JOURNALISTS - as you’ll know if you’ve ever seen All The Presidents Men - are always supposed to protect their sources.

Source, the little eatery in Castlegate specialising in slow meats, superfoods and vegetarian cuisine, doesn’t need protecting. But after a visit last Saturday evening I’m more than happy to shout its virtues aloud.

We hadn’t really known what to expect. We’d heard good things, and a glance at the menu online had seemed promising. When I rang to book the day before, I could hear in the background the cheery hubbub of diners enjoying themselves. So all boded well. But the proof is in the tasting...

Source is in a red brick building with a large, Georgian-style window at the top end of Castlegate. It’s only small, and the tables inside are a bit jammed together. But the cheerful atmosphere quickly makes up for that. As do the staff.

We were greeted with smiles, shown to our table, and immediately asked if we wanted water. Could she have a cup of hot water, my Chinese wife asked? No trouble at all, our waitress replied. She served it with a slice of lemon, and also brought me a large carafe of tap water. Now that’s service.

This is one of those rare restaurants that specialises both in vegetarian food, but also in good, locally-sourced, slow-cooked meat dishes. It’s a boon for someone like me: a vegetarian whose wife is a confirmed meat eater. All too often, when eating out, we have to either go vegetarian, in which case my wife is not really satisfied, or mainstream, in which case I have to find something to eat from a usually nominal list of vegetarian dishes.

Not here. There was plenty to tempt both of us.

The starter menu includes the likes of salt and pepper squid, buffalo wings and Yorkshire black pudding but also roasted cauliflower florets and lime grilled avocados. We chose the starter of ‘real bread’ and olives, served with dipping oil (£4) to share. And a good choice it was. Served on a wooden board, there were three chunks of fresh, lightly-toasted warm bread, plus a stack of salty, marinated olives, all with the stones still in but bursting with flavour. The dipping oil included just the right mix of balsamic vinegar, adding a perfect hint of tartness.

The mains menu features a list of vegetarian dishes - pulled jackfruit, BBQ style; shakshuka, a middle-eastern dish of eggs and chunky vegetables in a spicy tomato sauce; and a ratatouille of oven-baked aubergine and green and yellow courgettes in a red pepper and tomato sauce. Meat dishes, meanwhile, included the likes of a pulled pork tray, a ‘48-hour beef brisket’ tray, and a pulled pork burger served with bbq sauce and pickles.

I opted for the grilled halloumi stack (£11) - described on the vegetarian menu as ‘grilled Huddersfield halloumi stacked with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, drizzled with basil dressing and topped with pumpkin seeds’ - and ordered a portion of cornbread with chilli butter (£3.50) on the side.

My wife Lili - in the interest, no doubt, of providing a thorough review - selected the ‘Source Low & Slow Tray’ from the meats menu. Served, as the description suggests, on a tray, this came with a £19.00 price tag, but included pulled pork, beef brisket and shredded chicken, accompanied by freshly-baked cornbread, chips, pickled red cabbage, coleslaw and pickles. Worried she might not be able to finish it all, she asked our waitress if it would be possible to pack up anything she couldn’t manage to take home. Of course, our waitress replied.

We needn’t have worried. Lili said each meat dish was delicious - tender, succulent and juicy. She polished off the lot, which underlined the verdict.

I tried some of her chips, and they were among the best I’ve eaten - perfectly cooked, moist and yet light and fluffy, with a wonderfully fresh and earthy taste, akin to jacket potato. The coleslaw, too, was excellent, with none of the vinegary taste you so often get. It was just fresh, shredded strips of cabbage, with a natural peppery taste and just a hint of seasoning.

My halloumi stack also hit the spot. The fried cheese was lightly browned and crispy on the outside, then satisfying chewy, with a warm, salty flavour perfectly balanced with the roasted peppers, aubergine and mushroom with which it was stacked. The basil dressing was the perfect accompaniment.

A word too on that cornbread - freshly-baked in house, our waitress told us, and arriving in large hunks with the lightness and crumbly texture of warm, fresh-baked scones, but with a delicious, mealy flavour. I couldn’t finish it all, so our waitress whisked it away and returned it packed in a neat cardboard box for us to take home.

Lili passed on the desserts, but I couldn’t resist ordering the apple crumble (£6). The portion was a little small, but the oat crumble topping was crunchy, the apple filling sweet with just a hint of cloves and cinnamon. Lovely.

The total bill came to £46.50. Not cheap. But this was good food, prepared with care and love. And that’s priceless.