Monday, 24 October 2016

Cau - Victoria Gate Leeds

In all honesty I was slightly disappointed with the number of new restaurants opening with Victoria Gate, the original press release suggested much more than two restaurants and a Pret A Manger (because Leeds really needs another Pret), or perhaps I was just being too hopeful. Nevertheless I am always going to have a look in to what is new in town and so I did, last Friday the day after opening.

Cau is an Argentinian steak and burger restaurant (again because Leeds is seriously lacking in this department), a chain with Leeds being its 22nd opening. A clever play on words Cau (abbreviated from Carne Argentina Unica) pronounced by many sounds like you're saying 'cow' and seen as this is their main offering it fits the bill. Rather than trying to capture the whole of Argentina in a restaurant they have singled out Buenos Aires as a focal point.

As mentioned, we arrived last Friday evening their (and Victoria Gate's) second day of opening. We hadn't booked I was just hoping to wing a reservation and wasn't too fussed about waiting for a table. We arrived at 8.10pm and were told by the host that there was a 40 minute wait on a table as a large group had just arrived. Having no problem with this we settled at the bar and ordered a couple of cocktails, another couple arrived shortly after us and were told the same.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Chaophraya - Leeds

It’s definitely been over 5 years since I visited Chaophraya as I know for certain that if I had been I would have blogged about it and I haven’t. I have visited a few times before my blogger life began and from memory I used to really enjoy the meals there, the only suggestion I can provide for not returning is that since my blogger life started new and shiny restaurants tend to catch my eye more often than the solid oldies. Pretty bad really and something I am trying to rectify!

As you can imagine their menu has changed many times since I last visited, they’ve even expanded in to the ground floor since I lasted visited. Their most recent menu change, which launched this month, sees them trying to be a little different. When first starting out 10 years or so ago Thai ingredients weren’t so easy to come by and so alternatives or basic Thai dishes were the only way to bring a sense of what Thai food can offer. In recent years the UK’s food scene has blown up rather a lot and finding niche products is becoming easier, no longer is acceptable just to have a Thai red chicken curry when there is so much more on offer.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Trinity Kitchen - October 2016 Street Food Rotation

When Trinity Kitchen first opened 3 years ago I started to write a post about it. I was overly excited by its opening and I visited quite a bit. The rotation of street food vans and a nice warm place to eat such street food was a novel idea, I loved it. 

I never published said post because it felt like every food blogger out there was doing so and I didn't think I could bring anything new to the party. 

It's difficult to review somewhere that changes so frequently, granted they have their permanent fixtures and out of these there are only two I really like, those being Pho and Rola Wala the last edition to call Trinity Kitchen their permanent home. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Elizabeth Cottam Former Masterchef Semi Finalist Takes Up Residency at The New Ellington Leeds

The New Ellington has completely bypassed my consciousness, despite being next to My Thai (at The Old Steps) and a hop and a skip away from (what was once) Baby Jupiter. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I learnt that Masterchef Semi Finalist Liz Cottam has taken up residence there.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Jubo Raj - Rawdon

The trepidation that comes with moving house would be slightly unbearable if there wasn't also a mix of excitement bottled in with it. Such anxiety is caused by wondering if everything in the house will work, are there any unidentified leaks, what will the neighbours be like and will I find a good takeaway to replace those which I have left behind? 

Roundhay was amazing for takeaways, my mind was blown when I first moved there from Shipley. There is just a ridiculous amount and when I found out I could get hummus and olives delivered to my door I went a little crazy and ordered that plus more food than one person could ever eat. Over the two and half years I spent in Roundhay I made a good dint in the takeaway offerings and during the last year to eighteen months I definitely found my favourites and then pretty much stuck to them. I was honestly gutted to leave them behind, to no longer have excellent pizza, the perfect Chinese and the best takeaway Indian (outside of Bradford) on my doorstep brings a tear to my eye. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration but trying to find something(s) to compare was going to be a mean task. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Polpo - Havey Nichols Leeds

There was a lot of excited chatter on the interweb about Polpo taking over Yo!Sushi’s spot in Harvey Nichols. Having never lived down south their existence had passed me by. It was those who are frequent enjoyers (or previous enjoyers) of the London food scene who brought them to the forefront of my consciousness.

With my curiosity peaked I took it upon myself to do some ‘research’, I like what I saw. Venetian style tapas, or bacaro to be precise, with some interesting dishes popping up on their Instagram it seemed to be my type of place. I tried to be sneaky and pre-book a table prior to their opening but I was pushed back and told I would need to wait until they opened. Okay I could be patient.

Then we decided to buy a house and it all went tits up as all our money drained in to a money sewer called ‘solicitor/mortgage/survey fees’ followed shortly by needing all our dosh to for things to sit on in and sleep on in said house.  

Monday, 15 August 2016

Beer Pairing at Byron Burger Harrogate

Back in the day it was all about wine and food pairing, however with craft beer being well and truly established in the UK with many claiming to be the ultimate beer connoisseur/advocate/geek (whatever your adnoun preference) I have seen a surge of beer pairing events. Don't get me wrong wine still has its place it was only a few weeks ago where I attended such a wine and food pairing event at Crafthouse.

If you Google 'beer and food pairing' the internet throws up a whole host of charts and pictorgrams to help you pair the perfect beer with the perfect food. Gone are the days when beer was simply paired with a curry or a burger.... however saying that Beer doesn't go handsomely with a big juicy burger.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

10 Years of Wagamama on Park Row Leeds

I am a big fan of Wagamama and as far as chains go it's one of the good ones. I have never had a bad or disappointing meal at any of their branches, and the branch I visit the most? The Wagamama on Park Row, it's close to work and in a quieter arm of town on the weekend. It fits a multitude of needs from working lunch to shopping snacks to birthday meals, it caters for all.

I was invited by Wagamama to come and help them celebrate their 10th anniversary on Park Row. As I visit Wagamama so frequently it's never appeared on the blog and I've also got myself in to a Wagamama rut. I always order the same thing, occasionally deviating from the norm on drinks but never on the food. For me, Wagamama has the best chicken katsu in town, and probably not just Leeds town, I can't find any other place that does it so well. Chicken katsu is a big favourite of mine and I crave it a lot so when the opportunity comes to visit Wagamama I just can't help but order it. I know, I am a disgraceful food blogger.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Yo! Sushi's New Takeaway Menu (Delivered to your door/desk by Deliveroo)

Yo! Sushi is a firm favourite of mine when it comes to sushi, namely because I am also a big fan of lots of small dishes. It's a great way to try new things and for indecisive people like me it's also a great way of ordering everything you fancy... or almost.

You may have heard of Deliveroo, if you have taken a trip to Leeds City Centre of late you will have definitely seen one of their Delivery guys on a bike dashing around with a large blue box on their back. I was excited to hear that Deliveroo were expanding outside of London but unfortunately for me Deliveroo doesn't quite extend to the heady heights of Rawdon where I now live. Unlike traditional takeaway delivery services however Deliveroo don't start business after 5pm but operate throughout the day, combine this with working in the city centre and that equals desk picnics and treats!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

The Food Academy at Leeds City College

The Food Academy is a student run restaurant at Leeds City College's Printworks campus, it opened to the public in 2013 but I have only heard of one other person I know visiting it... a fellow blogger who deserted us for that London place some time last year. 

It's been on the list but due to location it never quite made it to the top, however myself and a plus one were invited to attend a special blogger night to help give some promo to the site that the students needs. 

Now I know what your first thoughts are, they have been echoed to me by many "students cooking your tea... I don't know about that, what happens if you get food poisoning, wine on your lap, gravy down your back etc etc." First of all the students are supervised and second of all their not idiots and totally incompetent, at least not by this point in the year (joking!!). 

Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Countess of York - Afternoon Tea at The National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum is one of the attractions in York that isn't completely extortionate in price, in fact it's free.... although donations are welcome (suggested at £5 per person). I've visited the railway museum before, albeit a few years ago now, but never did I know that inside there was a rather special place to enjoy afternoon tea.

The countess of York is a refurbished dining car that can be booked for afternoon tea or group events, I was lucky enough to be invited by the National Railway Museum to try out their afternoon tea. Not one to say no to afternoon tea or a leisurely trip to York I hopped on the chance to go.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Missoula Montana Bar and Grill - York

Missoula York wasn't exactly on my radar but a trip to York for leisure reasons (not work) was well overdue, so when they invited me to come and try their menu I was glad to help out. Missoula is a chain that isn't present in Leeds (hard to believe I know!) but they have six bars in other cities and three bar and grills (aka they serve food too) in other cities too. York is one of the lucky three.

My pre-visit impressions were created by the name having no knowledge of them before, it was clearly an American food themed bar and grill (Missoula being in Montana in America) and perhaps a lively night spot as it came with 'bar' in the name and it is fairly close to other bar and restaurants in York.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Swine That Dines - Leeds

The Swine That Dines is spin-off of The Greedy Pig, for those of you haven’t heard of the Greedy Pig they are a small establishment on North Street (near The Reliance) who serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. Their daytime offerings are some of the best around, you’re lucky if you can get a seat at the weekend but their real passion for food shines through in their not-so-new concept The Swine That Dines.

The Swine That Dines sees the humble breakfast and sandwich shop turn in to dining room at night (Thursday,Friday and Saturday) with an infamous waiter (in the blogging world) and serving small plates of the highest standard. The Swine That Dines is famous in my Twitter-world but as soon as I step out of that world no one has heard of them, and that’s a shame because everyone should be shouting about them.

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.