Yesterday I found a time portal to the 1990s.
Or perhaps the seaside.
Upon the tables were cups and saucers pre-laid out, the tables were cast iron with plastic tops. The chairs looked like the sort you found in Burger King or the local 'caff'. Above our heads were ceiling fan lights and stained glass lamp shades. There was a pensioner menu, soft drinks were served by the pint or half, there were coke floats and slush puppies. I felt like I had returned to a childhood holiday in Skegness (we weren't rich enough to go abroad when I was a kid, it was all penny arcades and piers rather than henna tattoos and hair braids for me).
Ah fish and chips, you don't seem to get many fish and chips restaurants beyond the coast these days, or none that have caught my attention at least.
I'd say about 90% of the customers on this Tuesday evening were over the age of 70. Which would explain the pensioners menu. Clearly fish and chips is the dining-out choice of the elderly, either that or there is a disproportionate amount of retired people in Yeadon.
I was fascinated by this place. I've become so accustomed to 'reclaimed' spaces, filament bulbs and schooners I'd forgotten what existed long before.
|Check out those ceiling fans|
|Fish knife as standard with all table settings|
Alongside the fish and chips on the menu were a selection of burgers and other meals no one was interested in. I wonder how many burgers per week they sell, I saw no one without fish and chips.
We ordered drinks, I ordered a pint of Dandelion and Burdock as is almost the law for fish and chips. I don't think I ever drink Dandelion and Burdock other than with fish and chips. D couldn't resist and ordered a coke float, dessert for starter.
|Dandelion and Burdock in a fosters glass making me feel like I was a kid again|
D and I both ordered the haddock fillet meal which came with chips and bread and butter.
Bread and butter!
|Bread and butter (could be margarine) comes on both brown and white bread|
My parents used to eat bread and butter with our takeaway fish and chips or they would buy a breadcake if they were feeling flush (yes that is the correct term). I couldn't recall what to do with bread and butter served in this manner... Make a chip butty? Mop up the grease? Fish sandwich? Eat it as a bread course beforehand? I left the brightly coloured spread bread which seemed like a waste, but unfortunately (sort of) there was no way that was fitting in my belly too.
The haddock fillet meal is the cheapest option (£9.75) of fish and chips on the menu, unless you're a pensioner of course. There wasn't much choice in the type of fish you could order, if you want cod it comes in an extra large portion only.
|Fish and chips with mushy peas|
As you can see from above I ordered mushy peas with my fish and chips, it's become almost standard for me over the years even though I was never that keen as a kid, however I suspect that was down to the mushy dribble our local fish and chip shop used to serve. I'm often partial to chip shop curry too but declined on this occasion.
D surprised me by ordering a pot of gravy which he doused all over his chips avoiding his fish. D further surprised me, no, astonished me when he asked to try my mush peas... because HE HAS NEVER TRIED MUSHY PEAS BEFORE (not because I don't like to share, although that is also true). You'd think we lived in different parts of the country growing up not just different parts of Leeds. What kind of kid doesn't eat mushy peas? A posh one. He must be a secret toff. It might explain the driving gloves I found in his car...
I plied on the salt and vinegar, dabbled in the tartar sauce before deciding it is not so good out of a squeezy bottle and dipped the rest in tomato sauce.
The chips were nicely yellowed, not anaemic. The fish was crispy with the batter not hiding a layer of fat beneath and the fish was fresh and pearly white. It was some of the best fish and chips I've had in a long while.
I always struggle to finish fish and chips and this experience was no different. I wish I could order the smaller pensioner special as it would probably an adequate amount for me. Goodness knows who manages to eat the extra large portions.
I've looked back over the menu to write this post and this time noticed something else... they do coach party specials! Get your grannies on a bus and ship them to Yeadon! I wonder if they do a grab a granny night, dim the lights and do slow dating (because those on zimmer frames need some extra time to get between chairs). This place knows exactly who it's target audience is and I love it.
When we asked for the bill we were given a tick sheet, we were puzzled, where was the price? It took us a while to realise that we had to take this to the cashier near the exit and they would then tally up the damage (£26).
These young un's they don't know nowt...
If you haven't guessed, this is a great place to take your granny. Don't go on a first date here. Do order fish and chips. Do give nostalgia a go and pay a visit.