Where do our pub names come from? Some are two a penny - Kings Arms, Rose & Crown, Black Bull, etc, others are more inventive - Three Legs (aka Fifteen Toes) on The Headrow, Podger in Garforth, Tapped off City Square, even The Skyrack might qualify for that, but to call a place The Needless takes some guts.
Turns out this Morley pub has an interesting history, albeit an anecdotal one. We were informed the reason it was called ‘The Needless’ is a reference to its location, being as it is half way up the incredibly steep Scotchman Lane, some distance from the nearest conurbations in Upper Batley (which confusingly sits below it) and Morley, which is over the crest of the hill and then some. Urban spread means there are now houses within shouting distance but one could imagine in years gone by when it occupied a somewhat lonely aspect, with only its resplendent views of the surrounding greenery for comfort. Hence, we are told, it earned its name, as many deemed there was too much legwork involved in getting there.
It’s a nice story but whatever the truth, more than a few must have offered it their patronage over the years and when we visit it seems to be doing a roaring trade, known for its Sunday dinners. The weclome is warm, service generally good and it enjoys an almost country pub atmosphere, especially if you combine a pre-meal drink with the view, which is marvellous.
What’s the menu like?
We were won over by the menu – concise with some unusual choices. Roasted Camembert, crispy halloumi fries and what they called ‘proper prawn cocktail’. There was also Blooming Onion, said to be southern fried flowering onion served with a sweet chili and sour cream dip with either crispy bacon or cheese.
Now onto the food
Never mind, we headed straight for the main courses aiming to leave room for a pudding or two. We ordered roast of the day (£11.95): beef served with Yorkshire pudding, dripping roast potatoes, a healthy selection of vegetables and ‘lashings’ of gravy. It was well received.
Then came trio of kofta (£12.95), which drew even more enthusiasm - spiced mince with chili, lime, garlic and coriander in pork, beef and lamb. All grilled and served with feta cheese and olive salad, pitta bread, olive oil dressing and raita. My choice was the chicken kiev with a difference. It’s called the Needless Kiev here (£11.95) and it comes stuffed with chorizo, salami, parma ham and garlic and herb butter, coated in panko breadcrumbs. It came with salad, chunky chips and frankly couldn’t be faulted.
Room for dessert?
We failed to conquer the dessert menu. Were the mains too big? Possibly. Such was the quantity of our main course dishes we simply couldn’t bring ourselves to test the sticky toffee pudding, season fruit crumble or Needless meringue, all of which means we really do need to return to The Needless.
The Needless, Scotchman Lane, Morley, 01924 440476