Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Distrikt Leeds

I've wanted to go to Distrikt for some time, plans have been made many times and each time those plans have fallen through. So I was delighted when a friend suggested we go. This said friend also noted that it wasn't a great place to go on a Friday/Saturday night for food as it turns in to a bar each night... however they still decided to book a table for Friday night... keep reading to see why this is an error.

Distrikt can be easily missed as it lies just off Boar Lane on Duncan Street and is located in a basement under the parade of shops/hairdressers/failed-fake-subway-like-eatery. It's hard to believe that Distrikt will be celebrating it's fourth birthday this year as it doesn't feel like it's been there two minutes (or two years).

The cuisine is described as Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tapas, sounded good to me as I love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food and above all tapas.

My friend and I (who is adopting name of TDS - Tall Dark and Smooth for this blog post) walked in around 7pm on a Friday night squeezing past the crowds which had already descended on Leeds City Centre for their boozy Friday night. Heading towards the bar we spotted our table which had been reserved with TDS's name on... surrounded by people and piled with drinks. Awkward. Even more awkward when the waiter (bar staff) had to ask them to move.

Now, there are PLENTY of seats in cubicles tucked in to the side which would have been ideal... but no, ours was placed just outside of one of these.. almost in the middle of the floor. Cue lots of bums in our faces for the entire meal. Don't get me wrong I'm sure these people had lovely bottoms but I didn't quite fancy them in my face whilst eating.

We were given menus and perused the wine selection both opting for a different glass of red... we tried each others when they were delivered to our sore thumb table... they both tasted exactly the same?

The menu is not expansive, but often this is a good thing as too much choice often means food is left to stew all evening/day, and can be rushed. This way I like to think they can do a small amount of food REALLY well. They didn't disappoint.

(Apologies for photo quality I was relying on the iPhone) 

We ordered some olives to chew over the menu with.

Both of us noting that somewhere to put the stones would have been nice... we settled for a beer mat.

Being the bad food blogger I am we purposely avoided the fish... I felt a bit rotten on TDS's part for having to avoid fish purely because of my tastes.

We ordered everything that wasn't fish and shared it all between us.

British lamb, olive, rosemary and lemon meatballs with cous cous - great flavours only three meatballs though another one surely wouldn't have hurt...

Mediterranean vegetable stack - a mix of crisp soft and delicately finished vegetables made a great non-meat dish.

Rare British beef (no horse) with Parmesan, pea shoots, sweet potato crisps and sun-dried tomato dressing - by all accounts great with nicely cooked crisps.

Smoked chili and lemongrass chicken wings with lime yogurt sauce - sticky and messy but piquant.

Field mushrooms with crushed root vegetables - great flavour from the mushrooms not too soggy or chewy and the root vegetables gave us both a familiar taste in our mouths we couldn't place.

 Sticky balsamic ribs with orange thyme - again sticky and a little bit messy but great nevertheless.

The flavours in all the food really stood out and you could taste everything mentioned in the descriptions on the menu. In my opinion this shows they have someone who knows what they are doing in the kitchen, they know what compliments each other and what flavours drown out others.

It's not great first date food as you have to use your fingers and I wouldn't recommend a Friday night booking... Go with a good friend who adores food and you wont go wrong.

The service was a bit haphazard, we had one bar member serving us throughout the meal and she was a little bit hilarious. She didn't seem impressed to be serving us and was quite short in tone with us at times. She asked TDS if they wanted another glass of wine and when they replied no she took it away... wine still sloshing in the bottom of the glass.

For a cheaper option why not try out their £5 lunch menu. I would most certainly like to return to try out the Sunday menu... any mention of pork belly has my mouth watering.

7 Duncan Street

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