The Beehive in Thorner - Matt Healy's new gastro pub
PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 September 2019
Food wonder guy Matt Healy has gone gastro glam with his new Beehive pub in Thorner. Kathryn Armstrong paid a visit
Taittinger on tap is not your average village pub welcome. Makes you smile immediately though, especially as the 'Nowt fancy' hints at just the opposite.
The village of Thorner, just off the A64, is honeypot in every way possible. The Beehive has a past as a well-loved eating and meeting place, and on opening night the setting couldn't have been sweeter thanks to a surprise heatwave.
A nice touch for the drivers was super crisp and cold 'can't tell the difference' alcohol-free lager on tap too. Clutch your glossy pint and head for the terrace.
Fields overlooking The Beehive were bathed in summer's late evening rays and the outside terrace was as bustling as it's ever like to get - this a city suburb? Surely not.
Visitors flocked liked bees to that proverbial honey, keen to see the latest gastro effort from Matt Healy, known for his food excellence on Masterchef: The Professionals as well as winning Newcomer of the Year in the Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards in 2018.
The gastro pub enterprise is the latest energetic foray in food for Healy's team at Seventh Course Ltd which has already seen huge success at restaurants Matt Healy x The Foundry, in Leeds' South Bank area, and Grön Kafe in Oakwood.
The Beehive bring glamour to the traditional pub. As well as the Tattinger (kept in sparkle shape by innovative tech), there is plush lighting and clever seating zones of varying styles which make it definitely not-pub. 'Nowt fancy' cries the signature neon script with a hint of irony.
The idea is that the food isn't 'fancy', just quality classics. We'd seen photographs of slick sirloin and hearty pies. One of the hottest days of the year wasn't made for this kind of comfort food! But battle on we did.
There was a deft, light and summery touch to a salad of beets and goats' curd whilst salt cod croquettes were full of fleshy fish as they should be rather than just pulpy mash.
The kitchen here is all about big flavours and happy diners. A modern take on pub grub. A bold signature burger turns up expertly executed and laden with melting Manchego and smoky Jamon Iberico offering up a mighty challenge alongside tomato and a layer of lemon may. A summery dish of halibut with chickpea and chorizo stew is a great pub offering and a good example of what diners can expect.
Dishes will also include chargrilled sirloin with triple cooked chips and Béarnaise sauce, moules marinière, deep fried brie with onion jam and Chicken Kiev with Caesar salad and Caesar mayonnaise.
Other dishes like whole baked seabass with pickled ginger, soy and coriander; Moroccan lamb flatbread with harissa yogurt, pickled red cabbage and soft herbs; pork chop with spicy lentils and bitter leaves, and a vegan superfood salad will be on the menu.
Horsforth-born Matt, 36, was full of nerves preparing for the opening but full of excited anticipation, admitting, 'We've been working hard behind the scenes to give The Beehive a fresh start with a new concept and a major refurbishment. We've been overwhelmed with the support that the people of Leeds have shown us every step of the way. We wouldn't be able to push forward and see our dreams come to life without their support.
'We've already achieved a lot in a year, and that's simply because we're passionate about expanding and enhancing the dining scene in Leeds - whether that's in suburbs like Thorner and Oakwood or the city centre.'
'We're proud to take on such a well-known building like The Beehive and we're looking forward to offering something new.'
Matt shot to fame in 2016 when he was runner-up in MasterChef: The Professionals - with two-Michelin-starred judge Marcus Wareing famously describing one of Matt's sauces as 'one of the best he had ever tasted'. u