Home in Leeds is “a little star”, writes Marina O’Loughlin in the Sunday Times
“Our five-course menu — seven, if you count amuses and petit fours — brings a celebration of autumn on every plate. The ochres and russets and umbers of piccalilli and pumpkin and wild mushrooms, used like brushstrokes on a canvas of deliciousness. Take smoked eel, glazed with a rarebit of blow-torched Lincolnshire poacher cheese, two blasts of intense savouriness jostling for supremacy, each winning. It comes with a tiny hummock of crisp roots bound in a Marie Rose sauce like Tinkerbell’s Russian salad, for lightness. Or Yorkshire mallard, the gamey duck breast daringly rare but silkily tender; underneath a swoop of “marmalade”, on top, salt-baked albino carrots, puddles of orange carrot purée and an almost sausage roll of other ducky bits. It’s a play on that old duck à l’orange cliché, given an exhilarating cattle prod of modernity.
“Make no mistake: this is ambitious cooking. From the crumbed cube of suckling pig on puréed piccalilli that sets the scene, with its petals of pickled onion cradling mustard seed and curried apple, to a pumpkin bavarois that is a flourish of Halloween showmanship: cinder toffee, clotted cream ice cream, weeny cubes of candied pumpkin — it’s not short of technique or chutzpah. But there’s a lack of attitude, a dearth of swagger. Dare I say that might be the influence of a female partner, the chef Elizabeth Cottam? But, just as crucially, Cottam’s co-owner, Mark Owens, has a background in some of Yorkshire’s most brilliantly unpretentious foodie stalwarts: the Star at Harome; the Box Tree in Ilkley.”