One of the oldest buildings found within the heart of Dewsbury is the Baileys Café which closed several years ago. The town itself has not been the best of places to attract tourists or create new opportunities for the next generation of people.
However, things changed drastically when the new Dewsbury Blueprint Scheme through the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative was introduced that aimed to change the entire landscape of Dewsbury Town Centre.
The plan was to receive funds to help restore nine heritage buildings to create a more vibrant centre for people to visit and be proud of.
One of the biggest changes which received a lot of hype around it was the Emojies burger bar. Previously known as Baileys Café, Emoji’s promised to revitalise some of traditional aspects of the previous café back to life.
Emojies received a substantial amount of investment of the structural reinforcement to ensure the buildings long-term survival. The ground floor itself has received a vast majority of concrete treatment which the windows replaced are like-for-like to the originals of Baileys Café. The original tiles to the front of the buildings have been incorporated with the modern-day style of tiling which has in return given a fresh contemporary look.
Through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Kirklees Council, the invested amount amassed overall £3.7million.
Mr Ahmed who now owns not only the restaurant, but the building confirmed by the council itself received a partial amount from the £3.7million to make this large investment in this new, flashy, vibrant and colourful restaurant.
This is not the first of Mr Ahmed’s ventures into the food industry as he also owns a well-known establishment called Oasis in Batley and has his hands in the bedding industry, manufacturing and delivering beds.
The successful entrepreneur told Asian Standard he wanted to create ‘something new for Dewsbury’ and create opportunities. He said: “I’m proud to hire people from all different walks of life. The restaurant itself has over 140 seats and I’ve taken on board 30 new employees and planning to add another 20 more”.
John Lambe, who is the Dewsbury Regeneration Project Officer expressed the reasoning for the investment from the council was to see ‘vacant buildings back into use, to see the heritage style of Baileys back to life and to mainly see the town growth and in particular the job increase’.
Emojies along with the recently opened Kirklees College in Dewsbury are two buildings which have opened as part of the scheme. The council plans on renovating the remaining buildings soon.
So, with the hype and the flashy photos splattered across social media, Dewsbury South Councillor Masood Ahmed and I, decided to find out for ourselves, if Emojies was worth the hype.
When arriving at the burger bar, we were greeted with a warm reception from staff, who were friendly and helpful. Our table was clean, with comfortable seats and the place had a nice vibe to it.
But I’m sure you’re wondering, how was the food?
Well, let’s start off with the burger, I tried ordering the wagyu-burger but unfortunately it was not available, it was a bit of a shame as it’s something I was looking forward to trying and a lot of people mentioned it on social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
Instead, I was offered an alternative of the Wagyu burger called the ‘What a burger’.
First impressions, I liked the green foil around the burger, it seemed different from a usual burger bar and pleasantly kept the food warm.
When unwrapped, the cheese was oozing from the burger but not to an extent for it to be overpowering to turn into just a hot mess of cheese.
The burger patty was cooked evenly and had some maillard across the entire patty which made the burger nice and crispy around the edges. For those of you who don’t know what maillard is, it’s a type of reaction which occurs to give food its brown colour.
This, I have to say on the burger was done perfectly and really made a difference in the taste. For my liking, I think the patty itself didn’t have much taste to it because it didn’t have much seasoning on it.
Overall, I’d say the burger was a 6/10. Bear in mind, this is one of the cheapest burgers on the menu, so I presume the ingredients to make this burger aren’t to the highest degree compared to the more expensive burgers such as the Wagyu burger.
Moving on – how were the fries? Well, the fries itself weren’t the usual takeaway fries. They had a crinkle cut shape around them which reminded me of the fries I used to get back in primary school – shoutout to Headfield Junior School. Fries are fries so I can’t really complain on how they were. They tasted as fries should and I’m glad the taste of the oil wasn’t in the fries.
Normally, when the oil isn’t changed regularly, the oil seeps into the fries and leaves a horrible after taste. These however didn’t give me that feeling so I’d give them a 7/10.
The pricing is quite steep in my own opinion, especially with Dewsbury not being a relatively rich town. My food buddy, Cllr Masood Ahmed ordered some wings and a portion of rice.
His meal really looked appealing with all the different colours from the different flavours fused together on his plate. The wings from what he said tasted okay but also nothing special as it just tasted like regular grilled wings with some sauce on top.
However, he did like the rice as it tasted completely different to what he had tried before. There was a lot of herbs and spices in the rice which gave off a nice aroma.
Additionally, we ordered the milkshakes which I have to admit, was one of the best milkshakes I’ve had. They didn’t taste like average milkshakes with the Asda price vanilla ice-cream but a more expensive type of ice-cream which is used.
Personally, it tasted like Mr Whippy ice-cream, a well-known local ice-cream van which does some amazing ice-cream. The texture and thickness in each sip I could taste, and the flavour was really nice. It wasn’t really runny which I like, as I was able to catch it before it jumped off the table. Jokes aside, I think the milkshake was a 10/10.
My verdict overall is the place is really nice. The location is spot on, but I think the prices are too high for my liking. Also, as much as I liked the burger, I don’t think it compares to the milkshakes which is quite disappointing because I’d love to go back again for not only the milkshakes but the burger.
However, maybe my opinion will change if I try the signature burger which I still feel gutted wasn’t available the day I visited!
Overall, I’d say give Emojies is worth a try, you may even like it more than I did.
Do share your reviews with me if you decide to go.