Monday, 25 January 2016

Cielo Blanco - Trinity Leeds, Leeds City Centre

There's nothing more exciting than catching up with your old school friends, reliving the past, gossiping about old school mates and sharing the latest scandals we've seen play out on Facebook.

The only thing that can sometimes be a challenge is finding somewhere that everyone will love (that isn't pizza. I love pizza but sometimes it's nice to have a change).

I've visited Cielo Blanco before but never blogged about it, it was around the time it opened but sometimes life gets too hectic to blog about everywhere I eat. For those who are not already accustomed to their ways Cielo Blanco is a Mexian restaurant situated in Trinity Leeds, it's owned by Leelex Ltd which own a host of other places in Leeds such as Neon Cactus, Jake's Bar and Oporto amongst others. The menu is more concentrated around their small plates, or Mexican style tapas, or in their words 'street food'. There are bigger plates too where you can order your typical burrito, enchilada or even a superfood salad.

Each time I've visited we've opted for the 'streetfood experience' which is advertised as 6 dishes between 2 people and each additional person opting in can select 3 more dishes, so basically 3 dishes per person - which feels like a much simpler way to put it.

There are usually more than one part to each of the dishes, for example 4 tacos, so we each chose our 3 dishes and then do a bit of mix and matching when it arrives to get a bit more variety.

Chicken Tinga, coriander, slaw and taco shop guac (taco)
My first option, Chicken Tinga Taco, a classic styled dish, full of flavour but unfortunately not piping hot and due to sitting in the 'outside' area of the restaurant by the end of the meal they were stone cold.

Slow cooked cured pork shredded with refried beans (Tostada)

My second option, Pork Tostada, a little different to what I was expecting, it tasted more like ham hock and was fairly salty.

Braised Salt Beef & Casabel Flautas
The best of my three dishes, Salt Beef Flautas, crispy on the outside deliciously beefy on the inside and the sour cream complemented it well.

Chorizo Potato and Ranchera Salsa Tostada
One of the girls' options, Chorizo and Potato Tostada, we swapped (I believe) a chicken taco, I much preferred this over my pork tostada, much more flavour and tailored to my palate.

Smokey Chicken and Roasted Sweetcorn Quesadilla
Quesadilla's are not the most photogenic of foods, there was two in total on our table and it was hard to differentiate between the two. Crispy edges and soft fillings, not the largest of quesadillas, but it did what it said on the tin(menu).

Sweet Potato Fries (added extra)
G and R have a love of sweet potato fries so we ordered these as an added extra. The fries come seasoned, are a bit sloppy but it's hard to find somewhere that can get them as crisp as a regular fry.

Home made Stuffed Jalapeños
Stuffed jalapeños, R's choice, were incredibly hot even her industrious mouth couldn't handle them all, she tried to palm so off on us but I don't think my stomach could have handled them from the look on her face.

Spicy Roots Feta and Pumpkin seeds
This is the best picture of a bad lot of this dish, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit. Another veggie option with roots as the substitute for meat, it was never the prettiest of the dishes and looked a bit slap dash upon arrival.

Cielo offer a range of tequila based cocktails, more than your regular tequila sunrise or long island ice tea. My particular favourite is the strawberry and kiwi margarita, the tequila isn't over powering and it's almost like fruit juice over ice, which could potentially be quite deadly.

If tequila isn't your thing, even in the smallest of quantities, and Cielo's most ingenious ways of hiding its powerful punch just aren't cutting it for you, there are regular cocktails to chose from such as daiquiris and mojitos.

Situated in Trinity Cielo Blanco pulls in the punters and it is frequently very busy from lunch until late. Bookings are not taken unless you're a large group and then none at all on a Saturday, it's basically a rock up and hedge your bets type of place. We arrived around 7.30pm on a Saturday night, luckily there was no queue but we still had to wait for 15-20 minutes or so in the 'bar' area. I use this term loosely as there is no bar just a beach bar where you receive table service.

When we were finally seated we were shown to the 'outside area', another term I use loosely as you're essentially outside the restaurant and although your head is covered there is also a large gap between ceiling and outer wall. In the summer months this can be quite nice as you get the breeze wafting through and it all feels just a little more 'exotic'. However, this is England and more often than not it's cold and windy, thus patio heaters are provided. Which is great if you're sat under one, which we were not. I had to put my coat back on and our food was cold by the end of the meal.

As far as Mexican food goes, for me it's not the best in Leeds. The best I've had has either been in it's little/big sister joint on Call Lane, Neon Cactus or it's unrelated competitor in Chapel Allerton, Pinche Pinche.


Unknown said...

Totally with you on that summary... I find it fairly mediocre food. I always wondered if I was just ordering wrong. I much prefer Pinche Pinche.i need to try Neon Cactus again, can't believe I've not been for ages.... X

Unknown said...

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