31 Huddersfield Road
I start my evening off in a rather bad mood, the M62 is jam packed and the weather is abysmal.
I find myself on a gloomy, and so far mundane, Thursday hurtling towards West Yorkshire. Upon invitation* I am seeking out a supposed hidden gem of a restaurant in the small town of Elland, north west of Huddersfield. This is not the direction I would usually travel to seek out fine food, however I am curious to see what lies this side of Yorkshire!
I arrive at the restaurant hungry and frustrated from my journey. The outside is somewhat unremarkable, however as soon as I step in the door I am greeted with a comfortable heat and a hearty smell (always a good sign.) The restaurant is pleasantly full and there is a lively buzz from other diners, I am surprised by how busy it is for a Thursday - again all good signs.
I am seated with a warm welcome and shown the Menu Du Jour, a reasonably priced fixed menu which showcases the restaurants approach to French and British cuisine.
I'm not usually a big fan of having a soup to start, often I find them bland, however I am willing to take a chance on the sound of the soup du jour, smoked ham with white beans and mushroom. There is no disappointment to be had here! The soup is full of smoky flavour and well presented with crispy smoked ham and croutons. This is off to a good start.
For my main I am tempted with the beef braised in guinness - this was an excellent choice it seems! The beef melts in my mouth and is imbued with a rich caramelized depth from the guinness. The horseradish mash gives everything a good kick and the onion rings are fried with a crisp, non-greasy finish. The carrots balance everything with a sweetness, however the beef in undoubtedly the star of this dish and is definitely cooked in a kitchen which knows its stuff.
For dessert I go for the warm poached plum which comes out wonderfully plated. The plums are delicately spiced and tender and are well complimented by the parfait, which sits atop a hidden crumble base. What I loved about this dessert is that it felt light, yet also indulgent - the toasted almonds adding texture and bite.
Overall I have to say that I honestly did have a rather wonderful meal, one which stands out in my recent restaurant experience. I would go back definitely, and will be back soon I am sure of it!
If something is able to tempt me across the highest and (in my opinion) most hellish motorway, it's got to be good.
One thing I did notice on the menu was the lack of supplier information. The food here is undoubtedly of very high quality and it would be nice to have some more details on its provenance.
Luckily the Head Chef Glen was on hand to answer a few further questions I had about my evening and kindly took a few minutes out of the busy kitchen to talk to me about his approach to food at the restaurant.
-How long have you been at La Cachette?
I've been here for around about two years now
- How would you describe the offering at the restaurant
I think the best way to describe La Cachette would be as a French restaurant with strong Yorkshire roots and influences!
- How do you develop your menus and where do you find your culinary inspiration from
I've had a very varied background from working in top end French fine dining restaurants, to brasseries and high end pubs and I've taken lots from that. French food is another big one for my inspirations and the same goes for this great region we are in now.
- Do you use any local suppliers
Here at La Cachette we use a number of local suppliers for all sorts of different things including Bolster Moor Farm Shop and Round Green Farm venison. We use the best ingredients from a close a source as possible.
- What is currently your favourite dish served at the restaurant
Now that is a tough question for me - I think I will have to go with the venison, which is served with Wild Mushroom and Potato Mille Feuille, Celeriac Cream and Star Anise Jus
- How do you see the restaurant developing looking forward into the new year
At the moment our main focus is to carry on developing creative and delicious food. We are also looking to hold more special and one off events in the New Year as these always do well when we have them. Hopefully we might see you at one or two!
Soupe Du Jour - Smoked Ham, White Bean and Mushroom Soup
Beef Braised in Guinness, Horseradish Mash, Sweet Carrots and Onion Rings
Warm Poached Plum, Iced Vanilla Parfait, Toasted Almonds
Personally I feel that La Cachette represents honest fine dining. They serve very good food, well presented, yet also unpretentious. The stand out part for me had to be the beef braised in guinness, I think this is actually a dish that I will remember for quite a while to come. The restaurant also scores highly with me for it's environment, I enjoyed the decor/ambience and even overheard other diners complimenting the atmosphere!
I sampled the Menu Du Jour
Price Below Includes a Half Bottle of Red, White or Rosé
2 Courses £20.95 / 3 Courses £24.95
Monday – Saturday 12 – 2.30pm
Monday – Thursday 6.00-9.30pm
Friday – Saturday 5.30 – 7.00pm
*I was kindly invited to sample the Menu Du Jour and offer my thoughts. As always, my opinions are honest and I was not required to write a positive review.