Saturday, 30 June 2012

Rib Shakk - Leeds

Please note this establishment has now closed. 

There have been so many blog posts about this place since it first opened a few months ago. I've been dying to go but always forget about it once I get in to Leeds city centre.

Finally last Saturday I got my day in rib heaven.

It was drawing towards the end of the month which always means careful spending in the run up to pay day. I was shopping (essentials only) in Leeds, my friend had just finished work and was absolutely starving. That morning I had read yet another blog post about this place so it was fresh in my mind and my tummy was craving it! Once I'd shown my friend the menu I didn't need to ask twice if we could go.

Jeanette's Cakery - Saltaire

It was an absolutely miserable day in Saltaire, my friend and I had gone down to the fresh local produce market to find hardly anyone there. I don't know if we were just too late or it was too damp and everyone had just decided to stay at home instead.

After feeling very miserable and slightly frustrated at another wasted June Saturday it was decided the only way forward was cake and tea. We made our way up to Bingley Road to see what we could find. I'd peered in to a cute tearoom a couple of weeks previous telling my friend that I would like to go there at some point. Now felt like the perfect time to go.

There were a few people in there already but there were still a good choice of tables to spare. As soon as we walked in we were greeted with bright smiles and warm welcomes and directed towards the high backed chairs. We were thrilled!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Kerala Cafe - Shipley

Please note this establishment has now moved to Leeds. 

If your looking for a top notch fancy restaurant with palate cleansers and half dozen waiters waiting on you hand and foot.. this place is not for you. If your not too bothered about your surroundings, are looking for absolutely bloody amazing food with lovely service chucked in... this place IS for you. If you are fed up of visiting Indian restaurants which only serve chicken tikka masala, lamb balti, chicken bhunas etc and want something more authentic this place is DEFINITELY for you.

This place refuses to conform to the traditional idea of an Indian restaurant in Britain. First of all they make it clear that they are an authentic south Indian restaurant/cafe/takeaway, and they only sell south Indian cuisine. There is no wimping out and sticking a chicken tikka masala on this menu.

Kerala is an Indian state on the South-west coast of India, because it's on the coast there is a big fish trade. Due to this you find the supply of fish based meals is high and lavish; tending to use a lot of coconut in their recipes. Interestingly Kerala is known as the land of spices, famed for it's spicy ingredients. Each district of Kerala hosts it's own famous dishes and although you can find each dish in all districts you will not find the best until you are sampling it in it's own district. Kerala sounds amazing to me, to bring this cuisine to England is a blessing.... if they get it right and don't stray down the English-curry-house-of-doom path.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Oranaise Cafe - Hyde Park Corner Leeds

Another place in Hyde Park which I totally ignored as a student but since leaving uni I have wanted visit it on many occasions but just never got round to it. There really are some hidden gems in Leeds' student land which are often overlooked because of where they are situated.

We decided upon Oranaise after wandering around Leeds city centre trying to find somewhere nice to eat lunch that we hadn't been before, which wasn't too expensive and wasn't a chain restaurant (although I have nothing against chain restaurants I just didn't fancy visiting one this day). After getting a serious hunger grump on we decided to ditch the city centre and hop on a bus to Hyde Park corner.

A Moroccan and Algerian restaurant in Leeds is not something that you see all too often, and I was intrigued.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Cut Waterside - Shipley

I noticed this restaurant whilst I was flat hunting in the area. I walked down the canal from Saltaire to my next viewing which was alongside the canal. From the other side it looked really cute/romantic/welcoming with the lights strung across the outside eating area and I made a mental note to check it out.

A bit of searching on google and I managed to find the website. The menus looked varied and interesting they have a lunch menu, early bird specials and an a la carte menu too. I was intrigued.

As a group of four we had made sure to pre-book as we weren't sure how busy it would be and if we would be guaranteed a table. It was probably a good job that we did as the restaurant is very small and although there were only a couple other tables in there when we first entered the whole restaurant filled up through the course of the evening.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Boathouse Inn - Saltaire

In the run up to moving to this side of the country I'd been reading a lot of reviews and walking a lot of the streets on google maps trying to find nice places to visit and eat out. After my disappointing meal at Don't Tell Titus I was determined to find somewhere better. I decided to look at the Boathouse again after being put off by the on mass people drinking outside. I had read one dissatisfied person's review of the Boathouse and went on to read more and more of their reviews of the local eateries and was starting to wonder if there were actually any nice places to eat where we had just moved to!

This left me feeling rather down and slightly disbelieving that there couldn't be anywhere nice to eat in the area. My friend tried to cheer me up by saying it was just one person's opinion and that mine will most likely not be the same.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Don't Tell Titus - Saltaire

A little background for anyone who doesn't know the history of Saltaire. Saltaire was founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt a big business man and at one point Mayor of Bradford. He decided to build a big textile mill outside of Bradford's ever increasing polluted city centre. He decided upon the Aire Valley and not far away from Shipley. Along with the mill (which he named Salt's Mill) he also built a village for his workers and various other amenities. He named the village Saltaire after his family name and the river Aire which runs through the village. Titus was determined that his workers lived a better life than they did in the city and thus discouraged drinking and gambling. He built no public house and banned ale shops, believing that a sober work force was a productive one.

Salt's Mill closed in 1986 and in 2001 Saltaire was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mill is now renovated and used for other purposes these days. You can read more about Saltaire, it's history and the mill here.