It has been clear that Malton is doing a grand job of becoming Yorkshire’s foodie capital for some time, and when we visited the Malton Food Lovers Festival earlier this year it was fantastic to see such a celebration of not just food, but local produce too.
The heart of the Malton food scene is all down to the work coming from the Talbot Hotel, and in particular Tom Naylor-Leyland (heir to the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate), along with its support of local producers. Now to add to its repertoire of the fine dining Wentworth Restaurant, where James Martin was head chef until recently, the Malton Cookery School, the festival and monthly food markets, there is the newest addition to the family: The Malton Brasserie.
Found inside the hotel in the former conservatory, the brasserie has been born to allow a more relaxed dining experience for locals and families to wander in and sample the fantastic menu choices on offer from the Talbot’s kitchen.
Malton boy James Martin handed over the reins to chef Dan Graham earlier this year, whose credentials include working for the Roux’s and being runner-up on Masterchef: The Professionals, and now this new brasserie is in his charge.
The restaurant itself is a light, airy and contemporary room with its own sign and front door to the side of the Talbot Hotel. There’s a warm and welcoming atmosphere and the staff set the tone perfectly between laid-back and something rather more special than your usual quick lunch.
This is Malton – and the Talbot – after all, so while the owners are going for easy dining, they’re still packing huge punches with the menu. I chose Yorkshire smoked duck Caesar salad for my starter, and the Yorkshire delicacy of a grilled Barnsley chop with smoked mash and salsa verde for main.
I loved the idea that I was eating wholly Yorkshire dishes, but ones my Tyke ancestors wouldn’t recognise. That’s how our cuisine in this county has developed, being cultivated by people who know their stuff, offering refined ingredients and unique dishes at the highest quality. I wish the rest of the country knew exactly what’s on offer up here these days.
The flavour of the smokey and creamy mash, something I’ve never had before, was wonderful alongside the unusual cut of lamb and salsa verde for the tang instead of mint. A hearty but delicate dish.
My husband’s choices were toasted sourdough, crushed avocado, smoked salmon and perfectly cooked poached egg for starters, with the 28-day dry aged chargrilled sirloin steak with French fries and ‘Brasserie Bearnaise’ sauce for main. Of course I tried it, and it was full of juicy flavour and cooked exactly to his preference. Our three-year-old son enjoyed fish goujons, chips and peas and the staff were fantastic with him.
It’s so good to see a team that is dedicated to making an honest difference in the way they accommodate to their town and its growing reputation for food excellence. The Malton Brasserie is even getting some of its produce from as close as about 30ft – across the road in the Talbot Yard Food Court are its ice cream, coffee, bread and beer makers. It doesn’t get much more locally-sourced than that.
I have no doubt that this place will do very well among locals who don’t want to battle with the hotel’s guests to get a table at the Wentworth and instead fancy a quick lunch or dinner, as well as visitors to the town who’d like to grab a sandwich or fish and chips, but also want it to be really really good. You see, what’s the point in compromising when we have places like Malton working to make sure we don’t have to, even if it is just for a quick bite?
Read our review here of Malton Brasserie for Olive Magazine too.