pate at £6.95. When these arrived, we were impressed with the presentation as both were served on slate platters and were generously sized. The scallops were very well cooked and not over done at all, whilst the pate was quite clearly homemade and was a coarse style, served with generous helpings of toasted brioche bread.

For our main course, we chose the salmon served with a hollandaise sauce and spring onion mash, and the homemade chicken, ham and leek pie, accompanied by a side of chips. Once again, these were very generously sized and well presented. Priced at £15.95 and £12.95.respectively, the prices matched the quality and quantity of the food. The salmon was cooked perfectly with the hollandaise sauce served in a jug on the side. The accompaniments of spring onion mash, baby carrots and green beans were all tasty and hot. The chicken pie was served in a large individual dish full of chicken and ham topped with a light shortcrust pastry lid.

Unfortunately, due to the generous portions, we didn’t have room for desserts. The staff were extremely helpful and polite, chatting amiably whilst not being over intrusive. After retiring to the lounge area to finish our drinks, we had a lovely chat with the new owners Andy and Sarah. Andy informed us that they are always striving to do their best by updating the menu and acting on feedback from customers.They are clearly passionate
about their business and, along with head chef Chris Maloney and his team, have a great base from which to work from.

After a somewhat unsettled past, the Junction now seems to be on the way back up. Andy, Sarah and all the team at the Junction seem to have the right formula to make this lovely little pub the success it deserves to be. We wish them every success and hope they continue to go from strength to strength.

Mrs Hudson’s, Wombwell, June 2017

Mrs Hudson’s have it Just Right

Mrs Hudson’s is conveniently situated on the corner of High Street and Cemetery Road in Wombwell town centre.

Upon entry, the owner – Andrew – greeted us in a warm and welcoming fashion. The interior is very country and quaint with lots of natural wood, large windows, and even the original shutters from the building’s previous life as a brewery, many years ago. The café is on two levels, the upper area seating 8 and the lower area with 3 tables to seat 12 and 3 bar stools at the side of the counter. The whole café was clean and tidy with an extra touch of fresh flowers upon each table.

We were immediately at ease in this friendly café, and were offered the days specials, as well as being informed that all the food served is cooked fresh to order, so there may be a short wait.

The menu consists of a wide variety of breakfast dishes and hot and cold sandwiches served on wraps, ciabatta or panini. Prices range from £3.20 for an all-day breakfast and from £2.50 for a ham sandwich to £3.60 for a prawn salad sandwich, which we feel is extremely good value.

Whilst perusing the menu, we were offered drinks, tea was offered in the obligatory builder’s mug or the ladies cup and saucer, which was obviously the one that I chose!  As Allan drinks his coffee black he has an interest in the type of bean used. When he enquired, we were told that it was a secret, but were assured that it was a quality bean, with which he can now agree.

We chose a chicken breast and salad wrap and a chicken and bacon mayo panini, with a portion of chips to share. Both sandwiches were fresh and tasty and clearly made with fresh meat and not pre-packaged goods, whilst the salad was crispy and freshly prepared. Both sandwiches were generously portioned and good value for money. Whilst chatting to Andrew over our lunch he commented he sourced all his meat from a local butcher. There was also a wide selection of home-made cakes on offer that looked deliciously tempting!

Judith, who had been busy working in the kitchen also popped out to have a chat. Both she and Andrew were keen to share their plans and recent and upcoming events. Their addition of Bistro nights has proved extremely popular, with locals requesting more of these themed nights. The next one planned is a ‘Pie & Pea’ night (with home-made pies!) and quiz, which is already fully booked. They are aiming to have these events on a monthly basis in the coming months – so watch this space!

This is Judith and Andrew’s first venture into this food industry and they have been overwhelmed by the positive response and friendliness of local people. Both seem passionate about their new business and have the personalities to make this little café a great success. We wish them every success.

Search and like Mrs Hudson’s on Facebook for upcoming events and promotions. Their opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9-3pm and Sundays 10-1pm. Telephone 01226 75044

Desi Massala, Hoyland, May 2017

Exotic Kashmiri Cuisine

Desi Massala would be quite easy to miss as you drive down Market Street, Hoyland but it’s definitely worth a stop off.

First impressions of this little restaurant are just that, it’s quite a small place. Nevertheless, we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who showed us to a cosy table for two. Advertised on the window was their mid-week special – 5 course meal for £10.95 – which is served from Sunday to Thursday. However, we decided to choose from the vast range of choices on offer on the main menu.

We had the obligatory poppadoms and pickle tray to start, which were crispy and freshly made. The lime pickle, which is not usually one of our favourites, was absolutely amazing. The homemade yogurt sauce was also particularly good, although when we asked how it was made he said it was a secret recipe, but admitted to the addition of a few select spices.

On to our starters, which were fish pakora and the king prawn puree. Both were served piping hot and prompt. They were reasonably priced at £3.75 and £3.95 respectively. The fish pakora was cooked in a light batter and the portion was generous. The king prawn puree was full of flavour, served in a lovely, thick flavoursome sauce and the prawns were fresh and meaty.

For our main course, we chose the traditional favourite of chicken tikka masala and a slightly spicier dish, king prawn Agni, from the sea food section of the menu. Once again both dishes were hot, plentiful and really tasty. Priced at £6.95 and £7.95, we felt that this reflected the quantity and quality of the dishes served. Our accompaniments were pilau rice and garlic naan, both of which were generous portions, enough for two to share. The garlic bread in particular was fluffy, tasty and full of garlic, just as we like it.

The menu at Desi Massala is extensive with a good selection of vegetarian dishes and sea food dishes, as well as the usual favourites. Expect a homely atmosphere with friendly service from this hidden little gem.

Maybe not the place for a romantic meal for two, but if you fancy a tasty Indian meal then please give this place a try. They also do a take-away service offering 10% discount on all collections, or free delivery within a 3-mile radius of Hoyland.

The full menu is available on-line at www.desimassalahoyland.co.uk.  Telephone 01226 361711 and they are closed Mondays, except Bank Holidays and take cash as this is a cash only restaurant.

Sandhill Golf Club, Little Houghton, April 2017

Sandhill are top of the local Leaderboard

For many people the traditional Sunday lunch is ‘the’ meal of the week and, with many an eating or drinking establishment all seemingly competing for the same slice of the market, it takes some doing to stand out from the crowd these days. Well now ladies & gentleman I’m pleased to say that we have a ‘new kid on the block’ so to speak with an extremely nice two course Sunday lunch offering at Sandhill Golf Club in Little Houghton.

With a new chef having recently taken over the kitchen duties at Sandhill Golf Club, high standards have indeed been set. Sandhill Golf Club has been established for almost 25 years now and there’s certainly no airs and graces about the place with everyone being made to feel very welcome – you don’t have to be a member to go along and enjoy the Sunday lunches – you just ring up and book.

We popped along to sample the new two course offering on a cold & very wet Sunday afternoon and we left definitely feeling more than satisfied with what we’d dined on. It’s a simple enough choice at Sandhill – two courses – a main and a dessert for £8.50 per person or just £6.50 for a main course or better still – two can dine for just £15.00!

For mains you have a choice of Roast Beef, Pork, Chicken or any two of those. The meat comes served with a homemade Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, roast parsnips and gravy. Alongside this you get a dish of fresh seasonal vegetables – as you can see from our pictures we had carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower cheese and new potatoes – and very nice & fresh they were too.

My first observations were that the meal was very well presented, which for me is a good start to any meal as it actually invites you to try the food on the plate. Our second comment was there’s too much meat (!) Now that’s not a complaint; it’s a compliment and in a nice way of course.

The whole meal was very tasty – gravy included – and yes the ‘Yorkshires’ really were homemade. The vegetables all had that ‘just right’ cooked, but were still slightly crunchy – for me that’s perfect and just how they should be cooked and not over cooked and soggy.

We weren’t hassled by the friendly waiting staff with ‘Is everything okay with your meal’ questions every ten minutes either, we were just left to eat, converse and enjoy the afternoon.

After a much needed ten or fifteen minutes respite in between courses, we had a difficult choice to make between the six desserts on offer; it was Apple Crumble, Jam Roly Poly, Rhubarb Pie, Blackberry & Apple Pie, Fruits of the Forest Cheesecake or Lemon & White Chocolate Cheesecake. There’s also a choice of custard, ice cream or fresh cream to go with any of the desserts.

My colleague’s an Apple Crumble ‘aficionado’, whilst I opted for the Lemon & White Chocolate Cheesecake – as with the main courses we weren’t disappointed with our selections – very nice and a perfect end to the meal.

At these prices – £15 per couple for two courses each – it’s a snip and we reckon it raises the bar again with the other local eateries. Whilst we were there we bumped into ‘Party Paul’ our regular food reviewer and his family and, as you can see, he gave it a ten out of ten – enough said!

We reckon its spot on and is hard to beat for value for money – don’t get me wrong this is not a ‘pile it high, get it cheap’ style venue – it’s plain & simple very nice food and we highly recommend it. For us its well worth the short trip to Little Houghton and easy to find.

Sandhill Golf Club is on Middlecliffe Lane at Little Houghton, S72 0HW and Sunday lunch bookings can be made on 01226 755079.

The Red Lion, Worsborough, December 2016

This Lion is more than Roaring

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It’s one of the perks of my job that I get to eat out in quite a few of the local dining establishments, so it’s not lightly that I say I think I’ve found a real gem!

 

The Red Lion on the A61 at Worsbrough is a large impressive building and one that deserves to be the home of fine dining. Well, after my recent Sunday afternoon visit there, I reckon they are pretty close to achieving just that.

Having just undergone an extensive refurbishment throughout The Red Lion at Worsbrough is strikingly visible by thousands of passing motorists every day. Situated on arguably one of Barnsley’s busiest roads, their Sunday afternoon menu is more than just the traditional Sunday roast offerings with numerous other dishes being available.

The pub is very comfortable to sit, drink, dine and chat in alike with separate eating and drinking areas. Whilst we were sat choosing our food we’d seen the Sunday roasts coming out to some of the other tables and I must admit that we were tempted into trying what looked an amazing Sunday lunch. However, not wanting to be a traditional, I chose the Yorkshire Puddings as a starter, whilst my colleague went for the Creamy Garlic Mushrooms & Garlic Bread.

As you can see from the pictures my ‘Yorkshires’ were ‘big’ and the gravy was delicious, so we were off to a great start and a very tasty one at that. My friend’s Garlic Mushrooms were very good as well I’m informed and the Garlic Bread was fresh and not pre-cooked and left to ‘keep warm’ like you sometimes find.

Onto the main courses then and, as you can see, the Red Lion don’t do small portions at all – although they probably would if you asked them. red-lion-mains-pic-2My Lasagne literally was ‘to die for’ and I’ll go as far as to say is the best I’ve ever had. The accompanying garlic bread, chips and fresh side salad were perfect, even though I was more than overfaced – more of that later!

My friend was undecided on his mains choice between the Sunday roast and one of his favourites – the Steak Pie. He was eventually persuaded by our waiter to opt for the Steak Pie, which he’d ‘highly recommend’. He wasn’t wrong either in both the pie’s looks and taste. The pastry and content of the pie were lovely, as was the gravy and top marks again were order of the day.

That was me done for so to speak – ‘I was full to bursting’ – and gutted that I couldn’t manage a ‘pudding’ unlike my colleague who’d wisely left room (or rather could eat for England!).

He was spoilt for choice with a dessert menu that had all the usual favourites. His choice was the Toffee Apple Crumble and he had it with a selection of custard, ice cream and fresh cream – a strange combo’ yes I agree, but one that he thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommended.

And that was it – the Red Lion is an easy five star rating in my opinion – and I will definitely be returning there sometime very soon.

The Red Lion is on the A61 just as you drive into Worsbrough coming down the hill from Birdwell – you can’t really miss it. They can be contacted on 01226 280574.

The Lundhill Tavern, Hemingfield, December 2016

Hot Rocks are the Future

With summer now a hazy and distant memory, al fresco dining and barbecues are being replaced with cosy comfort food and vwhat better way to enjoy it by eating out at the Lundhill Tavern in Hemingfield.

lundhill-mains-pic-1A venue that caters for all, not just for the drinkers, the Lundhill Tavern has a fine selection of the usual ales, lagers & wines and offers Acorn Brewery’s Best Bitter & Seasonal Poppy hand pull.

The Lundhill offers the traditional Pub menu with all dishes at very reasonable prices. My impressions of the Lundhill Tavern are that it’s cosy with a relaxed environment, whilst the old fashioned wooden beams give the feel of an old traditional alehouse, but with a modern touch.

We were not waiting long before our starters arrived. These delightful Juicy garlic cream mushrooms with a soft fluffy Garlic Bread are the perfect starter for anyone and I can highly recommend them. My partner Donna started with the Pan Fried Prawns with a Garlic & Chilli Butter served with a Salad Garnish – certainly scrumptious!lundhill-mains-pic-2

For our mains my partner’s Hot Rock Sirloin Steak arrived very quickly along with the extras. It was explained to us how the hot stone steaks worked. The stone itself is heated up to a temperature of 350c and it was certainly steaming. It came with chips and a tomato and we had a side order of a mixed salad and onion rings – both lovely.

The main aim of cooking your steak on a hot stone is so that you can cook it yourself (it’s already seared before coming out on the hot stone) just as you like it. Donna likes hers medium rare – the steak was lovely and thick and so she really enjoyed it.

I decided to go with an old favourite and what a treat I was in for. Served with chips, garlic bread and a salad garnish with an extra portion of onion rings, the Lasagne was creamy and every mouthful was more delicious than the last. High praise indeed.

lundhill-desserts-pic-1Having finally managed to finish our mains, we were presented with a selection of Desserts. Donna chose the Hot Chocolate Fudge cake layered with Chocolate sauce and a fresh scoop of ice cream – not for the faint hearted might I add. I decided to go with a more traditional pudding and took on the Sticky Toffee Pudding with custard.

Overall then I have to say that the Lundhill Tavern is a lovely place to eat and we felt very welcome. The friendly staff, who were consistently helpful, tendered to our every need and we’ll definitely be visiting again!

The Lundhill has a spacious function room, beer garden and a huge car park. They specialise in functions offering the full catering package for any occasion – Weddings, Funerals, Christenings & Birthdays – and they can cater to suit most budgets. As you’d expect bookings are also now being taken for Christmas.

Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield, November 2016

This Top Night is a Sure Winner!

_DSC1551.JPGFor a long time now a night out at the dogs has become an increasingly popular pastime. The theory of greyhound tracks being full of old men in their flat caps are long gone, with the spit & sawdust image that greyhound tracks used to portray being nothing but a distant memory.

Nowadays of course Owlerton Stadium has more than moved with the times by indeed offering Sheffield’s Top Night – a boast that they are quite rightly proud of. With superb bars, a fantastic 300 seater restaurant with
amazing food to match and an all-round great night out, then a night at the dogs is a sure fire winner.

With the restaurant menu at Owlerton changing every two months, early October was a great time for us to go along and try out their latest offerings.

As soon as you walk into the busy restaurant area at Owlerton you know that you’re in for a special night with amazing views looking out over the track and surroundings that wouldn’t look out of place in any eating venue in the area. With large TV screens every five or six yards high on the walls as well as other smaller TV units fitted into the walls in between the walkways then there’s no way you can miss any of the action on the track.

Anyway onto the main part of the evening – the food! There are six dogs in each greyhound race so it seems fitting that they should have six starters and six main courses on the new menu to choose from. Intentional or not it gives the menu a great balance and there really is something foreveryone.owlerton-main-pic-1

Myself and my friend chose two very different starters with the Homemade Onion Bhaji’s served in a Poppadum basket and the Chicken Liver Pate with Autumn Fruit Chutney and toasted Brioche.

The Poppadum basket with my Bhaji’s was a nice touch and like everything else on the night was very well presented – see the pictures. Aside to this the Bhaji’s were very nice to taste and obviously not ‘mass produced’. My friends Pate was equally as nice I’m told, and once again was very well presented.

It’s worth saying at this point that you don’t need to move from your seat all night, comfort breaks being the exception of course, with drinks being brought to your table, as well as bets being made at your table whilst you
continue to enjoy your evening.

The mains were a very difficult choice, even harder than finding a winner I might add, with all of the dishes being a possible selection. My colleagues Slow Roasted Belly Pork was amazing I’m told, but my Breast of Chicken served on a little tower of sage & onion stuffing and roasted parsnip mash was a worthy winner of any main course race.

owlerton-main-pic-2The mains come with a plentiful supply of vegetables – cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes and cabbage – that were all very tasty and, more importantly, very fresh.

There’s no rush at all for you to eat your food and get out of the restaurant as your table is yours all night long and the staff are always on hand whatever your need might be – food, a drink or just a bet.

As the dogs are placed into the traps at the start of each race the lights in the restaurant are dimmed and the starters hare bell sounds, which all heightens the atmosphere and thrill of the occasion.

The final ‘race’ of the evening – the Dessert stakes – had only five choices to pick from. For me it had to be one of my favourites – Sticky Toffee pudding, whilst my friend opted for the White Chocolate Crème Brulee. The verdict from me was exceptional again and my friends first words as he finished were; “Well that’s as good a meal as I’ve had in a long time”. High praise indeed.

The price, which for some is the most important issue, on a Tuesday is £15 per person, Fridays is £20pp and Saturday nights is £25pp. Exceptional value for such great food.

Overall then Owlerton Stadium do indeed offer a Top Night out whatever the occasion. 5 Stars from us without a second thought!

So if it’s a night out with the lads or the girls, a 3 course meal in their Panorama restaurant or a larger party in one of their exclusive executive boxes (for up to 65 people) then Owlerton Stadium do have all the bases covered. If you’d like to find out more then give Owlerton Stadium a ring on 0114 2343074 or visit their website at www.owlertonstadium.co.uk – we’re pretty sure that you’ll have a Top Night!

Potters Gourmet Grill, Wombwell, November 2016

The Italian Job – Potters Style!

If you’d have told me two or three months ago that there was another lunchtime takeaway business about to open in Wombwell, then my reaction would more than likely have been, “Oh no, not another?!”

However, since Potters recently opened their ‘Gourmet Grill’ on the forecourt of their factory at the top end of Barnsley Road, then quite a few of the other ‘foody’ type
businesses in Wombwell really do need to ‘up their game’ somewhat.

Potters know all about the food business of course having traded for over 30 years now and so this new ‘takeaway style’ venture needn’t have been such a surprise to us. Like most things food related I’ll give just about anything a go once and, if I like it, I’ll certainly recommend it.

So here you have it – “In my opinion this is one of the best lunchtime takeaways I’ve had in a long time and I’d go as far as to say that you’d be daft not to try it!”

So seeing as our regular food reviewer ‘Party Paul’ has been away again this month, then I had to jump into his shoes and go and do the deed of reviewing the Gourmet Grill at Potters. I went on a Friday lunchtime – Italian Friday as well might I add – and I wasn’t disappointed. The choice was simple enough – Home made Lasagne or a slice of Pizza (Four Cheese or Pepperoni) with either salad or freshly cooked fries.

Seeing as lasagne is one of my favourites, then it had to be the pasta option. The Lasagne had definitely been cooked fresh that morning and wasn’t the ‘ping-style’ microwave option that’s sometimes available from other local establishments. Very tasty and plenty of it as well – as you can see from the picture – and the fries more thancomplimented my ‘lunch of the week’.

And to make it even better the sun was out and so I sat at one of their outside tables and thought to myself “This is the life…” as a big Russian yacht sailed past me into the marina. (Ed – Sorry folks I got carried away a little there!) But you get my drift it was absolutely spot-on and at £3.90 was extremely good value for money. No need for tea that night then. potters-pie-chips-peasThe only negative was that there was no dessert – but then again I’d have been at home all afternoon fast asleep if I’d have had any more to eat!

So, in what’s an already crowded market place, Pottershave certainly found a niche and are setting high standards that others will have to try and follow. Without doubt for me this is an easy ‘5 Stars’ recommendation. The staff are all very helpful and pleasant as well,which is always a tick in my book.

The regular menu has all the favourites on, with Potters 6oz Gourmet Burger selection and ‘Foot long’ Gourmet Sausage Baguettes proving to be a very popular choice and excellent value for money. Their specials change daily and so far have included ; Chicken Curry & Chips, Wraps (Chicken Tikka, Piri Piri or BBQ), a selection of hot & cold baguettes & melts, All day breakfast wrap, Pie & Peas, and the ‘low and slow’ pulled pork & beef brisket sandwiches, as well as the recent Italian Friday themed lunch.

Potters Gourmet Grill is open from Monday to Friday from 8am till 2pm and telephone orders can be taken on 07564 689020. As well as this the Gourmet Grill vehicle can also be booked for special events – if you’d like information on this then please call 01226 753323 or e-mail catherine@pottersofbarnsley.co.uk for more details.

The Keys, Hoyland Common, July 2016

Top of the List

Hello again readers, I‘ve had a thought. If I was to do a list of the top 100 pubs in Yorkshire, I kid you not I would put the Keys at Hoyland Common at the top of this list. Why you ask? It’s simple – it has it all guys. It has the ‘footy’ on the big screen, top quiz nights, a top atmosphere and most important of all – top food.

And better still they are doing a amazing deal on a Tuesday evening that not even the tightest of Yorkshire folk could say no to. They are doing a ‘two meals for a tenner’ offer and before any of you say “that’s not new, its everywhere” – not like this is isn’t. This is top restaurant food and I mean beautiful food and all the meals on the deal have been taken from their main menu.

So the meals are not been trimmed down at all, in fact to try them out me and ‘Mrs Party Paul’ did choose from the deal menu – I’m not usually a fan of these type of deals myself because I think it is cheaper for a reason. Well I was wrong, very wrong in fact!

It was exactly same meal as I had from the main menu the last time I was there – if not better.

Anyway onto the food. To start I had the Camembert with Dipping Crispy Bread like bits. Oh my god – forgive the blasphemy – I could have shoved my face in it! Yes it was that good. The ‘Mrs’ had their home made Hummus. Now if you’re a fan of hummus you will probably faint when you have this – if you’re not a fan, you soon will be when you try this.

July Food review pic 1For main course I had the Chicken with a sauce that must have been made by angels and fairies it was that nice. It came with new potatoes, not them over boiled jobs either, they were like fried in the same pan with the chicken – heavenly potatoes. The ‘Mrs’ had Fish & Chips – “very light” she said, beautifully light in fact – what can I add to that.

July Food review pic 2For dessert I had the Pecan Pie/Tart – to be honest it was amazing but throughout the dessert all I did was laugh because of the wife thinking that Pecan was a bird. I mean come on even if it was – would I be having bird pie for dessert?

So that’s it as I only have so many words to play with and I could literally go on forever about the Keys. Just do yourself a favour and go and go very soon – and don’t forget to tell ‘em Party Paul sent ya.

See you next month,

Party Paul

Napoleons Casino & Restuarant, Owlerton, July 2016

The Ace in the Dining Pack

You may be thinking a Casino for dinner? Well you would be forgiven for thinking that, as I was in that same camp as well, but let me tell you, hiding at the back of Napoleons Casino at Owlerton, there’s a hidden gem of a restaurant.

Walking through the casino there is no doubt that the place makes you feel like you’re at the ‘high end’ of the scale – more than what I’m used to sometimes. And I’m glad to say that this was maintained right from the moment we set eyes on our table, right through the meal and out of the door as we left. Every step of the way it felt more & more like High Roller than Hillsborough!

But don’t be sat reading this thinking that you would have to have ‘Red 17’ come in on the roulette table to be able to afford to eat at this place. I have to make it clear that the prices at Napoleons Casino & Restaurant are more than reasonable.

We were seated by a lovely host called ‘Claire’ who was very welcoming. She tended to our table all evening and was incredibly helpful in explaining all parts of the menu.

Awaiting us on the well set table was a free £5 chip to have a flutter in the casino after our meals, as well as a free drinks voucher! This was because we’d opted for the 3 course ‘Dine in Style’ option from the menu. From Sunday to Friday this will set you back an amazing £22, with the menu changing every month.

So what did I have?

Party Paul Naps pic 4For starters I had the Mushroom & Parmesan Risotto balls with roasted garlic cream and herb oil. Wow! As far as starters go this was up there with the best. The roasted garlic cream was a real nice touch. Risotto balls themselves were brilliant. Crunchy on the outside with a melt in the middle centre of mushroom risotto!

Now for the main course – the Roasted Rack of Lamb. I’d picked this for two reasons; (a) – Because it’s one of my favourite dishes and (b) Because it’s so hard to get it spot on – as you know I like to cook myself. Lamb is always hit and miss for me. I either under cook or I over cook, you get the gist?

I’m delighted to say that the chef at Napoleons got it more than right. The lamb was beautifully pink on the inside and incredibly juicy & flavoursome. It was complemented by a red current jus that was to die for and was rested on a bed of an incredibly nice dauphinoise potato puree.

Being a bit of a gambler myself I thought I would roll the dice and see if I could squeeze in a dessert! Looking at the menu there was an ‘odds on favourite’ and it’s safe to say that I managed it and boy it was worth it! I had the Lemon Meringue with a Raspberry Coulis, which was a refreshing end to the meal.Party Paul Naps pic 5

Somehow, don’t ask me how – lady luck must have been on our side and I managed to turn my free £5 chip in to £25 with a few spins on the roulette wheel. I was going to have a few more, but stopped for a second and realised this had actually paid for my meal! So I cashed in my chips, pocketed my winnings and got me and my full belly out of there! What a brilliant end to the night!

In between courses we managed to speak to Napoleons Owlerton General manager George Forsyth who told us that they’re often referred to as the ‘friendly casino’ by their customers. And to be honest it’s not hard to see why. You do feel like you can totally relax in the comfortable atmosphere with all of the staff (from managers to croupiers to valets) all being very ‘hands-on’ and welcoming. The managers can always be found ‘out and about’ on the casino floor talking to customers and ensuring everyone is having the best possible experience.

From start to finish, Napoleons exceeded itself. The decor, the atmosphere, the staff, the food, it’s all spot on! I suggest that if you ever have doubts about eating in a casino, then you think again. If you and your other half fancy doing something a bit different I would thoroughly recommend getting down to Napoleons Casino & Restaurant at Owlerton.

Party Paul

The Cock Inn, Birdwell, May 2016

This Place is ‘Cock On’

Hey up everyone, hope your all ok

Spring is here and I’ve come out of hibernation. I needed to have a few months off, I was like a bear going out and feeding its face for months putting stones of weight on then having to go and sleep it all off, But my weight’s not come off! Why? I know why because I’m going round to all these wonderful restaurants trying out all these menus just for ‘Barnsley Today’ ,so I hope that you all appreciate that I’m getting fatter because for you!!

Guess where I wanted to go first for my out of hibernation feast? The Cock inn Birdwell – yes I’ve been before, but I love it that’s why and I’m going to tell you why right now.

The Cock Inn is one of those pubs that are very rare. An ‘Old school’ type of pub – the décor, the atmosphere, the layout hasn’t changed all that much for decades and I mean that in such a good way. It’s that stepping back in time feeling – I love it. The log fires, lots of memorabilia everywhere and anyone who says they don’t like that are crazy. These ‘old feel’ pubs are having a major comeback at the moment. New pubs are spending bucket loads on trying to make their boozers look old. It’s crackers – just get yourself down to The Cock Inn for some authenticity, it’s clear to tell that I’m in love with the place,

A big okay and thumbs up to the food as its all good grub, proper good grub. The Cock Inn serves great quality, big portion meals without a doubt.

The Cock Inn Food pic 1I had the Prawn Cocktail for starters – what can you say about a prawn cocktail apart from was it nice or not? For sure it was very nice and reminded me of my mum’s on Christmas Day – beautiful. The wife had the Breaded Mushrooms – the difference was these were real mushrooms – not slugs in bread crumbs – very nice indeed

For main course I had Chicken in a Garlic & Mushroom sauce with all the trimmings. It was top notch – couldn’t fault it. The ‘Mrs’ had Chicken in Black Bean Sizzler and she loved it. They seem to have loads of different versions of these sizzlers; I would not mind trying them all actually as they all sound very nice.The Cock Inn Food pic 3

There’s was no room for the pudding, so there’s no report on that front sorry.

The Cock Inn are holding a few events later in the year, one being a Hog Roast day, a Beer Festival and they are also holding some theme nights. I’ve had a taste of the Mexican food and it’s knock out trust me.

Look you could take my word for all this or why not make the effort to go down and see for yourself you won’t be disappointed I’m sure.

And Don’t Forget Tell Em Party Paul Sent Ya

Party Paul

Desi Massala, Hoyland  – May 2016

Small is Beautiful

Desi Massala pic 1They say that good things come in small packages, well I can certainly agree with that after enjoying a very nice meal at the small, but very pleasant Desi Massala Indian Restaurant in Hoyland.

With our regular ‘foody expert’ Party Paul unavailable, it was left to me to do the deed so to speak and do one of the ‘Dining Out’ honours this month, as I paid a visit with a friend of mine to the small Hoyland Indian restaurant We’d gone along on a Tuesday night to try out their 5 course dine in meal for just £9.95 per person. Now in this day and age when some people put a lot of stock in how much you get for as little money as possible, then I must point out that Desi Massala haven’t fallen into that ‘trap’ and they’ve recognised that it’s not a competition for how much food you can get for your tenner. Yes they want to be competitive, but at the same time I reckon they’ve got the balance spot-on.

Desi Massala is a family run restaurant with Dad doing the cooking and his son looking after the front of house business and managing the take away & delivery orders.Their 5 course meal offer for just £9.95 per person sounded enticing enough and so we went for it. The Sizzling Mix starter to share was a nice opening to the meal, with plenty of it to keep us both eagerly awaiting the mains that we’d ordered.

For mains you can order any main course off the main menu except the Deluxe Thali. I’d gone for the recommended Shalimar Karahi Chicken (I prefer the milder curries) whilst my friend had opted for the spicier Garlic Chilli Chicken.

To be fair, and I’m not saying this just for the sake of it, it really was one of the nicest curries I’ve ever had. To add to this my friend, Desi Massala pic 2who is more of a regular Indian food fan than me, commented similar about his dish.
With a very nice Keema Naan bread and Pilau Rice to share, then the scene was set – and tuck in we certainly did!!

The mains verdict was even better than the starter – very nice and very tasty – and we weren’t rushed at all, just left to eat our food in our own time and enjoy our conversation. With an ice cream each for dessert followed by Coffee & Mints, then it was pleasant end to a very nice evening and five excellent courses and no complaints at all from us.

At just £9.95 per person it’s great price for such nice food. The small print? Well there’s none really, other than it’s a bring your own beer/wine place, yes it’s a small restaurant but it seats 26 people and the verdict – yes definitely well worth a visit – strongly recommended.

Peter Holmes, Editor

 

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