Very fine dining
The culinary scene in Hull and East Yorkshire has never been more intriguing, exciting or varied. In the half-decade since the leading gastropub – the Pipe and Glass at South Dalton – brought the area’s first Michelin star, the number and quality of restaurants, pubs, cafes and diners has mushroomed.
With its star and five Dining Pub of the Year awards, the Pipe and Glass presents the perfect mixture of sensitively-used local ingredients and imaginative takes on pub classics and ensures that everyone who eats there knows exactly what East Yorkshire tastes like. Yorkshire cheeses, oils, meats, fish, veg, preserves, ales, ciders and many other ultra-locally-sourced ingredients are incorporated to stunning effect and national acclaim. It’s no accident that the pub is there or thereabouts every time lists of the very best pubs in the country are compiled. The Pipe and Glass, in turn, has inspired plenty of other local eateries to emulate their success.
Particularly notable is the Star at Sancton, which has received a certain celebrity by being bestowed the accolade of “Best Yorkshire Puddings in Yorkshire” – can there be a more sought-after prize? The Star was transformed from a rather tired village boozer to a gastro-powerhouse in under a decade and it’s surely only a matter of time before Michelin reward them for it. In turn, both chefs, Ben Cox at the Star and James MacKenzie at the Pipe and Glass, acknowledge David Nowell of The Hide at Tickton Grange as a distinct local influence. David designs all his incredible dishes around the best ingredients sourced from within 20 miles and his enthusiasm and experience shows in every amazing plate that leaves his kitchen.
Great country pub food in the Riding can also be sampled at the Nancy in Burton Pidsea and the Wellington in Lund. You’ll find the finest steak pie in the county at The Gait in Millington, a pretty, utterly unpretentious, centuries-old farmhouse pub slap bang in the middle of Wolds Way walking territory. The pub owns a herd of cattle which are kept in a field a short distance away and it’s from these that the steak derives.
With its star and five Dining Pub of the Year awards, the Pipe and Glass presents the perfect mixture of sensitively-used local ingredients and imaginative takes on pub classics and ensures that everyone who eats there knows exactly what East Yorkshire tastes like
Pub grub and international flavours
The Black Horse at Little Weighton is another favourite with discerning diners for its combination of pub classics and traditional British dishes, with the menu bolstered by a selection of steaks and a few surprises. Once you move into the town, the eating options are no less wonderful and even more numerous. Take, for instance, Beverley. The ever-popular market town has everything from experimental fine dining to exotic international cuisine. Serious foodies will head straight to Whites, where chef John Robinson has won much acclaim and many fans for his four or nine-course tasting menus, which feature elaborate and inspiring use of the finest local and national ingredients, utilised in the most imaginative ways. The menus change daily and early booking is advised as seats are few and usually claimed well in advance.
Virtually across the road from Whites is the Westwood, where twins Matthew and Michelle Barker won the 2017 Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Award (REYTA) in the restaurant category for their handsome British classics in a converted 19th-century courthouse. It’s a confident and attractive restaurant and extremely popular with the well-heeled of the town as well as hungry punters drawn from the nearby racecourse.
Beverley also plays host to a few exotic eateries tucked away above the main shopping streets. Ogino serves wonderful authentic Japanese food but with many locally-sourced ingredients. Jardelle, tucked in the corner of North Bar Within, specialises in the fresh, light flavours of Turkey and now has a rival, with Istanbul Bar and Restaurant having opened nearby.
Lucia, housed in a former Turkish restaurant, places the emphasis on Italian and is known for fine food, classic cocktails and outstanding value. Figaro, hidden away behind the shops next to New Walkergate, is highly regarded for its contemporary Italian cuisine. The Pig & Whistle, the tiny bistro and charcuterie opened by former 1884 Dock Street Kitchen head chef James Allcock is a hidden gem, and Chamas Rodizio, specialising in mountains of meat Brazilian-style, has grown in size and popularity even though a similar outlet forms part of the sizeable food and drink offer at Flemingate.
Beverley also plays host to a few exotic eateries tucked away above the main shopping streets
Bistros and spicy food
Recent additions to Beverley’s dining scene include the refurbished Beverley Arms Hotel, now operated by the Thwaites company, and Fleur de Lis, a French bistro just across the road which is a step up from its sister restaurant, Cognac, in Hull. Indian street food has spiced up the cuisine at The Windmill, with Yo Tuk Tuk earning rave reviews after joining forces with the pub management team and making the most of unused space. Just outside the town is the village of Skidby, which plays host to the Millhouse restaurant – unsurprisingly located at the foot of a windmill, the only remaining working example in East Yorkshire – and serves food from an English/Italian menu. It also has a glass-walled first-floor dining room which affords wonderful views across the Wolds towards and beyond Hull.
A Gino D’Acampo restaurant at Kingswood and a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse at the Doubletree by Hilton have hogged the headlines in Hull, but there have been many other openings which are perhaps more interesting and affordable. The greatest concentration of these has been in the Avenues area. Two adjoining streets in particular – Princes Avenue and Newland Avenue – have been transformed into bacchanalian epicentres, with virtually every other building given over to food and drink. On these two streets alone you are guaranteed to find something to suit every palate and wallet.
Newland Avenue is home to Gusto, an excellent Italian a few doors down from No.6 Kitchenette which offers English dishes under international influence, heavyweight meat classics and lighter deli boards of meats and cheeses with spicy jams and pickles. A sister restaurant, Butlers Whites, is equally in demand down at the Fruit Market.
If West Indian food is more your thing then Roots serves authentic jerk ribs, curried goat or a mean Dark & Stormy cocktail at its outlets in Newland Avenue and in Beverley. Also close to Newland Avenue is Meze, serving specialities from Greece and Turkey.
For something rather closer to the style of a Greek taverna, try The Aegean on Anlaby Road or the highly-rated newcomer The Greek in Princes Avenue, where prices are low and the menu of the day, like the wine list, is scrawled on a piece of brown paper! Gusto’s companion restaurant Da Gianni lays claim to the best pizzas in East Yorkshire and is also on Princes Avenue, where competition is fierce. Thai House offers a thorough and authentic menu, you can enjoy a tagine or another North African delight at Marrakech Avenue and new arrival Robin’s Steakhouse serves up succulent slabs of meat which do justice to its re-brand from Robin’s Oak.
If West Indian food is more your thing then Roots serves authentic jerk ribs, curried goat or a mean Dark & Stormy cocktail at its outlets in Newland Avenue and in Beverley
Indian food and mediterranean eats
Lucca remains popular and Florins has changed direction to serve Indian street food as The Tiffin Box. Ray’s Place was Hull’s longest-established curry house until it closed for a few months late in 2017. It’s open again and as ever is busy late in the evening with its policy of bring your own drink. Nearby, the Bengal Lounge serves similarly impressive cuisine in greater comfort and Spice of South India offers dishes from a different region with Sri Lankan specialities as well.
Away from the Avenues, there is the fine-dining restaurant Tapasya on Beverley Road, which Welcome To Yorkshire ranks as one of the best Indian restaurants in the whole of the county and which has a second outlet operating to the same high standards at the side of Hull Marina.
Cerutti’s, near the Pierhead, is one of the longest-standing restaurants in the city and has been offering fish dishes with a Mediterranean influence for over 40 years. A second branch – Cerutti 2 – occupies a unique site at Beverley railway station and is even more popular. 1884 Dock Street Kitchen closed its doors during the summer of 2018 and has recently reopened as Barrow Boys.
On the opposite, quieter side of the marina, 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar offers dishes in the traditional Spanish style presented in a much more refined and robust manner than you may find on the Costa Del Sol. 1884 Wine & Tapas also gives the tapas twist to local ingredients, and has shone in regional restaurant awards for the quality of its food and drink, the intimacy of the environment and the warmth of the welcome and service.
Lighter options, particularly during the day, can be found at some of the excellent cafes throughout the East Riding. Some, such as Cakey Bakey Yum Yum in Patrington, specialise in mountains of sweet stuff. Sails at Skidby is similarly serious about dessert but also offers a varied menu of salads and sandwiches which changes daily. Like Sails, Drewton’s at South Cave has earned a reputation for its fine high teas. The Wolds Village restaurant and tea room near Bainton is a daytime delight which also serves substantial and traditional meals into the evening.
Cerutti’s, near the Pierhead, is one of the longest-standing restaurants in the city and has been offering fish dishes with a Mediterranean influence for over 40 years
Burgers, Asian flavours and the Hull Street Food Nights
A different atmosphere (and one distinctly in line with the new-found gastronomic confidence in Hull) is created at Thieving Harry’s, in the city’s Fruit Market area. It’s a former shipping office with great views across the marina, transformed into a trendy eatery serving amazing burgers, grilled-cheese sandwiches and the like. It’s proven to be the beating heart of the resurgent Fruit Market and seats are hard won and long held. Weekend mornings in Thieving Harry’s have swiftly become a popular tradition. New neighbours of Thieving Harry’s include the former owners of Stanley’s Brasserie with their new venture, Humber Fish Co, and a selection of inexpensive pizza and tapas outlets, with more to come from a part of the city which is undergoing major redevelopment.
Yinjibar, hidden away in Charles Street, still stands out among the region’s Chinese restaurants. The menu offers western favourites and authentic Chinese and the unpretentious environment belies an unrivalled quality at prices more akin to the take-away end of the market. A welcome addition to the city centre is Tanyalak, so small it can only accommodate about 20 people and becomes very busy very quickly as word spreads about the quality of its Thai street food. Shoot The Bull operates a fine restaurant at The Old House in Scale Lane, Hull, and is also at the forefront of the burgeoning street food scene having won national awards for its “gastro pop-up”.
The Hull Street Food Nights, pioneered by HullBID as a spin-off from the annual Yum! Festival of Food and Drink, attract thousands of people into Trinity Square and Zebedee’s Yard and feature some of the finest restaurants. The appetite is clearly there for more of the same and visitors to the region would be well advised to explore the enhanced food offer of the main cultural festivals and look out for new events which celebrate the East Riding’s food and drink in its own right.
The unprecedented and rapid escalation of excellent places to eat and drink across the East Riding continues apace. Much of the activity is mainly centred around Hull and Beverley, but micro-pubs, farm shops and unique dining experiences are never far from the beaten track. Restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, spurred on by the boom in availability of top quality, locally-produced ingredients from country and coast, are showing creativity, dynamism and a real spirit of adventure.
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