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Let's Do Lunch! at Homage2Fromage

15 December 2015
Let's Do Lunch! at Homage2Fromage
I can speak two words in Swedish; 'tack', which means thank you, and 'ost' - pronounced ust - cheese. The reason I know the latter is that when I was at grammar school we all had nicknames and, because of his surname which I will not reveal here, one of my friends was always referred to as Cheesy. One day we were engaged in our usual pastime of making conversation with young ladies in the hope that we may meet the love of our life, or failing that, get a quick snog. On the day in question we happened upon two unsuspecting Swedish au pairs who thought Cheesy's name hilarious and were good enough to translate it into their native tongue. He was immediately rechristened 'Usty' and because he didn't like it it stuck for several months until the joke wore thin. Needless to say we made absolutely no progress on the romance front. No change there then. Fifty years on and I am still searching.

The incident came to mind when I called at Homage 2 Fromage for lunch. I had intended to dine here the other week but it was a cold, wet and windy day so I went elsewhere which sounded as though it would serve something hotter and heartier. This time when I thought about calling it was still cold, wet and windy but I love cheese so I went in anyway. The restaurant is in the Merrion Centre and is decorated in the industrial style. It is a pop up restaurant and will be there for six months. Homage 2 Fromage began life as a cheese appreciation club and meets in venues in towns and cities across Yorkshire. This is their only (semi) permanent outlet. The menu is obviously cheese based but there is also a charcuterie plate. There is an option to try a number of cheeses from the menu or gamble on the mystery cheese whose name will be revealed after tasting. If you prefer something warmer, and I certainly did, there is a selection of pizzas and 'small plates'.

Let's Do Lunch at Homage2Fromage - Article 1

From the latter I chose a £7.00 tartiflette and a side order of garlic bread with Yorkshire Blue cheese (£4.00). This turned out to be a great way to combat the cold. Tartiflette is like a cheese hot pot with slices of cheese, onions and potatoes layered and then oven baked. This is comfort food at its best and was perfectly cooked and presented. The potatoes were properly done, thoroughly baked but not soft and mushy. A small bowl of croutons came with it. The garlic bread was also a revelation. It was sourdough from the wonderful Leeds Cooperative Bakery smothered in garlic butter, topped with Yorkshire blue cheese and grilled. Normally the cheese on garlic bread is creamy and stringy when cooked and that option was available here, but I thought that I would try something different. The saltiness of the veins in the Yorkshire Blue gave the dish a real tang. As suspected, the bread was wonderful. The liquid part of the lunch was a very nice Portillo Malbec at £6.90 for 250ml.

Let's Do Lunch at Homage2Fromage - Article 2

Although there were several choices on the dessert menu I simply had to keep the theme alive and have Black Forest cheesecake at £5.00. This was done in the New York style with a baked pastry base rather than the uncooked crumble type. The cream cheese part was perfect and covered in black cherries, a pot of cream and a berry and ginger compote was also included on the board. I had a black Americano coffee at £2.50 to round off the meal.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience as, not only was the food excellent, but so was the service. I really hope that when the six month tenure is over, this restaurant manages to find somewhere else in Leeds to pop up as the City would be a poorer place without it.

May I finish with the suggestion that should they ever open a branch in Stockholm they change the name to Lust 4 Ost.

This will probably be my last review before Christmas so may I wish you and yours nothing but the best for the Festive Season.

Mange toutes,

Stan Graham

Stan is a freelance food journalist who writes 'Let's do Lunch!' restaurant reviews for Leeds Living's eat/drink section.