Packing a ‘Punch’ in Honley village

Restaurant review by Anthony Hegney, Asparagus Green.

Honley village, located just outside of Huddersfield, has a great range of small, independent restaurants that – as an area – the villagers should be really proud of.

One of my long standing favourites is Mustard & Punch on Westgate which is a great little bistro that is definitely worth a try if you’re in the area. At the back end of 2015, the owners opened a sister restaurant just across the road named Punch Tapas. For our review, we chose to go to Punch Tapas with some friends who we haven’t seen for some time. Oliver & Kate who live local to Honley and run a small business – Oliver James Sugar Craft – in Denby Dale. With convenient off-street park ing, Punch is easily accessible from the roadside. The open plan kitchen with the catering team busy preparing the food for the evening’s diners is situated at the back of the restaurant headed up by co-owner Wayne.

We were greeted by a very pleasant chap who took us to our booth just off to the right of the restaurant and close to the kitchen. This was ideal for me as I like to be nosy! The décor in the restaurant is rustic with old fashioned lighting hung on the brick-style tiled walls, and the feature metal trunking around the walls gives it modern yet contemporary feel.

After we’d spent some time chatting, the waiter returned to our table to take our order. It didn’t take me long to choose as I love Tapas style dining, so would have been happy to have one of everything off the menu! However, I refrained and ordered a few dishes to start with. Katie was adamant that she wanted some of the sweet potato fries, and for my first choice I ordered the prawns Pil Pil with crusty bread to mop up the garlic & chili infused oil. I then went for Mussels Da Galicia served on sour dough, as well as paprika spiced jumbo chicken wings and a side of patatas bravas. Glen, Oliver & Katie went for a selection of tapas including grilled black pudding, piquillo peppers, spicy mini chorizo, Iberico ham Pate, smoked Brie croquettes, Iberico fat roast potatoes and of course, Katie’s sweet potato fries!

Our dishes arrived promptly after we’d ordered, with the prawn Pil Pil the first one up for me. The flavours were stunning and the prawns were a good size. I then had my jumbo chicken wings and patatas bravas. The chicken wings were full of flavour and well cooked, and were served in traditional pot dishes. I had to try Katie’s sweet potato fries just to see if they lived up to her hype and I have to say that they were pretty impressive. Glen had ordered grilled black pudding which was served with a crisp hen’s egg and cauliflower puree; the egg was bright orange in the middle as you would expect from a good quality egg, and I did try the black pudding and its peppery taste really stood out.

My crispy salt & chilli squid was then delivered to the table and it certainly didn’t disappoint; a nice crunchy coleslaw on the side with a small pot of piquillo ketchup complimented the dish well. I also couldn’t resist in sticking my fork into Oliver’s chorizo just to sample the flavours and again wasn’t disappointed. The spices really got my taste buds going. My mussels arrived sat in a small bowl with the sour dough to the side, along with the salad garnish.

The mussels were a great size with lots of sauce, but this dish is served cold which might not be for everyone. After all this food, I was pretty much complete. We were offered the dessert menu, but we questioned whether we could really manage a dessert after the amazing selection of dishes. However, we couldn’t complete the review if we didn’t finish the meal off with a pudding, right? I left it to the rest of the guys to order desserts, with Katie ordering the churros with rich chocolate sauce that were spot on, and Glen opting for the baked cheesecake which he enjoyed.

Punch also benefits from its own bar which is on the small side due to space restrictions, but is ideal for enjoying a pre-dinner drink. Booking for Punch is essential as they do get booked up very fast, so if you can’t wait to get your hands on some great Spanish tapas, don’t leave it too late. Wayne and the team at Punch are there to please from arrival to departure.

If I haven’t convinced you, then take a look at Trip Advisor; one of the entries speaks for itself with one headline “Holme Valley’s finest”. I whole heartedly agree. Well done Wayne and team. Punch is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12 noon till after dinner. To book a table call 01484 662359, or book online at www.punchhonley.co.uk.