Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

El Gato Negro Tapas, Ripponden, W Yorks


Bapi
 Share

Recommended Posts

Oh my bloody head. You forgot mention that lot was a pre starter- followed by a further starter of scallops at the Mill Bank pub and then home to cook pasta and demolish Eton Mess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Finally managed to get Dos Hermanos senior up to see us this weekend and take him to El Gato Negro. But as the lazy lummox can't be bothered to post on his blog- I thought I'd do a quick report.

Simon the chef was on fire on Saturday- banging out dish after dish of perfect food. We ordered a ridiculous amount of food including the scallops, Ribs in PX, monkfish, oxtail and foie gras dishes mentioned above. He was also impressed by the amount of Jamon Iberico £13 gets you compared to in London- but then this is Yorkshire.

Star of the show was a freebie. A new dish Simon was trying out - Onglet served with a patatas a lo pobre. An unusual cut of meat, seared and charred on the exterior and beautifully pink and tender within. Off set nicely by the sweet peppers and potatoes. It is sure to be popular. I was beaten by the time the Rabo de toro came out with Horseradish mash- but needn't have worried as the man was still ploughing on like a trojan.

(PS - Good article about Simon in Restaurant magazine a couple of weeks back. The same edition that mentions The Modern.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Spare of the moment decision to visit El Gato over the weekend, managed to get a table at 6 pm, although had to vacate at 8 pm. Decided to make a day of it, so phoned local tour guide Bapi for a good family friendly pub with excellent beer and boy did he deliver. The Alma Inn, Bapi's local, is an amazing pub in a great location, beautiful setting for a beer garden, rolling hills all around and 'spongy grass' for the little ones to play. Contrary to the dreary weather forecast, Saturday afternoon was glorious and with a beer menu featuring 30 plus specialist bottled beers, it was a perfect start.

Leaving Bapi and Bapi Jnr at the pub, we ventured down to El Gato, sun still shining and high anticipation for some good tapas. On arrival we were greeted by the ever so friendly front of house Chris, who seemed to know our first names? He then proceeded to offer us some complimentary drinks, it appeared any friend of Bapi's is a friend of El Gato!!! Well it made us feel special.

Dining area is bright spacious and modern with some great views. Ordering food is based around ticking each item on the menu and adding any additional dishes that maybe on the specials board. This was quite fun, as my oldest daughter Ciara ( the miniature gourmand) took over the role of choosing. The only problem being that you could very easily tick every box. Something I actually only realised at the end of the meal is the chef seems to decide in what order your dishes come out. He did this perfectly with the right dishes coming out at the right time and good spacing between each dish. It also adds that 'oh I forgot we ordered that' surprise element.

The food was excellent, I would say it is the best tapas I have had outside of Spain (including Moro, Barafina et al), and better than some I have had in Spain. It covered both styles of tapas in my opinion, the more traditional and the modern. Something as simple as a bowl of olives to me is a marker of good tapas, these olives were juicy, sweet, and so Moorish. Ciara and her one year old sister were almost fighting over who got to eat the most. Pickled chillies were just the right heat and perfect level of acidity. Selection of Spanish meats (Salchichon, Lomo, Serrano Ham, Chorizo Magno,Chorizo Artisan Leon) were divine and served with the most addictive celeriac remoulade. Baby Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic & Paprika was delicious, Lorraine who does not usually do 'skin and bones' was elbow deep in sauce and ripping the pieces apart with Henry the VIII style gusto. Seared Foie Gras on Gypsy Toast with Mango was advertised but not on sale anymore due to ALF objections, sounded such a good dish. Catalan Bread with Olive Oil, Garlic & Fresh Plum Tomato was again excellent, albeit slightly different from the Catalan bread I have had in Barcelona. This bread appeared deep fried with more of a tomato sauce than a tomato rub. The much talked about Padron Peppers with Maldon Sea Salt were everything they have been made out to be. I just could not stop eating them, well I did when I was lambasted for hogging the plate. The one in ten rule did not apply as I did not get a rogue 'hot one' at all. Syrian Lentils were cumin and coriander spiked delights, beautiful treatment of lentils warm and fresh. Patatas Bravas with Aioli, my least favourite of the dishes, the sauce was good, but the potatoes I found were a little soggy and tasted more like parsnips? Pan Fried Scallops, Jamon Risotto with Paprika Foam, was an absolute triumph of modern style tapas. Presented perfectly with a variety of sauces, scallops bursting with sweetness and different levels of flavours. To me this dish would be up there with anything I have seen on the recent great British menu and as good a dish I have had in quite a while. Amazing. Peas, mint and Iberico ham, Lorraine hailed this the dish of the day, just peas, mint and ham I hear you say, sounds simple, but these were unbelievable. Infact I can't do them justice in words alone. Selection of cheeses were all spanish and well kept, can only remember a manchego, Mahon? and Picos blue. I think they came with a quince jelly and a piece of a fig and walnut wheel, as well as some delightful bread and butter. With time ticking away we just had a selection of ice creams which young Ciara monopolised and gave them her experienced seal of approval.

The cooking in this restaurant really impressed me, I was hopeful it would be good, but was not expecting it to be that good. They really have got the balance right, with well sourced ingredients and exceptional cooking. Speaking to Simon the Chef afterwards I think he would like to do more of the modern style tapas, which from what I tasted he has the skill to execute. I do not think there are many, if any places in the Uk, who are doing this type of tapas, so it is good to see someone moving in that direction. He also does a great deal of research in the area by eating out in a lot of Spains best tapas joints and restaurants. A very exciting chef.

The atmosphere in the place was electric they really have captured the spirit of a bustling tapas place, with the sunshine outside, and lots of loud conversation and laughter I could have been in Spain. This has a great deal to do with Chris who is the perfect host and is absolutely obsessed with people enjoying themselves and having a good time.

I have very little to be jealous of Bapi, I am younger, fitter and far better looking. However, to have a restaurant like this on your door step , like he does, does bring out the green eyed monster somewhat.

If you are in the area give it a go, you will not be disappointed, if you are not in the area ( like us) make the trip, it is well worth it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Alma Inn, Bapi's local, is an amazing pub in a great location, beautiful setting for a beer garden, rolling hills all around and 'spongy grass' for the little ones to play. Contrary to the dreary weather forecast, Saturday afternoon was glorious and with a beer menu featuring 30 plus specialist bottled beers, it was a perfect start.

I have very little to be jealous of Bapi, I am younger, fitter and far better looking. However, to have a restaurant like this on your  door step , like he does,  does bring out the green eyed monster somewhat.

If you are in the area give it a go, you will not be disappointed, if you are not in the area ( like us) make the trip, it is well worth it.

Now if you think the Alma was good, we will definitely have to go to The Mill Bank pub next time and then you will be jealous. :smile: Great to see you again and to meet your charming family. Rosie sends her apologies again by the way.

Re El Gato Negro- I am delighted you enjoyed it so much but not really suprised, he writes somewhat complancently. :wink: The chaps are really top of their game at the moment and deserve all the plaudits they get.

I look forward to our lunch in a few weeks time, when you can eat the other half of the menu. :laugh:

Oh, and re my earlier comment the Dos Hermanos blog. Bless him, he did post about it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I haven't posted about this place for quite a while despite numerous visits- more than I can remember to be honest. We did pop in again yesterday and opted for the deal which quite frankly ludicrously good value. £30 for six dishes of chef's choice. Not bad eh? Even better when the also chuck in a bottle of house wine. Padron Peppers and chicken and mushroom croquettas came out first, followed by my son's favourite-tortilla. We never get any. Sadly he now also likes their meatbals with fritada sauce. Mussels came out with a glorious sauce enhanced with fino. We also ordered a couple of new dishes from the recently changed menu. Gressingham Duck, savoy cabbage,chestnuts and crispy pancetta was just joyous. I hadn't realised this before but the prepare their meat and some fish dishes using the sous vide method. The meat was beautiful, pink and as tender as one could hope for- the skin having been crisped up before plating. That was great but even better was Baby monkfish, roasted squid tentacles, pickled cucumber, avocado puree and pancetta. Glorious presentation, with a swathe of squid ink having been brushed onto the plate and three succulent on the bone pieces of monkfish were surrounded by little balls of the pickled cucumber. Bloody sublime and thankfully they have other new dishes for me to try over the next few weeks.

Lovely to see it so busy in there of a Sunday afternoon. Unsuprisingly, it has a very loyal following, so much so that you will be able to see the guys on The F word tomorrow night at 9pm, as it was voted for as part of the Best Local Restaurant part of the show, er not by me I might add as I didn't even hear about it. Oh and for those of you who know me and Rosie, if you are unfortunate to spot a chap who looks like me on the box tomorrow night and he happens to be sat with another woman. No, I am not having an affair!!

El Gato Negro Tapas

F Word link

Edited by Bapi (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bapi,

Great post and what stunning value, how do they make money at those prices? They will be pulled out of the place as soon as its been on the tele, hope they don't put the price up too soon as I just been on google maps and its very do-able for me :smile:

No clues as to identity then? :laugh:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the post, Bapi. I see it's only 40 minutes away and have added it to my ever growing "to visit" list.

Co-incidence that your opening post on the thread mentions the Weavers Shed - we've that upcoming shortly (after Christmas and then a couple of weeks slumming in Tenerife).

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bapi,

Great post and what stunning value, how do they make money at those prices? They will be pulled out of the place as soon as its been on the tele, hope they don't put the price up too soon as I just been on google maps and its very do-able for me :smile:

No clues as to identity then? :laugh:

Well the two extra dishes mentioned plus a sublime lemon tart for me and a "Dominic special" - i.e. Marshallows, space dust,vanilla ice cream and a Tasmanian Devil inducing amount of Chocolate sauce which Hugo drinks through a straw; plus a red wine for dad brought the bill up to just under £60. Trust me, I can live with that.

Thanks for the post, Bapi. I see it's only 40 minutes away and have added it to my ever growing "to visit" list.

Co-incidence that your opening post on the thread mentions the Weavers Shed - we've that upcoming shortly (after Christmas and then a couple of weeks slumming in Tenerife).

Stop now John- a meal out and then two weeks away. My heart is bleeding for you Sir! Do let me know when you guys are heading over (as indeed should you David). I'll see what I can do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey bapi thought they came across really well on that certain chefs program tonight, i don`t usually watch it but put up with the circus show to see really nice food from el gato, should be a great and deserved advert for them! and the other chef really reminded me of Sergio arolas style of tapas at hotel arts or was it just me?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good result. Looks like you have lost a bit of weight Bapi, and the

make up suited you !!!

Cheeky bastard and what make up?

so who was the bird then mate?

congratulations to el gato, looked great.

Bird????? Are you aware it is 2009 mate? It was our friend the lovely Sarah who also works at El Gato every now and agian. Yes, delighted for them Gary- they did really well and sea bass dish is fantastic to eat.

The Spanish brother in law watched - El Gato was the one he'd want to visit of the two.

I take it Bapi was the enthusiatic punter commenting on the place?

Aye Sir , that was I.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, to answer your question- they have stopped the live music Robin.

Popped in to see them after transmission and David's prediction above was correct. The phone hasn't stopped and they are booked up till next year now. Gulp makes on a bit worriedd about getting in again but delighted for them nevertheless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

I’d been thinking about coming here ever since I saw it on the Ramsay programme last year. Knowing that the selections on that programme had occasionally been a bit flaky, I hadn’t been in a rush, but its inclusion in the 2011 Good Food Guide clinched the trip for me. So, four of us made the schlep along the M62 to Ripponden. Now, I reckon going to a tapas place in a group – even a small group – has its downsides as well as its upsides. On the one hand, you get the opportunity to give the menu a good seeing-to but, on the other, it poses difficulties in ordering sufficient food that everyone’s going to enjoy.

As we walked in, we were immediately welcomed by chef and owner, Simon, who seemed to know I was an egulleter (thanks, Bapi). He suggested some Padron peppers to get us started while we looked over the menu. I like the menu – the actual menu as well as the food. It’s a paper placemat – you tick what you want and give it to the server. It fits the casual style of El Gato. Simon chatted through some of his signature dishes before leaving us to decide, suggesting that we’d want to order around a dozen dishes for the four of us. In the event, I think we clocked up 19 (including three double portions and one quad of bread). Many dishes on the menu are classics of the tapa genre. Others are on good nodding acquaintance with Spanish cuisine; a few seemed to have more tenuous links but were none the less for it.

The peppers had been great – expertly fried, not greasy, and with a good sprinkling of salt. Roasted almonds and marinated anchovies on crostini quickly followed. And then, in no particular order as they were cooked, we had:

Jamon croquetas – light and delicate

Belly pork, roasted scallop and morcilla. Quite a cheffy presentation here, with a couple of blobs of sauce and a foam.

Lamb kebabs, chickpea puree, harrisa and yoghurt. Absolutely delicious although perhaps more Moroccan than Spanish (although Spain continues to occupy part of that country so the link is there).

A double portion of black ink rice, avocado and squid. Another dish that was absolutely bang-on for rich flavour. Simon seems to spend almost as much time out of the kitchen as in it and on one of his visits to the table told us that it was a simple dish relying on the quality of the fish stock to cook the rice. Fab.

Catalan bread with olive oil, garlic and tomato – pa amb tomaquet. This was the quad order of bread – a single order getting you just two slices. Delicious – well worth ordering seconds.

Catalan fish stew was much of a soup than stew. Clams, squid, scallop, small fillets of an unknown fish (bass?) in a rich liquid. As with a number of offerings, this cried out for bread – not the above Catalan bread – but just lots of ordinary bread, as you get everywhere in Spain, to mop up the juices. If you're reading this, Simon, just stick a loaf on everyone’s table, and build in the cost.

Syrian lentils were good and earthy. Patatas bravas were patatas bravas - always a favourite tapa of mine (thanks for this freebie, Simon).

We’d also had a couple of the specials – chorizo cooked with cider was poky with chilli, while a double portion of ribs cooked in Pedro Ximenez sherry were sweet, but the sauce a bit thin for good “clinging” quality. Nice to eat these two dishes in conjunction with each other.

And, finally, a small selection of regional Spanish cheese, served with bread, quince paste and pressed fig (pan de higo?).

Aside from the above comment about the need for mopping –up bread, this was cooking at a good standard. Quality ingredients, well executed. There wasn’t a single duff dish amongst the lot. And, unlike many tapas places, no sense that the microwave had just pinged.

The drinkers had carafes of white and red wine and shared a bottle of Inedit beer developed by Ferran Adria and the Catalan brewers, Damm. Simon said El Gato was, I think, one of only ten outlets in the UK to offer it. The drinkers liked everything.

Service throughout the evening had been great. Obviously it was aided by Simon’s personal contribution but he is well assisted by his front of house team. It is possible to eat here cheaply – there’s an offer of 6 tapas (chef’s choice) and a bottle of wine for two people at £35. But ordering from the menu can quickly rack up the bill, with dishes such as the fish stew costing £12 and the bellypork/scallop/morcilla dish at £9.50 – and a single order is designed as a small tapa for two people. But, all in all, well worth the trip.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad that you seem and the family appeared to have enjoyed your trip over and that food was enjoyable. Funnily enough, the squid dish was the one that I didn't get the full benefit of when we were there last, but that was due to it arriving last and me having no space left in the tank! Simon was saying he is introducing a new menu soon which will include many of his classic and most popular dishes from the last few years. Cheers for your report.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...