Cryptozoology is the scientific name for the study and search of mythical creatures, We in Scotland have our own mythical Nessie, we search the dark murky waters of Loch Ness hoping to catch a glimpse of Scotlands national creature.
However many people mock us Scots and try to debunk the myth with scientific mumbo-jumbo and other rational theories. But us Scots know that Nessie is there.
Equally culinary world has a mythical creature too, its called a Michelin Standard, fine dining, halal steakhouse, there have been many false sightings of this mythical of beasts, but none has yet been sighted, however your Foodwala got a phone call from the Culinary X files Scully and Mulder who reported a sighting of such a creature in the depth of deepest Yorkshire, in fact in Bradford of all places.
We hitched up the trusted Mercedes and with my companion Andy Foodwala and we set off on our hunt for the mythical Steakhouse.
The mythical Steakhouse in question was The Cona in Bradford, after much searching, the X did indeed mark the spot and we found Cona in a bleak post-war industrial warehouse in darkest Bradford.
Believe it or not, we were welcomed by the owner of this wonderful site, Imran brought out with a flourish and an imaginary drum roll this amazing steak palette. He asked us to choose what cut we would prefer and inspect the marbling of the steaks, his passion and knowledge of his steaks bordered on obsessive, only thing he left out was the name of the cow who donated such amazing steaks and of which we had the honour of eating.
I settled on the king of the cut the Ribeye, the ribeye is a beef steak sliced from the rib primal of the beef animal, It is both flavorful and tender, coming from the lightly worked upper rib cage area. Its marbling of fat makes it very good for fast and hot cooking.
We kicked off our Steak adventure with these amazing Miso and Shichimi crusted Lamb cutlets…they were delicious, the lamb chops were dry dubbed with Miso and the Japanese seven spice mixture called the Shichimi. The accompanying sauce was a reduction of the Lamb stock with Junos.
It was absolutely delicious, I can safely say it was one of the most delicious lamb I have ever tasted.It had a wonderful spiced umami flavour.
The Lobster Ravioli was sublime in its subtlety, the ravioli parcels were padded with lobster and the bisque jus was peppered with flaked lobster, simple but delicious, however, Andy Foodwala felt the bisque sauce lacked seasoning.
The main event, the steak arrived, it was wonderfully pink in the middle and with a charred crust, absolutely subliminal in its flavour and simplicity, the steak was so tender that using a steak knife was overkill and the marbling gave the steak a luscious nutty buttery taste.
I ordered the pepper sauce, however, did not use as using a sauce on the steak would amount to sacrilege.
Andy Foodwala opted for the Chicken Bresse accompanied with butter mash and foraged champignon mushrooms.
Yet again the white meat of which the free wandering organic bresse chicken is renowned for, had a delicious gamey flavour as opposed to the bland battery farmed distant relations.
We could not resist dessert, Andy and I went for Bakewell torte, shortcrust pastry beneath a layer of raspberry conserve and Mariani frangipane, yet again delicious.
The Sticky toffee pudding was again delicious with the moist chocolate and date sponge absorbing the caramel and molasses sauce, Andy Foodwala fell in love with the desserts and felt the journey to deepest darkest Bradford was worth it just for the desserts.
The Service was equally on point, Imran kept the restaurant and kitchen open just for us as we were late arriving from Glasgow, and went on to personally serve us and his encyclopedic knowledge of the ingredients and his passion was absolutely infectious and heartwarming.
Halal – Yes
Food –9 out of 10
Atmosphere – 8 out of 10
service – 10 out of 10
Cleanliness – 9 out of 10
Total score – 36 out of 40