What Jessie Did Next...

...being the inane ramblings of a mundane Yorkshire bird.

For Nicky’s birthday last night we’d got a plan to join some friends for dinner at Rustico, an Italian restaurant which has been attentive and good food in previous visits. To be fair we hadn’t booked, they were very busy when we turned up, and the waiter said he’d get us a table for 8:30pm – not a problem, there’s a very good pub across the road. Returning at 8:30pm there were no tables ready for us, three tables full of people hadn’t been seated in front of us, and we were herded upstairs to a bar with no space and a very confused waitress – total chaos and Gordon would have gone mental in the kitchen. Plan B then.

Out of the window and across the road we saw “Magdalene’s”, a fairly new restaurant specialising in ‘Mediterranean cuisine’ (it’s pretty much next to the Talbot & Falcon, where Cantors used to be). A short walk over there for a recce and we got a table within a minute. Salvation!

Magdalene’s menu is primarily Greek and Turkish, with a couple of interesting house specials alongside more traditional dishes – and no predictable kebabs! I started with ‘keftedes’, herbed meatballs in a tomato sauce which tasted freshly-made; it’s always nice to be able to identify ingredients but it not detract from the dish as a whole. They probably batched the meatballs but they were very well cooked, remaining firm without being tough or overcooked.

My main course was ‘Sarsem fish’, small pieces of halibut, salmon, king prawns and calamari cooked with red onions and asparagus, and flambeed in ouzo. The flambee was evident in the slight crispness of the calamari on the outside but not to the point of them being singed to rubber, and complemented the sauce (it’s easy to get sauces wrong on calamari, it being a subtle flavour). Served with rice to soak up the sauce, the portion amount was just right with not too much or too little, leaving with a simple feeling of well-being rather than over-stuffed.

(It being Nicky’s birthday we couldn’t get away without a pudding, although I didn’t partake. Nicky’s vanilla cheesecake was home-made, and Alice’s chocolate cake was very light and fluffy apparently.)

The service itself was excellent – our attentive and friendly waiter Taf was never far away, and the price was right. We were served quickly even though restaurant was about three-quarters full. Very much recommended, we’ll go there again.

(They have a website which, had I seen it first, would probably have put me off… so quite glad I didn’t see that first!)


  1. I agree!! The best night out I have had in a long long time!This has to be the best find in wakefield so far. This Greek & Turkish restaurant is absolutely fabulous. A group of friends and I went in to celebrate a birthday. When we arrived our tables were ready and waiting and a very handsome waiter quickly brought us drinks and menus. They had clearly gone to a lot of trouble setting up the party applying balloons and banners and even a birthday card and cake. The food was delicious. The service was superb and by the end of the perfect evening I was made to feel like a princess!!
    I went back again the following week with my mum and dad for a family ‘do’. They again made us feel so welcome and didnt rush us. They couldnt do enough. My dad has a few food allergies and they were so attentive and careful it was really a relaxing pleasure just to be there. They never rush you and it is so relaxing. I love magdalenes….can’t wait to go again next week!
    I would say it is suitable for everyone. They dont mind well behaved children and there are cosier intimate corners if you want a romantic dinner. The food is just fantastic. They are talking about having a bellydancer in some nights. It will be like being back in Turkey with out having to pay the flight costs!! Try it out…I bet you will love it….and no I dont have shares in it but I wish I did. Can get very busy so we always try to book.

  2. Well, sorry chaps but this new venuture didnt last long-the opening hours were hit and miss all summer and it is now closed for good. The for sale sign is up. A few of my friends had gone in the Spring and said the food was dreadful. Such a shame.

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