Epicure Huddersfield

Finally. A reason to visit Huddersfield. It's true there are a couple of good bars - but restaurants? The 'burbs are well served; Erics is superb, T&Cake in Almondbury is peerless, but in the town centre? It's true we haven't tried every fried chicken and kebab shop (answers on a postcard) but now, there's Epicure, which is truly a gem of a place. 

The location isn’t glamorous. You’ll find it on dusty, noisy Queensgate opposite the University and next to Panini Hut. There are a couple of tables and chairs outside (really? with four lanes of traffic roaring by?) Don’t be put off, because as soon as you step inside it’s evident that they know what they’re doing.

The brunch menu includes the likes of eggs Benedict, avocado and egg on (doorstop) toast – baked beans too, and home made. If you’ve never had them, you’ve a treat in store, they’re nothing like Heinz. After midday, the printed menu is mostly sandwiches (Emmental and mushroom toasties, parma ham, blue cheese and pear baguettes) and burgers, which we’re just about to order when the cheery waitresses arrives with today’s specials on sheets of paper which she sellotapes to the wall above us. Yep, it’s rustic! But man those dishes sound good, so somehow we manage to order most of it.

You’re a better man than me if you see bubble & squeak on a menu and resist it. It’s described as bubble cake, which doesn’t do it justice. It’s the definition of comfort food, brought into the 21st century with pillow-soft croquettes, gently grilled halloumi and pops of colour from a sweet/sharp wild honey and mustard dressing and a couple of dots of balsamic reduction. Topped with a perfect poached egg, it’s a dream of a dish, simple but stunning.

Just as we’re quietly agreeing that this is turning into a way better lunch than we’d anticipated, dish of the day keels up; confit duck leg, cooked for ever, falling apart at the fork with a perfectly seasoned pulled duck and orange croquette, a slick of creamy Lyonnaise potatoes and a pile of sticky red cabbage.

There’s no dessert menu at the moment, just cakes (I say ‘just’ cakes, they’re exceptional, and we found room, unaccountably, for a salted caramel brownie with our coffee) but when our faces fall at the thought of no actual pudding, we’re offered a choice of two from a future menu. I can’t remember what the second one was because the chocolate and burnt orange brûlée leapt off the page. It’s dangerous, deep and dark, brightened only with an intricate tangle of crisp candied peel and a whisper-thin white chocolate and mint crisp.

Epicure is a terrific find. The food is exuberant and confident, with big-boned generosity and no small amount of style. There’s a fizzing energy at play here, and you don’t have to part with the thick end of your Giro to enjoy it.

Epicure

37 - 39 Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 2RD

Tel 01484 961587
www.epicurebarandkitchen.co.uk

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Type: Cafe/Bar

Price guide

2 out of 5

Cuisine type: British

Part of Eat West Yorkshire

Review by Mandy, 20 June 2017

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