Sometimes the answer to the trickiest of questions can be right there under your nose.
And that was certainly true of Oliver’s recent trip to The Boundary House, which I must admit, only came about after a search for a suitable alternative had proved frustratingly fruitless.
It wasn’t, of course, that there’s a sudden dearth of decent places to eat in Leeds – as regular readers will know, it’s quite the contrary.
It was simply that on this particular occasion, only a certain type of venue would do thanks in no small part to the specific requests of my companion for the evening.
The restaurant in question had to be out of town, nice, but not too flashy, cosy, but not too busy, and not somewhere we’d been before.
That proved to be much more difficult than it sounded until the internet, friend to the frustrated would-be diner, led me to The Boundary House – a recently converted pub in Methley, which happened to be right on my companion’s doorstep and which, bafflingly he had never heard of.
That seemed hard to believe until I drove past it myself as we made our way to dinner, technology once again coming to the rescue in the form of our trusty sat nav.
In fairness to us both, it was quite easy to miss in the dark, tucked away off the beaten track.
After finding the restaurant and the car park (which is also hidden – this time down a small side road) we made our way inside and out of the rain.
A friendly waiter greeted us by the bar, which was busy with families and couples.
We were guided to the back of the restaurant to the conservatory area with huge windows stretched around the dark wooden tables.
We took a seat at one of the grey suede banquettes in the corner and after giving our drinks order, we stopped to admire the decor.
The pub has just the right balance between a warm, cosy feel and modern touches.
The bar area has a mix of suede and leather chairs with splashes of colour added by the lampshades and artwork.
A couple of fireplaces help add some character and warmth to the room.
The dim lighting adds to the mood and so far, we were impressed.
It’s worth mentioning that the venue offers a bar snack menu as well as sandwiches and a more succinct menu through the day, as well as an early bird menu.
We struggled to decide on our meals as the evening menu is so varied.
Starters include soup of the day, smoked chicken with honey mustard dressing, seared tuna and miso bean salad, squid with herb mayonnaise and a cheddar and tomato tart.
All starters are around the £5 mark, with the more expensive dishes ranging up to £7.
I eventually opted for the mushrooms on toast with pickled thyme, creme fraiche and white truffle oil, priced at £5.95.
The creamy mushrooms were delicious and a small pile of cress on the top helped lighten the dish and balance out the rich flavours.
My companion went for the locally shot wood pigeon with barbecued baby leeks and port sauce for £6.95.
It was well cooked with a rich, gamey flavour, made all the more delicious by the addition of the port sauce.
The starters proved a hit, and we were eager to see if the next course could match them.
Many of the mains are cooked in the ‘Bertha’ – a specialist barbecue oven.
They include the 8oz beef burger, chicken wrapped in parma ham, bacon chop, lamb chop with mint gremolata and redcurrant jus and pork chop with walnut and chestnut crumb.
All of these dishes range from £12 to £15.
Then, of course, there are the steaks.
There’s a choice of rump, sirloin and ribeye, which understandably come with a heftier price tag between £17 to £24.
Sauces such as wild mushroom and Yorkshire Blue cheese are an additional £1.50.
Vegetarian options include artichoke, lemon and mint risotto, vegetarian chili and a mushroom and halloumi burger.
There’s also a choice of fish and chips, hake and salmon dishes and a range of salads available.
With such a great range of tempting dishes, you can understand why we struggled to reach a decision.
I went for the sirloin steak with chips, at £20.95, with a green peppercorn sauce.
It arrived with a huge flat mushroom and tomato on the top and was cooked to perfection.
The sauce was an excellent accompaniment and the steak was seasoned and cooked to perfection. My companion went for the venison on a bed of spinach with baby carrots and wild mushroom and port jus.
The presentation was impressive and faultless – as was the flavour.
The pink venison went down a storm and was so good that I wasn’t even offered a morsel – much to my disappointment.
We just had room for dessert, and went for a homemade chocolate and peanut butter brownie and cherry bakewell tart with creme angalise, at £5.50 each.
The warm brownie was perfectly gooey without being sickly or greasy, and the cherry bakewell tart was a nice end to what was a great meal.
While some of the dishes can be on the expensive side, you really do get your money’s worth.
As we ventured back out into the rain, we were already planning our next visit.
We were sure that next time we wouldn’t get lost, as The Boundary House is now firmly on the map.
THE BOUNDARY HOUSE
Address: 24 Church Side, Methley, Leeds LS26 9EE.
Tel: 01977 551 101
Opening times: Food served Mon to Thurs from 12pm to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9pm. Fri and Sat from 12pm to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Sun from 12pm to 6pm.