Central 42, Beverley review: Independent 'tapas-like' restaurant owned by Turkish chef

Central 42 has been open seven years but, whenever I’ve been in Beverley, I’ve given it a wide birth because I wrongly assumed it was part of a chain.

Central 42 has been open seven years but, whenever I’ve been in Beverley, I’ve given it a wide birth because I wrongly assumed it was part of a chain. The marketing and menus and suchlike would lead anyone to think the same, slick as they are. But it’s staunchly independent.

Owner, Eyyup Demir, moved to the UK from his native Turkey some 19 years ago and has worked in every type of kitchen environment, first in Leeds and then when he moved to Beverley in 2010. He spotted that the town lacked a tapas-style restaurant and opened Central 42 to appeal to the multitude of shoppers that pass the prime spot in the corner of Saturday Market every single day. He’s keen to point out that this isn’t a Spanish restaurant, nor is it strictly Mediterranean, it’s just that all the food is served tapas style.

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chorizo with potato

We tried (and can recommend) the calamari – served in little chunks rather than rings and all the more tasty for it; gambas pil-pil – not the biggest prawns you’ve ever seen but prepared perfectly well; smoked haddock croquettes – a delicious take on the Spanish classic; and baked chorizo served with diced potato and a hen’s egg. Oddly, the egg was on the bottom of the dish. I’d assumed it would be on the top and I don’t quite understand why you’d put a fried egg underneath everything else, but there it was and it all got scoffed no matter the order of the layers.

Because we liked it, we then ordered another beer and another round of tapas. There are other options – sandwiches, salads, decent looking paella – but we were enjoying ourselves, so why change tack?

Round two consisted of king scallops – a sizeable trio, served with a slightly curried sweetcorn relish; sliced duck breast with soy, honey and ginger dressing (the least impressive dish of the lot, it was just a bit bland); a decent chunk of belly pork served with caramelised pear sauce; and padron peppers, which we picked at between everything else.

The duck aside, it was all better than I’d expected. If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it’s absolutely not meant to. Eyyup and his team turn these dishes out every day from nine in the morning to two at night and they’ve clearly reached a point of slick efficiency. They also seem keen to please and appear genuinely interested in your feedback. The food they serve is good because of repeated practice as much as culinary skill. And that’s not a bad thing either.

King scallops

We finished with a cheeseboard (mixed European cheese and plenty of accompaniments) and a trio of desserts, which consisted that day of profiteroles, a Sicilian lemon tart, a raspberry meringue and some ice cream. So four desserts, really. Like everything else, these were both entirely fine. Workmanlike and tasty, if a little lacking in flair.

And that’s what Central 42 is like all round. Somewhere to go for a solid, competent meal. I wonder if the chain-like branding may (as it did me) scare off the more dedicated foodies of Beverley but it shouldn’t. There may be way too many chains in the town these days but the independents deserve our custom just as they’ve always done, even if they appear to not be independent. Sometimes, just because somewhere looks generic, it may be anything but. Central 42 has potential to get better and it may well, if their existing client base demand it. But, as it stands, it offers a perfectly good way to eat in a pleasant and bustling little corner of East Yorkshire. Go say Ey Up to Eyyup.

Central 42, 42 Saturday Market, Beverley, Tel: 01482 888889. www.central42.co.uk. Open: 9AM – 2AM every day.

Welcome 5/5

Seafood paella

Food 4/5

Atmosphere 5/5

Prices 4/5

the trio of desserts
Centra 42 in Beverley