Ich bin Blondzilla aus Leeds. Ich bin Qyper seit dem 18.06.2009
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1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 7DH
It borders on being style over substance, but is rescued by an array of lovely cocktails. It's not cheap and once the novelty of cocktails in tea cups wears off you might wonder what all the fuss is about.
However, as I staggered across the bar, both hands wrapped round what appeared to be a an old bed pan full of passion fruit cocktail (topped by flaming, hollowed-out passion fruits no less) I could see the appeal. It's not somewhere I would spend a whole evening as many of the drinks were very sweet and/or tart, to the point where I was sucking back my lips over my gums like an inebriated Esther Rantzen.
If however you want a change from the norm, or just have a penchant for a drink that is partially on fire, lots of candlelight or bar staff who look like they are from Mumford and Sons, then the Maven should do just fine.
9 Johnson Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 2NG
It's a traditional pub, far from the chain-pub-nightmare of Wetherspoons and their ilk. You can therefore enjoy reasonably priced drinks, an absence of Jagerbomb-infused-nutters and a packet of scampi fries.
Thursdays sees the open mic night take over the back room and over the years I have seen some fantastic performances straddling all genres. I have also seen a drunk Lithuanian with a two word English vocabulary and a karaoke machine murder American Pie, but this is all part of the fun!
Special kudos must go to whoever decided to allow you to bring fish and chips from the shop next door into the pub. It's nice to see local, independent businesses working together, especially when they combine to offer such heady temptation!
Sitting in front of a table adorned by pints, scampi fries, a scrabble board and mushy peas undoubtedly warrants the Chemic Tavern getting a five star rating. If the drunk Lithuanian comes back I might just up it to 6.....
New Station street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS17 0
I can heartily agree with everything that Salsarock said.
No Frappucinos, no gingerbread/toffee/caramel lattes, just great, fresh coffee the way it’s meant to be.
If your experience of coffee in Leeds is limited to trying to work out exactly what size a ‘grande’ is supposed to be then I think you owe yourself a visit to Laynes.
293 Spen Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS16 5BD
12.07.2009 (aktualisiert am 27.03.2012)
UPDATE – March 2012
I had previously posted a five star review back when Dough opened in 2009, but after visiting twice since and having a very disappointing visit a few weeks ago I’m (sadly I must add) taking my rating down quite a bit.
The last meal we had was disappointing on pretty much every level. A starter of brie, brioche and beetroot and orange salad had a tiny smear of flavourless brie and the orange and beetroot salad was drowning in a sickly orange glaze. A main of pork and rhubarb puree had a bland, oversweet sauce, plus the pork had not been rested, so the two (very small I might add) lumps of loin were tough and unyielding.
The dessert was the worst offender, with a very promising sounded Rhubarb and Coca Cola sponge accompanied by the same sauce as my main. The sponge tasted of neither of it’s constituent ingredients and was a gluey, unpleasant little hockey puck that I suspect had been microwaved. On the cusp of the Rhubarb triangle (especially when the restaurant prides itself on local ingredients) to have no visible sign (or much flavour) of Rhubarb seems a sad state of affairs
I tried a few other of my friends dishes and similar problems persisted throughout.
I hate writing this, and I do so in the hope someone at Dough will read this as we all commented on how we hope our last two visits have just been isolated incidents. We all agreed we would love to see a return to the standards they had at the beginning. I won’t give up on Dough, but what was one of my favourite restaurants in Leeds is now somewhere I would not dash back to, which is a sad thing indeed!
I’m suprised to see only 2 reviews on here for Dough, but I suspect it’s location prevents it from receiving wider acclaim. Tucked away in West Park, it is one of the best restaurants in Leeds.
We paid £24 each for the four-course meal, the second of the four being a delicious vodka and watermelon sorbet.
You can BYOB to lessen the price, but they do have drinks available. There is also no corkage charge for BYOB which is a nice touch.
Everything tonight was carefully and considerately put together with excellent, fresh ingredients. There is a nice variety to the menu which is held together with classical french cooking.
Old Spot Pork with a rich, velvety black pudding was superb as was the goats cheese with gooseberry jam and grapes. A rich, fudgey cherry cheesecake saw out the meal. I also tasted the asparagus risotto which was light and delicate, not drowning in stock or butter.
Overall it was an excellent, well-priced meal and the service was equally great. Consider this one a hidden gem, it might look like a cafe from outside and be hidden from the masses, but its an utter delight.
Alameda Apodaca 22, 110004 Cádiz
Balandro came heavily recommended via Trip Advisor and when we arrived the place was certainly bustling, something we took as a promising sign.
The food however was distinctly lacklustre. It aims for a modern spin on tapas but gets it wrong by some distance. I had a ‘beef millefeuille’ that on paper sounded interesting, but in reality was layers of bland bolognese style beef sandwiched between pastry sheets and buried in a mound of equally flavourless cheese. A salad of cheese and roasted apple sounded fabulous, but it was adorned with two types of nuts, a sickly dressing and all other manner of needless additions.
It soon became apparent that the menu (and indeed the place itself) is the epitome of style over substance, with the hip modern surroundings attracting young urbanites as the place to be seen. It’s a bar and social space first, a restaurant second.
For me Tapas is about simplicity and great quality ingredients, neither of which were really in evidence at Balandro.
115 Otley road, Headdingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 3PX
Salvo’s reputation has had me yearning for a visit for far too long, but after such a lengthy wait I thought it’s much venerated reputation could only lead to me being slightly disappointed,
Thankfully, such fears were completely allayed and they deserve their reputation as being the best Italian restaurant in Leeds.
I won’t bother singling out any one dish, as everything I ate (plus the various morsels I tried from my fellow diners) was pretty much flawless. In the course of two hours I forgot about every bland pizza, overcooked pasta dish and joyless tiramisu that has ever being passed off to me as Italian cooking over the years.
In addition to this the service was excellent, attentive but unfussy with friendly staff and a great atmosphere. It’s not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for and the quality of ingredients shines through.
I could sit here all day and not find a bad word to say about the place – Bellisima indeed!
255 Hyde Park Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 1AH
Housed in the former home of Moorish, Mamsy’s might have a few identity issues, but there is definite potential.
The menu is Thai, but the interior is a curious blend of Moorish’s old fittings (an Arabic style arch still frames the Thai chap cooking in the kitchen beyond) and a bohemian-style arts venue.
The owner advised they host spoken word poetry evenings, plus run the brilliant titled ‘Dub n grub’ night, where a dubstep DJ plays in the background. They have various works of art adorning the walls, but it seems more a rag-tag way of decorating the place than a succinct artistic statement.
So while it might be a bit schizophrenic and want to be all things to all people, the food is definitely worth a visit. We had Gang Panang and Tom Kha Gai which were both savoury and aromatic with a generous hand with the meat. By adding drinks and a small dessert our bill came to just £12 and for the price it’s hard to fault. It might not have the refinement of Sukothai or the like, but then would you be able to chow down to some dubstep in Chaophyra? I think not! They also have BYOB in the evening, which only makes a good value meal even better.
It’s a little rough and ready around the edges and as a concept it requires a little work, but we went for the food and we left happy with the intention of returning, so I can only hope Mamsys find it’s niche and it’s audience.
Church Lane, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1DW
Nestled in a small courtyard the Malthouse makes a great first impression as you walk in, with seated areas set beneath creeping vines leading to the restaurant itself.
Inside it’s small and cosy as per it’s former status as a barn, with just enough tables to ensure an atmosphere.
Sadly, the food never lived up to the promise offered by the setting and was at best, distinctly average. I’m told it changed hands sometime mid-2011 and the excellent reputation we were advised of was due to it’s former owners.
The main reason for low rating is not solely the food, which was average but by no means offensive. Instead it was the standard of service and the treatment we received that let the side down.
After ordering a goats cheese souffle it arrived adorned by walnuts, something I had asked the waitress to remove. I advised that due to a severe nut allergy I could not eat this and that I would not be able to eat the souffle if the walnuts were removed as they had made contact and I could still have a severe reaction.
The waitress was very apologetic and disappeared into the kitchen, only to return two minutes later with a souffle without walnuts. I asked if was the same one, reminding her I could not eat this and being well aware you can’t cook a souffle in 2 minutes. She appeared uncomfortable and when she went into the kitchen (which I could clearly see due to it being next to our table) the head chef scowled through the door at us and then advised it would be 15 minutes for another.
I avoided a starter altogether, had an average main of steak and then a bland treacle tart to follow.
The waitering staff were lovely, but the chef showed an utter disregard for my well-being and tried just to blag it, something that as anyone who suffers a nut allergy knows is unforgivable. In addition to this the front of house manager (who was lovely I might add) was necking half pints of bitter almost constantly in the small bar housed in the dining room. When it came to adding up our bill he was slurring and unable to work a calculator.
I’m hopefully not a difficult customer, but the owners (this being the chef and FOH manager we found out) need to take a more serious and professional approach to their responsibilities as restaurant owners. Otherwise they may waste the good reputation afforded to them by their predecessors.
Basement Wellesley Hotel Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 4LT
La Grillade has been a stalwart of the Leeds restaurant scene for over 30 years, but I suspect the lack of reviews on here is due to it’s location, which is hardly likely to ensnare passers by.
Having recently had a slightly lacklustre meal at Hendersons (see my earlier review) I can confirm that La Grillade does a far better job of serving authentic French fare.
I started with a Boudin noir (black pudding) that was soft to the point of being almost souffled, deeply savoury and accompanied by sauted apple slices. A main of calf’s liver was perfectly cooked and nicely doused in a subtle sage sauce. I also tried a few of my other diner’s dishes and everything was indicative of a high standard of authentic French cuisine, not some bastardised version for English palates.
If I had any criticism it’s that the service is a little too stiff and old fashioned, but the staff were very attentive and helpful. It’s location in the underbelly of Wellington Street makes for a very cosy and intimate venue, with the sizeable basement level split into numerous smaller areas. It’s the type of place that would make for a pleasant escape from a cold winters day outside.
Our bill came to £128, encompassing three starters, mains and desserts, plus £30 worth of wine. They do a variety of deals, an early bird menu with half a bottle wine coming in at £25, plus a Table d’hôte giving you three courses for £18.50.
It’s the best French meal I have eaten in Leeds and represents great value for money. Take the time to find it and I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
25 High Street, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1DS
First impressions of the Fuggles bistro are very positive. The interior is cosy and inviting, with fresh hops hanging from the original wooden beams.
Unfortunately the food never lived up to the same standard on our visit and we were all rather disappointed. The staff were friendly and polite and I could not fault them, but whoever is in charge of the menu let the side down.
A main of duck, potato cake and plum sauce was the worst culprit. We were asked how we wanted the duck cooked and requested medium rare, only to be served a mallard on the wrong side of well done. Worst still the potato cake that came with it was so overpowered with stem ginger it was almost inedible. I’m not sure whose palate came up with that one, but I can confirm ginger and mashed potato is one of the worst things I have ever tasted. To add insult to injury the whole dish was finished with a horribly cloying and sticky plum sauce.
Dessert didn’t fair much better with a plum crumble comprised of tough undercooked plums buried underneath a mound of soggy, flavourless crumbs.
We also got the cheese board for dessert and this was fantastically uninspired, which is particularly sad knowing that the region is home to a variety of great artisan cheese producers.
It’s a real shame, as the setting, staff and everything else are spot on. But on the basis of the food you get the feeling they think this (and the fact that Ledbury has a very small selection of restaurant choices to compete with) are enough to rest on their laurels.
Perhaps we were just unfortunate on the night we visited, but everything we ate was either under/over cooked, or guilty of a flavour combination that just didn’t work. Next time we might try the Feathers restaurant in the same building (which I’m told is very good) but I would not be in a hurry to return to Fuggles on the basis of our last visit.
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