Meat Feast!

Tees Life editor Julie Burniston discovered the secret to a successful Sunday lunch at Tomahawk Steakhouse, Yarm…

My kids, though I love them dearly, are notoriously fussy when it comes to food.

Jonah, a strapping 20-year-old, is visiting for the weekend, having survived his first four months at university on a diet of pretty much anything as long as it’s deep fried and starts with Mc! Evangeline, my sweet ten-year-old daughter, is going through her “Save the koalas from the bush fires” phase and decided about three seconds before we arrived that she’s vegan and can’t possibly eat “cow”!

Under this blonde mane, I’m actually a stressed out grey! Taking the aforementioned darling children to Tomahawk Steakhouse may be somewhat of a trial, I think. All I want is a peaceful family Sunday lunch but, with such a big age gap, it’s hard to find a venue to satisfy both their needs, so I’m ready to chalk this up to another “Why did I bother?” venture.

How wrong I was! All of us were immediately impressed by the décor in the stunning Yarm eaterie. Evie almost had a cow – pardon the pun – when she saw a life-sized one above the door. The booths and tables follow the bovine theme with leather and cowhide partnered with chic wooden floors and interesting “moo-abilia” on the walls. The overall look is stylish and quirky, which befits the restaurant’s location on the trendy high street.

On a Sunday lunchtime it was understandably busy, but the size of the dining area (there are seats both up and downstairs) ensured it still felt airy and relaxed. The clientele was a mix of Yarm’s movers and shakers (“Don’t look, Mam, but there’s someone from Geordie Shore sitting behind you!”); plus families and couples of all ages, which made for a lovely ambience.

Considering number one son hadn’t eaten a square meal in months and Mama was paying, we…he…decided to go the whole hog and chose half a kilo of fresh mussels in white wine sauce served with sour dough bread (£8.95) to start. Evie and I chose garlic bread with herb butter (£3.50) and king prawn pil pil – shell-off king prawns in garlic and chilli butter and olive oil (£7.95). The presentation was great and the food superb – not too big that you didn’t have room for your main course, but just enough to take the “haven’t eaten breakfast” pangs away.

Onto the highlight of the lunch and the famous Tomahawk steak. Our friendly and informed waitress had talked us through the different cuts and types of meat on offer – Himalayan salt dry-aged steak and the legendary Wagyu – super marbled and proclaimed as one of the finest meats in the world.

With a press like that, of course, we had to try it – and so we did, in three different ways. Jonah opted for a 12-ounce ribeye, served rare, at £39.50 with a choice of two sides. He chose house hash browns with brisket and cheddar (to die for!) plus beef dripping chips.

Evie plumped for an eight-ounce Wagyu burger (medium/well) with fries and slaw (£14.50) – perfect for “little adults”, though there is a dedicated children’s Little Herdsmen menu with dishes at £5.95.

I chose the Sunday lunch special – roast beef Wagyu – cooked through with stuffing, roasties, Yorkshire pud, cauliflower cheese, seasonal veg and red wine gravy (£14.95). Bloody lovely!

Evie and Jonah rounded off their mains with a shared triple choc-chip cookie dough dessert, served with Milky Bar ice cream (£6.50).

The test of a good meal for me is the amount of winding up and sly digs my two give each other throughout. Since there was not a peep out of either of them, this shows just how delicious the food was. For the first time in ages my stress levels were low and I truly enjoyed the family time.

So thanks, Tomahawk, we will definitely be back – just as soon as half-term comes around and I decide to re-open the “Bank of Mam”!