Updated: Sep 1, 2018
A new dinner club has evolved from my local book club. We have been meeting recently, keeping off the topic of our latest book club read, and getting to know some independent places to eat that are local to us, in our special corner of Yorkshire, that has borders on both North and West counties. So that gives us scope for many dinner experiences and we welcome friends and partners too on these foodie nights.
So here are a couple of our recommendations, one in West Yorkshire, just off the M62, and the second in a suburb of Leeds just to the south of the city.
It’s well over thirty years since Aldo’s pitched up on Dewsbury Road in Cleckheaton. At the time – 1983 – it must have been quite a risk.
So being the first Italian restaurant in a town not thought at the time to be wildly cosmopolitan (its part of the Heavy Woollen District of Yorkshire) must have been doubly nerve wracking.
However, 34 years down the line the gamble would certainly seem to have paid off.
Today, Aldo’s is something of an institution in the area – there cannot be many small town eateries with few tables to spare at 6.30pm mid-week.
You are greeted with a ‘ciao bella’ and a kiss on either cheek from one of the waiters or Pino the owner, upon arrival.
Having extended into a neighbouring property, it now has its own Prosecco Bar and a coffee shop. Throughout, the walls are painted red, there are bottles of olive oil scattered around plus the traditional candles in wine bottles on the tables.
The mid-week Early Bird menu gives more than enough choices, 2 courses for £13.95 or 3 courses for £15.95, add to that the specials menu…so much choice!
Pizzas and pasta are the bread and butter of this place, they have a fantastic open kitchen where you can see the pizza man whizzing the fresh bases on his finger before putting the toppings on and then placing in the oven.
The sweet life of Aldo’s, lots of traditional Italian desserts with a Dolce del Giorno, today was fresh pineapple and ice cream, presented with creativity of course.
Aldo’s has a warm buzzing atmosphere, and a perfect little gem in sleepy Cleckheaton, just off the M62.
An Indian restaurant with a unique twist. This sleek suburban restaurant is located at the heart of Oulton village, just south of Leeds. On arrival you are instantly impressed by the broad smiles and warm welcome from the staff, who are impeccably turned out in stylish uniforms. The decor is a delightful fusion of Indian/contemporary design features. You really need to book; people just don’t want to leave!!
The menu is very imaginative and includes so many innovative and tempting ‘specials’ and ‘signature dishes’ as well as traditional ‘old skool’ favourites.
Popular are the healthy main courses – Healthy Choice Chicken, cooked with no oils or fats, just water and its own stock.
Zoya is right in the middle of the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle so on my recent visit especially tasty was the Rothwell Special Rhubarb, chefs own creation of tender spring chicken with rhubarb, creating a symphony of Eastern and Western flavours – sweet and spicy! Their Oulton Special naan is indeed special – stuffed with spring onion, cheese, diced chicken tikka and garlic. Truly unique.
Chef will modify any dish to customers’ personal fiery preference. Curries are served in individual frying pans, a slightly quirky experience.
This venue is well known for amazing food, attentive service and a buzzing atmosphere.