Weekend Dining: Weetons All-Day Menu
Group Editor Andrew Palmer visits Weetons to sample its all-day menu.
Within the environs of Harrogate there are a few eating establishments, not necessarily your straightforward restaurants, that are beginning to become firm favourites.
Such is the case at Weetons, the luxury food hall based in the spa town, which is fast becoming a hit among locals and visitors.
Weetons has a good story to tell. It has recently undergone a refurbishment and customers enter the shop to choose from all kinds of wonderfully enticing gourmet treats, the butchery that sets out its stall with well-presented locally sourced produce, great food in the bistro area and excellence in customer service. The team running this fabulous food emporium practice what they preach, and the ambience and quality of the food live up to expectations.
Whether its breakfast, brunch, coffee and cake or a glass of vino, Weetons is establishing itself as a preferred choice and its popularity was part of the reasoning with it being given a makeover.
Weetons is also part of the fashionable trend with the development of the all-day menu. There is no denying that certainly breakfast dishes are popular for many reasons with restaurants and, as we progress to more hybrid working practices, the attraction of an all-day menu becomes appealing.
Managing Director, Rob Coutts, says the completely fresh look has seen the light and airy interior enhanced with “tones of green and new lighting creating a fresh yet warm and welcoming atmosphere.”
His two new additions to the kitchen, executive chef Lisa Mccourt and sous chef Egle Marcinkeviciute have put together a creative menu that can be enjoyed any time between 8am and 4pm. It incudes the full all-day breakfast, ultimate luxury Yorkshire Wagyu burger and the famous sharing board, stacked with produce from across the Food Hall, plus the ‘award-winning’ beef sandwich.
Coutts says Mccourt is bringing influences and experience from the States as well as other little nuances from working across the UK creating an innovative menu with plenty of variety from the classic staples we take for granted, to the American Pancake Stack (£9.50) with vegetarian and vegan options. It comprises Four American style stacked pancakes, served with a choice of either sliced banana & maple syrup, Greek yoghurt & fruit compote (V) or streaky bacon & maple syrup. There are also daily specials.
The amicable managing director also points out that 90% of the produce is sourced locally within a 30-mile radius.
I’m always sceptical when I read menus that say ‘award winning’ as with Weetons rare roast beef with horseradish mayonnaise and rocket sandwich, which is served on white or granary bloomer (£9.50).
The award winning beef sandwich
Oh, I thought, yet another claim. But my scepticism was unfounded. Totally unfounded - it was exceptional. The moment the attractive looking sandwich arrived, and the first bite was taken it was easy to see why it had been given the accolade.
The granary bread was light complementing the beef superbly well and meaning it was not too filling so the sandwich could be enjoyed, and the flavour savoured. The beef was rare, succulent, melted in the mouth and was full of taste. Yet again, like some of the top restaurants in Yorkshire, meat is sourced from R&J Meats in Kirby Malzeard. I don’t often come out with comments like - it will be my first choice when in Harrogate - but on this occasion it was so good and impressive that I will undoubtedly return.
That was not the only surprise. It was a beautifully warm day and so a crisp clean glass of the house rosé was chosen. There are around 80 wines that can in fact, be chosen from the food hall, corkage is £7 but the house Romanian Cãluşari pinot noir more than delivered on taste and Weetons also offers a red and white from the same label. There are a nice selection of Yorkshire beers and lagers.
As to the Weetons Ultimate Burger (£14.95), Wagyu beef, rare roast beef served in a toasted brioche bun, loaded with Swiss melted cheese, beef tomato, gem lettuce & onion gravy. Served with French fries & side salad (Double Wagyu burger £3). Add Harrogate Brewing Co. Beer £3.50. This was on par with the beef sandwich. It is not hard to see the subtle US influences Mccourt has brought to the party. On top of the succulent burger was that thin layer of the rare beef appearing again and for anyone worried about onion gravy, Mccourt has been very clever, layering the onions soaked in gravy with a good consistency so it doesn’t spoil the dish by soaking the bun or dripping everywhere. The horseradish mayo was quite refined and not too much; it is a filling meal. Personally, I never see the need for buns whether brioche or otherwise, when meat is as good as this and cooked to perfection, I just want to enjoy it as it is.
The Ploughman’s Sharing Board (£32.95) – A deluxe board for two people to share, contains a Weetons famous scotch egg, pork pie, deli quiche of the day, Harrogate Blue cheese, Wensleydale, chutney, celery sticks, balsamic onions & grapes. Served with toasted baguette. It would have certainly been one to try.
Chatting to Coutts about the Scotch Eggs, the secret in getting them exactly right comes down to the meat cooking timings and temperature.
The Carrot Cake
Pondering on the meal and supping the wine – time seemed to fly by, and when the friendly team came over to ask if they could tempt us to a cake and coffee the initial thought was a no. However, the descriptions meant they could not be resisted. The vegan carrot cake was moist with a lovely topping and the take on a Bakewell slice sounded wonderful. Both arrived promptly with a coffee; at first sight the Bakewell looked like it could be quite heavy. For the third time during this meal, it was a surprising revelation. Flavoursome, light and baked to perfection.
The Scotch Egg
I always enjoy a digestif and whilst discussing the local fare with Coutts he mentioned they had two Yorkshire vodkas; both were tried of which, the quality of the Keighley Yorkshire Vodka, was smooth with a delicate flavour and an ideal end to a meal.
Weetons is a foodie’s idea of an epicurean cornucopian paradise. I shall be returning
Oh, and on the way out, I couldn’t resist a look round the shop and a Scotch Egg for later.