I’m meeting my mate Sheena for a pre-theatre dinner in The Wardrobe; it’s been some time since I’ve been – then the music was loud and the floor sticky. Probably still is at a certain time of night, but at 6.15 it’s still smart and buzzing with office workers having a quick one on the way home and folks like us heading across to the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
They’re geared up for diners with a time limit, and service is quick and friendly. The chatty multi-pierced and tattood Australian takes our order and compliments me on my ‘kinky’ boots – cute.
They do an early bird from 5.30 to 7, 15 quid for two courses, 17 quid for three – good value, given the standard of cooking. Actually we go for one course; we fight over corned beef hash and poached egg and Sheena wins. So it’s Guinness braised steak with horseradish mash and spinach for me – and oh it’s deep and sweet and just the ticket on a chilly February night. The hash too is full of flavour, sticky, comforting (and unusually, accurately seasoned) with the perfectly poached egg oozing nicely. Makes me wish we’d made time for two courses; roast figs, Acacia honey, British mozzarella and Parma ham sounds fab. Or would I have gone for the carpaccio of aged beef with farmhouse crisps? Only one way to find out – go again!