Monday, 27 April 2015

Whitelock's Ale House - Sunday Lunch - Leeds City Centre

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Whitelock's it might interest you to know that it is the oldest pub in Leeds dating back to 1715.

I was introduced to this pub when my interest in craft beer/real ale flourished and I immediately fell in love. The taps are always changing with local beers and some further afield brews too. The atmosphere has never felt threatening and the staff have always been friendly and welcoming. I also have a massive interest in history and this pub is full of it. The bar has ceramic tiles decorating the sides, there is stain glass, wooden cladding, mirrors with writing on, iron table legs displaying the pub's name, leather bar stools, open fires and lots of other hidden little historical treasures.

The pub has seen a regeneration in recent years as more and more people are turning back to the pubs, and beer, and turning their backs on wine and cocktail bars with loud music. It feels like we're going back to British. This in hand with it's recent takeover in 2012 has propelled it in to the light of Leeds city centre's culture scene... and food scene.

One Sunday in April D was recovering from a stag do and I my first yoga session, i.e. D needed some good food to soak up the remenants of alcohol and I was in too much pain to oblige. Sunday lunch is nearly always a disappointment for me when I eat out but I'd heard on the Twitter that Whitelock's were a pretty good substitute for homemade.

It was pretty full when we arrived but luckily there was a table for two, we mulled over the menu of which there was a choice between chicken, beef or nutroast for Sunday lunch. No Braine beef it was so we ordered two and a dabble of Ilkley pale. 

It didn't take very long for the roasts appear, which was surprising considering how busy they were. We offered sauces at presentation and left to devour. The beef was perfectly cooked, pink in the middle, soft and juicy. We only had one Yorkshire pudding, I'm not sure the 'norm of external roasts' but I usually have at least two at home, but maybe I'm just greedy. The Yorkshire pudding wasn't the freshest of fresh, I could taste the stale creeping in, but then I'm spoilt at home when my dad pulls them straight from the oven to the table. He is also the master of Yorkshire puddings in my eyes, the guy doesn't even need to weigh out ingredients he does it all by eye! 

The veg that was accompanying was fresh and packed with flavour. It wasn't over cooked and bland it was seasonal and bang on. The onions could have been twisted in to the gravy, for me it seemed they were more of an afterthought. The gravy was thin, if it was my own it would have been thicker but that's down to personal taste. I would have hoped for a little extra pot of gravy to either pour it on myself or add a little more to wash up the scraps. 

All in all it's one of the better roast dinners I've eaten (outside of my dad's or my own house). If you have a craving but don't have the time I'd definitely tell you to head here. (Don't head the Roundhay Fox, never head there for a roast). 

As if a roast dinner wasn't enough, as it was gluttony Sunday we decided to order dessert. The only desserts on offer were ice cream and rhubarb crumble served with ice cream. We both decided on the crumble, only to be told that there was only one left! We decided to share, and it was fortunate we did as one per person would have tipped me over the food edge and you would have needed to roll me back to the car. 

Rhubarb crumble and custard is one of those faded childhood memories that I either remember loving when mum put too much sugar in or finding it too tart when dad didn't.  Either my tastebuds have grown or they just got this absolutely right, there was tart and sweet prancing along my palate. The hot custard went splendidly and although cold and hot can be fun I seriously recommend you don't ever order ice cream with your rhubarb crumble, it's almost a crime.

Roasts were approx £12 and dessert around a fiver. Not too shabby for the oldest pub in town. 

Whitelocks on Urbanspoon

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