Please note this establishment has now closed and is now MyThai - yey!
The Old Steps is a place that few people seem to know about, that was until it recently appeared on the Living Social website. It was somewhere that was unfamiliar to me and when asked what I was doing with my Friday night only person knew of it, and when I say 'knew of it' they many decades ago (maybe 2 or even 1) used to go partying around that particular area of town.
Living Social once again doing great things for small businesses by spotlighting attention to them, however I have heard on the grape vine that they do take a large chunk of the money paid for the deal themselves so if you like the place your visiting make sure you tip well. The deal I purchased was £14 and included a bottle of wine and a platter for two people. This seemed reasonable to me having read what was on the platter and a bottle of wine in Leeds City Centre can often cost this price or more.
I did some research prior to purchasing my voucher (I don't want to waste in this tough economical climates) and found that it had glowing reviews on trip adviser, with a few on there mentioning that they weren't too keen on the décor. With each negative or even slightly negative comment the owner had replied with their own comments underneath. This I see in two ways, it's either very confrontational as if you have read the previous reviews before writing your own you may think twice about writing something negative in the fear that the owner is going to come back at you with a direct response which may in its self be taken negatively. Then again the internet is a very good shield for negative remarks and perhaps saying more than you would in person, as you're not really talking to a real person, you're tapping away on at a computer screen. Or… it can be seen as being very attentive to the thoughts of your previous and perhaps potential customers in the future. I'll let you debate and decide upon that one..
The Old Steps is situated on York Place in Leeds City Centre around the legal and Insurance district part of town (also the part of town where you will find quite a few strip clubs). Not the easiest of places to spot as like Baby Jupiter which is on the same street it is down a flight of steps and in a basement under…
I had to book (as is usually the case and expected) and when I called as per the instructions on the voucher I was then redirected to their website where I was to book and make sure I noted my voucher number in the box also (it didn't tell you to do this on the website - they might want to address this next time). I had no problems in securing a spot on a Friday evening and even when I need to amend the booking by 15 mins I was replied to with speed (using slang - I'll try not to judge - okay I am judging by even pointing it out and it definitely alter my opinion I had pre-formed).
We arrived a couple of minutes early and made our way down the (old) steps, there was no one to greet us by the door this was most definitely a bar. So we made our way over to the bar and told him we had booked he asked for my name and that was it… and told us to take a seat somewhere and he would bring over our wine and food.
It's quite a small establishment and we were lucky (I think) that some people had just left so we didn't have to perch on a tall chair or squeeze in with someone else behind the a table on to the seats which run the length of the wall.
We weren't expecting much from the wine but chose red netherless and it was actually quite palatable definitely drinkable.
I was expecting big things from the meat and cheese platter as they had described it so beautifully on their advertisement.
Instead we were confronted with a meat selection that looked like it had come straight out of the spanish/italian selection packet from Sainsburs/Tescos some very small unappetitising gherkins, a dry pork pie, and some barely edible olives. The cheese selection was bland and unimaginative and I don't think we polished them all off.
After a bottle of wine between us and much less food than expected I was starting to feel that a little bit tipsy. We agreed that neither of us would be able to keep on drinking unless we had something more substantial (filling) to eat so we finished off our wine and nipped over to Lazy Lounge to have a couple more glasses of wine and some chunky chips.
I'm not sure it is somewhere I will return to, and I definitely wont be returning for food. The décor as mentioned on many a review on Trip Advisor wasn't very appealing, T noted that it looked like they had tried to update the place from the 70s but had only half finished with a mix of old and new, modern and rustic. It didn't quite work. I didn't especially find the staff that friendly as the one member of staff stood at the bar the whole time apart from when he went in the back to get our food… which took about 2 minutes was this just sat there waiting for us? I definitely wouldn't pay the price advertised on their website either…