Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Whitelock's, Leeds

It's getting a lot of attention at the moment is Whitelock's, and rightly so. I'll spare you the blather about it being a Leeds institution, the grand history of the place and so forth, plenty of others have and will do that better than me.

On a personal note I don't have any great memories of the place having been in there just a handful of times in the fifteen years since I first darkened the door of a Leeds pub. I do like a good pub though, and I like to see a pub with a hinterland thriving, so I was keen to pay a visit as soon as I heard the guys from London's Mason and Taylor had taken over.

On the face of it nothing much has changed. It looks the same, and pleasingly has retained a very mixed clientele. There were all sorts in there at teatime a week last Saturday, and there was a happy buzz about the place.

The aim is clearly evolution, not revolution. There's a new menu and an extended beer range, but much more in a traditional pub vein rather than the full on modern beer bar approach.

We drank pints of something local and pale, I can't remember what but it was well kept and quaffable. There was also an impressive rhubarb beer (Saison?) from Ilkley Brewery.

To eat, a burger was a bit of a monster, the highlight being a thick, juicy patty cooked to medium with properly melted cheese in a good quality bun.

I wasn't such a fan of everything else on the plank though, the fat chips being undercooked in parts, the salad limp and the onion rings a little greasy. I did like the blobs of slaw or remoulade or whatever the hell it was though. I shan't bang about the fact it all arrived on a plank, other than to say it irritated me as usual.

The burger was good value at under a tenner for a very substantial meal, and I enjoyed it even if the accompaniments needed some work. Whitelock's is very much a pub of course, and drinking remains centre stage. I'd say they've got the place back on track towards being a great drinker's pub where it's worth staying for dinner too. I'll definitely be returning to see how things progress.


Turks Head Yard


Whitelocks on Urbanspoon

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