Bradford – City Vaults

This former bank building on Hustlergate in Bradford has been used as a pub for the last thirty years and it has a good reputation judging from review sites. I thought their branding was a little muddled though, they refer to themselves as a Gastropub and don’t put their prices on their web-site. It was only because someone had uploaded a photo of the menu to Google Reviews that I could see that the prices were very competitive, not far off Wetherspoons prices.

The lighting didn’t make for very good photos, but the decor here was really nicely done. The furniture was of decent quality, the menus were clean, the bar was well presented and it felt an inviting place. Apparently they’ve just completed a major renovation of the site as parts of it had become quite tired.

The service at the bar was polite and immediate, even though I deliberately stood at a different part of the bar to where they probably wanted me. I’d add that wasn’t me being awkward (or no more than normal), simply that I had my backpack left on a table and I didn’t want to abandon it and risk not seeing it ever again.

For the first time that I can remember in a long time, I had to check what the Cherry was from Coach House Brewing, it wasn’t entirely clear to me whether it was a beer or a cider. Or not clear to me anyway. As an aside, I consider it to be a service fault when a staff member hands over a beer which hasn’t at all settled and leaves it, as it might need topping up, although in this case it did work out fine. I was expecting something very unexciting, but it was a surprisingly good fruit beer, quite a rich taste of cherry.

The basic burger meal, which was again better than I had expected. The chips had a slightly over-crispy exterior, but the interior was suitably fluffy. The burger patty had a taste that was actually quite palatable and delicious, juicy with a meaty flavour, which is handy as it’s meat. All very satisfactory and sauces were brought to the table for me and I didn’t have to go hunting.

The pub wasn’t that busy, but I liked this place with the friendly staff, clean environment and good value food. I’m not convinced by the attempt to claim this as a gastropub, I have a slight suspicion that they’ll put more people off than they’ll get in with that branding.