Ordinarily, I would look forward to the prospect of dining out, but this particular evening I had mixed feelings. I was looking forward to seeing my fellow diners but there was a tinge of sadness as the evening was in honour of a friend about to embark on a two year VSO assignment to Rwanda. I will miss her!
Said friend, J, and I have been meeting up once a month for years, my first diary date is recorded as December 2004, and I shall miss our regular get togethers. I took some comfort in the fact that my other fellow diners this evening seemed keen to carry on the monthly meet-up tradition – just remains for me to set the date!
So the scene is set and Bradley’s is our chosen location. This little restaurant used to be called Clark’s some years ago before there was a change of ownership. I’ve frequented the establishment under both guises. The food on offer I would describe as modern British. The early bird menu has a number of versions of the same theme: 2 or 3 courses with ½ bottle of wine at £15.95 and £19.95 respectively, or £13.95 & £17.95 without the wine; or 2 courses with a glass of wine for £10.95 but this option is only available between 6 and 7.30pm. Got that?!
There is a good selection of dishes on both the early bird and a la carte. We all chose off the early bird. I didn’t take any photos of the food because I kind of forgot but also didn’t want to detract fellow diners from enjoying our last evening with our mutual friend.
The restaurant wasn’t full (it was a weekday night). I felt our table lacked a bit of ambience; we were sat next to a large, ‘frosted’ window so you couldn’t see out onto the street. There were no curtains on the windows; they were ‘dressed’ with ugly dangling chords from the pulled up sun blinds. With no table cloth on the table it felt a bit eating in a canteen. This is a shame because on arrival, the waiting area by the bar has plenty of atmosphere and is really quite nice and cosy.
We were brought some warm bread rolls to keep us going whilst we waited for our starters to arrive. The butter had evidently come straight from the fridge as it was rock hard!
For a starter I chose crayfish & melon salad with a thousand island dressing. The flavours complimented well; maybe a bit too much dressing but that’s just my personal preference. My main was grilled hake with a tomato & chorizo salsa which was simple dish but really nice. Hake has a very delicate flavour that the chorizo & tomato salsa offset incredibly well. Vegetables of the day were included and comprised carrots, new potatoes, red cabbage and sugar snap peas.
As a non-drinker, I was pleased they were willing to substitute my ‘glass of wine’ for a coffee at the end of my meal. My coffee was very good – strong with the hot milk I’d ordered. There was also a tiny bite of a sweet flapjack to accompany it which was just perfect for me.
No desserts were ordered except by some friends who arrived later on to join in the goodbyes; coffees and one chocolate tart were ordered to be exact. We were offered a taster of the tart which I found disappointing I have to say. It was heavy in texture and lacked flavour. I’m pleased I hadn’t succumbed to the temptation to order one myself!
All in all we enjoyed the evening, very excited at the adventure our friend is about to embark on, albeit a bit sad for us remaining behind. The main downside to the Bradleys experience was that the service could have been a bit better. The front of house attendee didn’t appear to be very happy or pleased to see us when we arrived and when taking our food order. And the waitress attending our table equally unsmiling and in a rush to get away from our table as soon as she could before checking if there was anything else she could help us with whilst she was there. It was difficult to raise attention when we needed a refill of drinks and in the end one of us had to leave the table and go and find some assistance.
Would I go back? Probably – with some reservations. I’ve ‘been back’ already (as mentioned above) on several occasions but on each visit it’s been with expectations that it’s unlikely to be A+ either due to the service or the quality of the food. One is never quite sure what you will get …
Only remains to say that we’ll keep J’s seat warm while she’s away and our loss will be Rwanda’s gain.46/50 Highgate, Heaton, Bradford Tel: 01274 499890 Opening hours: Lunch – 12 noon – 2pm (Mon-Fri) Evenings – 6pm (Mon- Thur) 5:30 (Fri & Sat) – 10pm