There’s nothing I like better than a seafood restaurant, particularly when it’s just down the road. Catch opened with a fanfare, some bells and whistles then some more bells. If the website is to be believed it’s ‘a dream come true’ for pub landlord Lee Roberts (from the award-winning Fleece in Ripponden) whose Stockton background is in fishing. Despite the fact that West Vale is about as far from the sea as you can get, Roberts has fulfilled his vision and then some.
Catch squats beneath Andy Thornton’s architectural salvage mill, and when I asked our waiter what the vast room was previously, she deadpanned ‘it’s where he kept his doors’. Ah yes, we pilgrimaged there in the 80’s to score stripped pine by the yard. Now it’s all done up in those rectangular white tiles (always reminds me of public loos), some seagrass carpetting and ‘CATCH’ about 3 feet high in lights. It’s a complete roar of a place – nothing about it whispers; go elsewhere if you want an intimate tete a tete.
At seven the joint is jumping AND there’s a cue snaking round the building waiting for take outs, which gives a huge clue. Yep, the fish is fab and the portions enormous. There’s Whitby crab, Scottish cod and Yorkshire smoked salmon, all nicely cooked and presented – there’s nothing that will astound you with its originality but we don’t always want smacking round the head with smoke and smears. There’s a burger for carnivores and one token veggie dish – but come on, it’s a fish restaurant! I’m told they’re as busy as hell on a Sunday – cod & chips for Sunday lunch – who knew?