Friday, 2 December 2016

Friends of Ham - Leeds

How does the pub chain Yates still exist? Of everything that died a death in the last recession, that hideous home of the brown square-toed shoe and flesh-oozing boob tube, should surely have been next against the wall, after Woolworths.

They must have signed a pact with the devil though, because they're so alive and well in Leeds that the street outside is awash with faux leather and flab.

For those who prefer a different kind of meat market on a Saturday night, Friends of Ham is right next door.

A place I've wanted to visit for a long time, House of Ham (as I keep calling it, for some reason) has already been visited by everyone and anyone I can think of, reviewed within an inch of its life and always coming out smelling of pork scented roses.

I literally have nothing new to add, but when's that ever stopped me?

A restaurant-cum-bar, Friends of Ham has that Alpine feel, on a freezing Northern evening, of crisp, cold air on the outside and a room full of sweaty bodies, booze, ham, and cheese on the inside.

That's basically the review right there, in a nutshell.

Ham and cheese, served up on several platters. To not love that, you'd have to be dead inside. The sweaty bodies? That's just a strong indication that it's well loved. I guess, unfortunately, the same holds true for Yates, so it's not the greatest litmus test.

What we ate, I don't really know. Three platters, split six ways, with a salad on the side, and some extra bread - that's what. The specifics can go to hell. I don't pay to read menus (and I still haven't paid for that meal, actually ­čśČ). I pay (when I do) to feel warm, fuzzy, full, and a lot happier than when I arrived.

That's what Friends of Ham delivers. Fulfilment. An excellent wine, washing down the lashings of thinly sliced porky deliciousness, in many shapes (mainly round, to be honest) and thinnesses, accompanied by wedges of great, full-flavoured cheese.

I wish I could say more, I really do. I wish I'd taken some photos, I really do. I wish I had the facility, capacity, or inclination to learn what I dined on, I really do. But, I don't, so you'll have to take my word for it's excellence, with this short, mainly ignorant summary:

Flipping good.

If you're ever in Leeds, visit.

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