You've gotta brie kidding me there is a cheese cafe in Leeds? I'm gonna lose my rind!
The people who thought of a monthly cheese club and put it in to action are geniuses. The people who thought up and implemented the idea of a cheese cafe deserves a noble prize, or the cheese equivalent at least.
Homage 2 Fromage, for those who are not aware already (where have you been!), is a cheese club that was founded four years ago in Leeds. I have watched with eager eyes their club blossom and grow on Twitter with it now expanding to Sheffield, Manchester and Bradford too.
Unfortunately life has too often got in the way when it has come to attending cheese club, something that needs amending quickly I admit, however I was thrilled to see the announcements on social media that they were dipping their toes in to the cafe/restaurant scene. I was even more thrilled when they invited me down to their grand opening.
|I have an addiction to cheddar... it's only mild though.|
The evening started off as a normal cheese club night would do, that being an array of cheese is laid out on a table unlabelled with everyone eagle eyeing the goodies until a shout of "CHEESE" is given and everyone storms ahead to get their fill. Once the cheese has been pretty much annihilated the hosts talk through the differing varieties, where they're from, how they were made etc.
|Cheese in mood lighting|
It's all rather informal, the people are friendly and from all different walks of life. I guess one of the factors which has prevented me from attending on my own is feeling scared that I would be inadequate in the cheese knowledge department. I'd now like to afirm that novices and experts alike are welcome at cheese club, as long as you like cheese you'll be more than welcomed.
The restaurant works less like cheese club and more like a restaurant, naturally. They've taken over 'LAB' in the Merrion Centre (at the top near the arena) for 6 months, evenings are to be booked but you can just rock up during the day for a cheesy lunch.
There are cheese board sharers for the die hard clubbers but in addition to this they also have a range of small plates. Cheese tapas if you like. The idea being that small plates will be more digestible as no one wants to overdose and have cheesy nightmares for a week.
Such small plates include Broccoli Flower Cheese, a mix of broccoli and cauliflower covered in their signature cheese sauce and topped with extra cheese and breadcrumbs. I like to think that the veg outweighs the cheese in this dish so it's practically zero calories.
|Why was the cheesemonger lopsided? Because they only had one Stilton.|
Other such delights include Vickie's Mac & Cheese, with proper macaroni for the die hard enthusiasts, and I believe also available with blue cheese.
|How did Mr Cheese paint his wife? He Double Gloucester.|
In the evening (post 6pm) you can order sharer size baked Camembert (perfect for coaxing bears down from trees... Camembert, sorry!) or if that isn't enough runny dippy cheese for you they even do fondue! I've never had the joy of scraping the bread remnants from the bottom but I am led to believe this is the best bit, make sure you don't get in to any scraps over it.
|Maybe you don't like to make multiple puns, but those of us who like to have fondue...|
Other items on the menu include pizza, toasties for lunch time (I quite like the sound of the posh french cheese and bacon toastie), Yorkshire Rarebit, Tartiflette, Yorkshire Halloumi Slider and salads for more zero calories.
I wish them well with their new venture and I can't wait to pop along again for lunch. Don't hang back they're not around for long and places are booking up fast, you wouldn't want to be a blue cheese (sorry I know that's a really bad pun!).
Last one (I promise)
What do you call cheese that isn't your cheese?