Yemi’s Food Stories: A review of The Curious Cow in Harrogate
Last updated Feb 2, 2024

Yemi Adelekan is a food writer and blogger who was a semi-finalist in last year’s BBC TV’s Masterchef  competition.

Every Saturday Yemi writes on the Stray Ferret about her love of the district’s food and shares cooking tips – please get in touch with her if you want her to review a restaurant, visit your farm, taste the produce you sell or even share a recipe.


Every time I drove past The Curious Cow, located off the A59 near Harrogate, I made a mental note to drop by and check it out.

This week, that’s exactly what I did.

The bar area was a little noisy as there was a new parents and babies meet-up happening at the time. That is to be expected from an event like that, but I do wish we had been seated in a quieter area.

Once seated, I ordered a virgin mojito, which had the right balance of sour and tart flavours.


To begin, we ordered the signature sharing platter, which was £18.25. It included baked lamb koftas, buttermilk chicken tenders, crispy coated barbecue cauliflower wings, hummus and flatbread.

I absolutely love both hummus and pesto, but I think the mix of the two was a little overpowering. They both have such powerful and punchy flavours, which I felt clashed a little. However, it was a slight marmite dish, and I think some people would have loved it.

I loved the lamb koftas. They were crispy on the outside, and well-seasoned and juicy on the inside. The yoghurt sauce complimented the meat well, and the salsa brought a lovely touch of heat. This is a starter that I would definitely order again.

The sharing platter

I found the chicken tenders were not so tender. They were a touch dry, felt over-fried and a little over-seasoned for me, unfortunately, although they were compensated by the cauliflower wings, which were a revelation! I could have eaten bowls of it. It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I almost thought I was eating juicy prawns. They were delicious, especially with the accompanying sauces.

Main courses

For mains, we ordered the pan-fried sea bass, which came with crushed new potatoes, green beans, mangetout, peas, pesto and caper butter.

It was well-plated, and the fish was tasty, but the dressing did leave an oily aftertaste. I think a garnish of sliced lemon to squeeze over the fish would have lifted the dish and cut through the oiliness.

Our second main was the steak and hobgoblin ale pie with a short crust pastry base, caramelised onions and a puff pastry lid. It was served with mashed potatoes, green beans, mangetout, and honey glazed carrots.

The vegetables were well-seasoned and had just the right bite, while the carrots were perfectly caramelised.

The beef was super tender and was served in a rich, dark gravy. The consistency was almost reminiscent of brown sauce. The different types of pastry – flaky and short crust – gave a lovely contrast of textures.

This is a meal made for the pie lovers; it’s everything you’d want the classic pub dish to be.


We ordered two puddings to bring our meal to a close.

The first was described as a chocolate brownie crowned with a melting chocolate dome, served with salted caramel sauce and hot toffee sauce.

The dome was a little thick – and required a few whacks of the back of the spoon to break through – but did taste delicious. The sauces were also tasty, but I did feel they weren’t hot enough when served.

The second was a described as warm chocolate brownie with raspberry compote and chocolate blood orange ice cream. However, I couldn’t taste the blood orange in the ice cream and the compote was missing. It was a shame, as I felt it was needed to cut through the rich and dense brownie.

The brownie was a chocolate lovers dream, but, for me, it could have used something like whipped cream or fresh fruit – or the missing compote – just to lighten the taste.

My visit to the Curious Cow was a tale of two halves, with some hits and some misses.

It has a great menu selection, but I do wish we had been offered a quieter area to sit. However, I left knowing which dishes I would definitely order again.

Read more:

Download the FREE Stray Ferret app here to access the latest news, competitions and offers.