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La Cocina Restaurant
Restaurant Address:

103 Lidget, Lindley

Visited On:

22nd February 2013 8.15pm

Reviewed By: James & Lisa of Birkby

Lindley village has changed a lot in the 20 years since I worked a paper-round there. Lidget Street in particular has always been a busy village high street but has been transformed to a foodie favourite hotspot. Lidget Streetís latest arrival is La Cocina, which opened in October 2012. La Cocina is Spanish for The Kitchen and I was intrigued to see how this bustling eatery nestles in amongst its neighbours. La Cocina serves Mediterranean/Tapas alongside a contemporary British a la carte menu. Also on the menu is the fashionable Black Rock dining experience, where diners are served there steak or fish selection on what represents a volcanic rock. Diners can then sear their selection to suit their own taste buds.

As a food lover I normally view a restaurantís menu and choose what Iím ordering before visiting. On this occasion I decided to remain open-minded and make my decision whilst seated in the restaurant surroundings. From a food point of view, this was like a blind date!

My partner and I decided to visit on a busy Friday evening and found plenty of available on-street parking spaces. The bar area had a busy and jovial atmosphere with delicious smells emanating from the open-fronted kitchen. We arrived at the restaurant without acknowledgement by the staff. While we waited at the bar we picked at some fantastic nibbles of my partnerís favourite Spanish dish, Spanish Tortilla. When we were acknowledged our drinks order was taken and we took up residence against the bar while we reviewed the food menu.

The restaurant is set over 3 floors, seating approximately 60 diners, and is designed with a homely but stylish modern feel with clean edges and a little sparkle. Because of the eclectic range of food on the menu I was struggling to decide between a selection of Tapas, the Rack of Lamb on the main menu and Surf and Turf on the Black Rock. I decided to go down the middle and choose none of them and instead decided on the Honeyed Barbary Duck Breast with a cranberry port & orange sauce & parsnip crisps.

For starters we chose to share Slowly Braised Pork Belly in Maple Syrup, King Prawns, Pea Puree & Madeira Sauce and La Cocina Pan (warm crusty bread served with Alioli). The pork belly had been rendered perfectly and the sweetness of the maple syrup was balanced well against the salt of the ĎJUMBOí king prawns, which had been cooked with shell-on to retain their flavours. The bread was warm and fresh and the Alioli had a brilliant tang of garlic. The only disappointment was that the pea puree required a little more seasoning to make it sing.

For the mains my partner chose the Tuna Supreme and I of course plumped for the Duck Breast. It was a welcome option for my partner to receive her Tuna on the Black Rock, but she decided to leave the cooking to the professionals. The Tuna Supreme came as two mammoth inch thick steaks of juicy tuna on a bed of char grilled asparagus and fresh rocket with slices of lemon decorating the plate. Seared on the outside and pink in the middle it was an impressively presented dish that my partner agreed Ďmelted in her mouthí.

The Duck Breast was equally impressive. Cooked pink in the middle and seared skin-side down, each mouthful was a joy. The cranberry, port and orange sauce was rich and carried enough acidity to compliment the flavour of the soft Duck Breast. The parsnip crisps rounded off the dish well with an extra dimension of texture. Each dish was served with either New Potatoes and Vegetables or Hand Cut Chips and Mixed Leaf Salad. Due to the temperature outside we decided to choose New Potatoes, Hand Cut Chips and two servings of Vegetables. The New Potatoes were slightly roasted and worked well with the Duck while the Hand Cut Chips were delightfully crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. The Vegetables were served separately and came as a medley of carrots, red onion, asparagus, mange tout and courgettes. All of my favourites cooked with care, which meant that there wasnít an item left on the plate.

For dessert we decided to share the Amaretto, Cherry and Almond Cheesecake. The dessert was presented impeccably, which might explain the 30 minute wait for it to arrive. The cheesecake base was buttery and rich, with plump juicy cherries and toasted flaked almonds. As a dish it made me feel warm inside and rounded off an excellent selection of well presented and expertly cooked food.
It was a nice touch by La Cocina to present suitable Dessert Wines and Port on the Dessert Menu alongside the food and coffee selection.

Facilities at the restaurant were fantastic and wouldnít go amiss at a 5-star hotel. Clean, spacious and instead of a hand dryer the toilets had a well-stocked array of cotton hand towels for each visitor. As facilities go La Cocina is ticking all the boxes. The total price for a meal for two came to £45.80, with two glasses of wine costing £11. As a Yorkshireman I donít part with my money easily, but the food was worth every penny.

Although friendly the service seemed a little disjointed and relatively slow in comparison to the size of the restaurant. I would like to visit La Cocina again to sample more of its extensive Tapas menu, but based on the overall dining experience Iím not sure I would. La Cocina is rivalled by a number of restaurants in Huddersfield that provide excellent food and excellent service, with a few tweaks La Cocina can be amongst that pack. If you like well cooked interactive food and you donít mind slow service then youíll love La Cocina.

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