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Where the food is no afterthought.

IF you ever find yourself browsing the trinkets and handiworks in Huddersfield's Byram Arcade you may come across a cute cafe with little tables and chairs spilling out into the indoor street.

Arcade Coffee and Food opened just over a year ago. You can find it through the mini shopping plaza or by darting down a short alleyway off Station Road and nipping in the side entrance.

I had stopped in for a coffee - supplied by Dark Woods Coffee of Marsden - one or two times before and noticed other customers tucking into lunches that always looked pretty good.

One Wednesday lunchtime, I decided that would be me.

Not having focused fully on the food there before I was apprehensive it might be the kind of place that does a lot of things with avocado. Mashed, sliced, whole, on toast, with eggs, in a smoothie. Not that avocados are a particularly bad sign. I like avocado, you just see a lot of it around nowadays. I also wouldn't anticipate a hearty meal in a place like that.

Arcade Coffee and Food does do stuff with avocado but the menu is far broader than I had thought it would be.

For instance, I chose a chicken satay burger but that meant rejecting pork belly, risotto, curry and sirloin steak. Not that I could have eaten all that.

I took a refillable filter coffee from the counter at the same time I ordered my lunch and went through to the back seating area up a couple of steps.

The back, like the front, was pleasantly busy. No need to worry about not getting a table and no awkward silences with the only other customer there.

My burger was a hunk of chicken breast, breadcrumbed with buttermilk and peanut and drizzled with lemongrass mayonnaise and satay sauce.

This Thai take on an American chicken burger was sweeter than expected but retained plenty of the southern-style spice you might expect.

The peanut flavouring worked really well with the chicken and left me wanting a dollop of satay sauce on the side.

The bulky breast balanced clumsily between two sesame bun halves but maintained its position largely because of a generous bedding of crispy, fresh lettuce leaves. It came with sweet potato fries or twice cooked chips and I went for the former. The little ones were crispy but the big ones weren't soggy so I guess they got them just right.

The only disappointment in fact was the citrus slaw, as I found the cabbage to be a bit bitter and hard.

I followed my burger with a refill of black coffee and a piece of lemon and poppy-seed cake. There were plenty of cakes and brownies to choose from and they all seemed freshly baked. Our photographer had been around just two days previously and snapped an entirely different display.

It was a light and airy sponge with just enough zest to keep it interesting.

At PS16.25 for the lot, it was perhaps a little pricey for lunch but I couldn't fault the quality.

The staff seemed genuinely happy to be serving their customers. Even when there was a swell of trade through the door, they just upped the tempo and buzzed around with warm smiles on their faces.

All in all I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal at Arcade Coffee and Food. It is fair to say the 'food' is not tagged on the end as an afterthought.

Arcade Coffee & Food 9 Byram Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1ND Phone: 01484 511148 Website: No, but they are on Facebook www.facebook.com/ARCADECOFFEEFOOD Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-6pm, Fri 8am-10pm, at 9am-10pm and Sun 10am-4pm. The bill: PS16.25 Would you go back? Yes
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2019
Words:619
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