There is a new executive chef at this north Leeds bistro, so we thought we’d swing by and sample the fare. And we were not disappointed.
If you haven’t been yet, “hockeyclub” offers a new concept in Saturday afternoon dining… it’s one of the first North Korean pop-ups in the U.K, bringing the authentic taste of the forced labour camp to the good people of LS16. I ordered the signature dish, “garlic pasta”, and so did everybody else. The sauce might be a little heavy for some tastes, but we felt it had just the right potency to complement the starchy carbohydrate hit. Washed down with a glass of Tetley, recommended by our waiter, this is heaven on a plate.
Of course the other attraction of this popular venue is the sports action outside, and we spent a happy hour or so watching the Men’s 5s tussle with Sheffield Hallam 7s. It was a game of two halves, and we lost them both. In the first period, Adel appeared to have complete control, playing the passing game that has served them so well in recent weeks. Murph (a debutant from the under 14s) quickly found his feet and worked some slick moves with Finlay and Matty up the right hand side. Skully stopped everything that came his way, with Dave Maj and Tony A. ably assisting. Sam Ellis and Hedgie took control of the midfield and with Tom Poll, Max, Tom A and Sniffer getting lots of action up front, everything looked set for a home win.
The problem was, we couldn’t score. Hallam had a strong defensive unit, and didn’t allow anyone to carry the ball into their D. We just kept running into them, and guess what, they kept tackling us. Maybe we should have played more speculative hits to the back post, but they were pretty good at stopping those too. The plain truth is they were a bit better than us, and there was a period in the first half when Mikey performed a series of athletic saves to keep out certain goals. In the end Hallam made one of their chances count and we went in at half time a goal down, convinced we could equalise after the break. In fact it got harder; Hallam stepped up a gear, their old men got a new lease of life, Finlay’s broken toe broke down, passes went incomplete, etc. They got a second which was a bit scrappy, but not undeserved. So it finished 2-0, and that was possibly the toughest game we’ve had this season. The Phwoars will need to watch it when they go down the road to Sheffield.
There were the usual recriminations afterwards; Tony A took the DoD award in the Democratic People’s Court, which seems a little harsh. We wish him well on his flight to Pyongyang this evening. Man of the Match was a three horse race between Hedgy (our most likely goal scorer); Skully, and Mikey McWilliams in goal. Despite the fact we lost 2-0, and despite the fact he’s won it before, the verdict went Mikey’s way for another outstanding performance, especially in the first half.
All in all, a fine day’s dining and entertainment, and if you’re a deranged warmonger with a bad haircut looking for a taste of home, you could do worse than visit this remarkable eaterie.
Value for money: ***
Global thermonuclear war: **********
[email protected] is open on Saturdays from morning til late
Reservations are highly inadvisable