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On My Own Doorstep

Too often when something is on your own doorstep you tend to over look it. Maybe because you think “it’s right there, I can go anytime”. Last Saturday was my time to sample Kitties, one of Hebden’s top end restaurants and one that has been around for over 19 years now. When I describe it as being on my doorstep it is actually at the back of my house, in the very literal, same building sense of being on my doorstep. 

For some time now I have been able to take pleasure in the aromas coming from our adjacent kitchens and I was not let down by the taste.

One of the Kitties from Kitties!
Kitties, like many high end restaurants has a small menu, it does not get swamped down by endless choice, rather it focuses on good quality ingredients and flavour combinations. I informed them at the restaurant that I was a vegetarian when I made the booking so when I arrived I got my own special menu to choose from when I arrived. A welcome change from finding the one meat free meal on the menu and having to settle for it. At Kitties they will make this consideration for any other dietary requirements that you may have.

The restaurant itself has not conformed to the clinical, same old same old feel that most modern European restaurants have with white walls and uncomfortable chairs. Instead you feel like you are being welcomed into a home, the small bar area has a very Montmartre feel to it. This is aided by the swing music playing in the background. Welcomed into the bar to enjoy a drink and canapes whilst we perused the menu. Here is what we decided to eat.

The surprise appetizer –
 a vegetable quiche with sweet chili sauce

Joe and I went for the goats cheese to start, I can never resist goats cheese on a menu. It was served on a giant crouton. The crisp vegetable salad and quails eggs broke up the strength of the goats cheese flavour perfectly.

Pete opted for the freshly made haggis served on a bed of sweet potato and carrot mash and and onion gravy.
Mmmm, main course time! A bubble & squeak patti served with a beautifully delicate cream herb sauce, fresh seasonal vegetables and a mini portion of dauphinoise potatoes.

Pete had a fillet of venison, pan fried with bacon and served with a rich sauce of Guinness and port, seasonal vegetables and wild mushrooms. Joe went for a trio of game birds flavoured with calvados and cranberries. Being a vegetarian I had to rely on the boys for their review, survey said excellent. The venison was cooked to perfection, lovely and pink in the middle. Game is a strong flavour and it is easy to go wrong and make a dish too overpowering and the meat too tough. This was not the case here, Joe enjoyed the combination of partridge, grouse and duck so much he had to bow out of the pudding round.

Raspberry and Amaretto Souffle

With only Pete and myself still in the game we ordered pudding. I feel that there is a special part of your stomach reserved for this so why not use it to its fullest. I had the souffle, and although it had more of a mousse consistency I still enjoyed it and the raspberry gelato that it was served with was very refreshing. Pete went for Kitties signature dish Mont Blanc a tower of ice cream served with profiteroles and dark chocolate sauce. The ice cream had a delicate white chocolate flavour and was exquisitely presented. I would definitely recommend a visit to Kitties and it easy to tell why it has survived for so long an institution and treasure to Hebden Bridge.

A special biscuit gift

January 13, 2011