A local-boozer-cum-hip-restaurant that has gained a cult reputation as one of Britain’s most exhilarating food experiences
It’s hard to pigeonhole this West Yorkshire venue, which is both a cosy yet worn oak beamed pub for the locals and an ambitious – but relatively inexpensive – destination restaurant that has got gourmands all a quiver thanks to owners Aimee Turford and Alisdair Brooke-Taylor’s use of traditional homesteading techniques and live-fire cooking.
The pair, who met while working at Belgian restaurant In De Wulf – Turford as sommelier, Brooke-Taylor as sous chef – have taken their experience working in high-end restaurants and combined it with a passion for a more natural approach to running a business. Much of the The Moorcock’s cooking is done on a collection of wood and charcoal ovens and adjustable grills at the back of the pub, with Brooke-Taylor cooking whole animals, some of which have been reared specifically for the restaurant, over wood and house-made charcoal.
Sustainability is key, with fish and seafood caught only from native waters by day boats and all vegetables organic and home-grown or foraged where possible. The formality of a la carte has also been eschewed with diners encouraged to share dishes, the likes of which include spiced lamb bun, new season onion fondue, nettles, pickled elderflower and mint; barbecued turbot with seaweed sauce, preserved lemon, pickled beach herbs and ramson oil; and cheesecake custard doughnut with yuzu cha.
Menus change with the seasons but one dish, crispy smoked potatoes with yeast mayonnaise, remains a regular. It’s a dish so popular – and moreish – that it has even inspired one regular customer to write a poem about it.