Wednesday, 25 May 2016

D&D London (The Makers of Angelica and Crafthouse) Launch New Wine Collection



D&D are the owners of both Angelica and Crafthouse which sit in Trinity Leeds and in addition to this they also own a fair few restaurants and bars in London (hence the name). They market themselves as a more upmarket bar and restaurant with the food somewhere inbetween fine and casual dining.

As with many large restaurants and restaurant groups they have a sommelier or two or three... their job is to pick and chose the wines to serve in the restaurants and bars (I'm probably teaching a few of you how to suck eggs but bear with me). D&D's sommeliers have gone a little further and were sent away to vineyards in France to create a special 'D&D Blend'. After much testing, arguing, disagreeing, feedback from the wineries they finally settled on one white and one red.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Khana Bombay Cafe - Headingley, Leeds


Khana Bombay popped up in Headingley some time at the beginning of the year, they had an opening party where they invited the local bloggers and then promoted themselves by offering 50% off food. I hadn't managed to find the time to benefit from the 50% and so when my housemate was struggling to find somewhere 'new' (to her) to go for her birthday I suggested a trip in to Headingley rather than Leeds city centre (again).

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Mugen Tea House - Sheffield




Just when you think spring is on its way Mother Nature loudly declares 'only kidding' and showers you with snow. This happened to me when working in our Sheffield office, I was hoping to venture out in to sunny Sheffield and enjoy the best of the best lunches... but once the snow turned I headed for the nearest place. That place was (apart from Sainsbury's) Mugen Tea House.

Mugen Tea House is situated in 'The Hide' which is an events and art exhibition on Scotland Street. They opened last year and things seemed a little quiet when I appeared one Tuesday lunchtime. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Gaucho Steak Masterclass



I love steak. This is a fact. I don't love eating steak at restaurants. This is also a fact. I am always disappointed when I eat steak in restaurants and the like, there is always something wrong, it is never quite perfect. D thinks that I make the best steaks at home and although they don't always reach perfection more often than not they do tend to beat those that I eat in other people's dining rooms.

One of the main problems I have when eating steak in restaurants is that they all seem to have differing ideas of what medium and medium rare is, this extends to countries also. Brussels air on the rare side whereas Croatian's tend to leave it on the grill a bit longer for that more well done taste. It's a mine field. It's not often I put myself through the torment unless there really isn't anything else on the menu that I fancy. Due to the uncertainty if I've never had a steak in said restaurant I will always proceed with caution and order my steak medium.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Banyan Bar - 2 City Sqaure Leeds



Banyan is the fourth of it's kind to open, with York, Harrogate and Manchester already having one placed firmly in their cities. It takes over the spot in City Square's old post office that used to house Loch Fyne. According to my sources there was a fierce battle over this spot between Arc Inspirations (who own Banyan) a local Indian restaurant chain and another big national chain. Locality won out as Arc Inspirations who are a Leeds based company won the spot.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Little Toyko - Leeds City Centre (revisited)



I never set out to review Little Tokyo, as a rule (unless it's specifically requested) I don't blog about birthday meals... but with shoddy service and the camera in my bag almost screaming out at me I couldn't resist taking a few snaps so I could later rant on social media. 

I was going to leave it at just a post across social media but it sparked a few conversations and I realised that my views of Little Tokyo really have changed since that first time I visited way back in 2012. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Cielo Coffee House - Leeds City Centre



I wrote previously about the Cielo coffee house that is based in Garforth, they're a social enterprise which seeks to not only pump cash in to the local community but also the community in which they buy their coffee from.

They have a soft spot on my heart as they started life in my home town, helped keep the local library open and then moved to a bigger place and set up their own in-house micro roastery. They also keep the local teens in jobs too.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Blue Pig - Northern Quarter Manchester


Manchester, it’s a funny one. As a city it feels like we’re (Leeds) always comparing ourselves against that bigger northern city across the Pennines. When someone or something chooses us over ‘them’ we cheer our victories. Do they compare themselves against us?

I rarely go over to Manchester these days and when I do I'm usually going to see a gig. I always get excited when visiting other cities as it means I can do some research and (hopefully) find some really great places to eat. I struggle with Manchester every time. I think this is combined with the fact that I'm going to gigs, therefore I'm looking for casual dining and I just want something a little bit different than what I can find in Leeds. Manchester (I'm told) has an abundance of fine dining restaurants, but they don’t really suit when you’re dressed in jeans and a band t-shirt. It also has a lot of chains, they’re all over the main shopping districts and more often than not they’re the same chains that we have here in Leeds… I'm not going to venture over to Manchester to eat something I could eat at home.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Iberica - Leeds



It feels like everyone is talking about Iberica. There are pictures of their toilets flying all over the internet, granted they're pretty spectacular toilets but never before have I seen a place famed so much for its toilets (forgetting the sexist incident in Almost Famous...).

Iberica is situated on East Parade in Leeds city centre, in the financial and legal district of town. The owners have taken over Hepper House a grade II listed purpose built auction house that was in serious need of rejuvenation to make the most out of this beautiful building (see the before pictures here). 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Skyr Yoghurt - A taste of Iceland made in Yorkshire



Have I mentioned that I went on holiday to Iceland and absolutely loved it? Well the word seems to be getting out that I am fanatical about all things Iceland as I was contacted by Hesper Farm in Skipton to review their Iceland yogurt - Skyr.

So what is Skyr and why is different from regular yogurt? Well it is much thicker than regular yogurt, it is high in protein, contains less sugar, high in calcium and is naturally 0% fat. Win win if you're on a bikini diet (I'm not but I'm playing with the idea).

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Malton - Yorkshire's Food Destination


If you have a passionate for food you need to visit Malton.

North East of York it's not as far as you'd think, just a 50 minute train ride or an hour in the car from Leeds and you're transported in to the glorious Yorkshire countryside and in to the fantastic world of independent and artisan food producers.

This small town is a buzzing hive of foodie activity. No matter what time of year, month or day you go there is bound to be something happening in this tiny little Yorkshire town.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Takk Coffee House - Northern Quarter Manchester



It's been three months and I'm still hopelessly in love with Iceland, I just can't get over the heartbreak of leaving such a beautiful country when our holiday ended. When I heard some guys in Manchester where trying to bring Icelandic coffee culture to Manchester it became a sure fire hit on my to go list. 

Takk is a Nordic style coffee house. Nordic is in right now (if you didn't get them memo) so it might just look like another hipster coffeehouse to the naked eye or uneducated but look a little deeper and you'll find Nordic style espresso and an open working space typical of those in Reykjavik.


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Leeds Indie Food Festival Returns in 2016 - My Top Picks




Following the success of last years' Leeds Indie Food Festival they return again in 2016 with more contributors, more events and more discounts for passport holders it would be a crime for any food lover not to get involved.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Simple and Cheap Midweek Meals - Chorizo and Kale Hash




Everyone wants something quick and easy to cook midweek, especially if you have a busy life after the working day ends too.

This is the first in a series of recipes I'll be posting that are quick, cheap and delicious (or at least I think they are!) once more have been posted you'll be able to find them by clicking on the label 'midweek meals' or if you've subscribed by email you will receive an email each time a new recipe is posted alongside my regular posts.