Monday, 25 April 2011

The New Inn, Sowood, Halifax

The New Inn sits on a hill overlooking Elland and Halifax. The view from the tables out the back is marvellous and well worth an hour spent gazing out over the moors with a pint (if you ignore the pylons in the foreground). A friend and I did exactly this on Saturday evening, before it started to get a bit nippy and we headed inside for food. The downside to the lofty location is that it's usually freezing.

Inside it's very much a traditional pub interior, and obviously very popular. It was bustling with a mix of both diners and drinkers. The chap in charge (the landlord at a guess) was friendly and efficient, proffering menus and taking our orders as we waited at the bar for our table to become available.

My starter of poached salmon came all sort of mushed up, so that it had the texture of tinned salmon. I'd have preferred it just gently flaked but it was still pleasant to eat; soft, mellow and well seasoned. My companion's chicken liver paté was pretty good, very smooth and served in a ridiculously huge portion. It's not an exaggeration to say it would have stretched to three servings without appearing stingy.

I'm a glutton for punishment so ordered a 10oz sirloin steak for my main course. Steaks invariably seem to be disappointing in pubs (rubbish meat, overcooked, not rested and so on). I find pies are generally a safer bet. This one was probably better than average. It was cooked rare as requested and was tender and juicy so had clearly been rested. Whatever they cooked it on wasn't hot enough though, as there was very little crisping or charring of any description resulting in a rather dull and pasty finish. The accompaniments were a mixed bag too. The onion rings were lovely, sweet and soft onion in a really light, crunchy batter. The chips would have been great if they'd had an extra two minutes in the fryer. Pepper sauce had congealed and didn't seem to have any pepper in it. The tomato, in line with expectations, was pointless and the mushrooms were fine.

Across the table meat and potato pie was going down well. I sampled a mouthful, the meat and gravy were very good but the pastry a bit stodgy.

Everything was very generously proportioned so we didn't have room for dessert. A couple of coffees were provided free of charge as we were asked to move so they could re-arrange the tables to accommodate another group. Not a problem as we were about ready to leave anyway.

I'd eat here again. There were enough good things about the food to make it an enjoyable meal and the service was excellent. It's quite expensive for what is fairly standard pub food though. Our bill came to £46 before service for two courses and two drinks each.


The New Inn
Forest Hill Road

(2 minutes drive from Junction 23 on the M62)

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