Trinity Kitchen celebrated its 1st birthday yesterday and over the last year I’ve eaten amazing street food from some of the UK’s best traders!! The last couple of weeks I’d been thinking back to which have been my personal favourites so far, and with the usual help of photos helping me to reminisce, this is what I ended up with (not in any particular order) – Original Fry Up Material – full on burger heaven, Donastia Social Club – transported me back to San Sebastian, Manjit’s Kitchen – the best Samosa Chaat, Dorshi – dumplings, dumplings, dumplings, Jing Jing – great Thai flavours, Hay Latin America – for introducing me to melt in the mouth Alfajores and Inca Kola , The Cauldron – MEAT, Fresh Rootz – for the lightest, fluffiest pakora, Rola Wala – bold Indian flavours, Mei Mei’s Street Cart – reminding me of great Chinese street food and Gurmetti – cute vehicle and an amazingly simple, yet tasty burger:
Who’d be on your list of favourites, any you’d love to see back again?
A good catch up with old friends in York, always means a decent lunch somewhere, as they love food as much as I do. We were off to Le Langhe, a restaurant that I’d read about before, but this was my first visit. From the outside it was hard to tell there was a restaurant, as there’s no real signage. Even on closer inspection looking in through the window, you see a deli stocked with all sorts of goodies, no hint of a dining room.
On entering we found ourselves surrounded by a food lovers dream; an Italian food and wine emporium with walls of shelves holding quality Italian wines, cabinets fully stocked with delicious meats and cheeses, Italian breads, imported pastas, aged balsamic vinegars, fresh truffles and much much more!
Once we could tear ourselves away from the shop, the actual dining room was at the back and up a few steps, this is where I saw the restaurants name – Le Langhe. The sign was a little hard to make out at first as they had so much stock everywhere, maybe as christmas looms ever close, there were boxes seemingly everywhere!
We found the menu a tad on the confusing side and more complicated than was necessary. The menu is divided into dishes ‘from the counter’ and ‘from the counter’, but within these categories there’s a four-course tasting menu which includes a glass of wine at £23 each, but a couple of potential deal breakers came with it; the menu is the chefs choice and the whole table must be included. Pasta and meat dishes (on a separate menu) can be ordered individually or in combination with starters which are on the back of the main menu. Also a selection of meats and cheeses which could be ordered on their own or as a selection. If this sounds confusing, it’s because it was!
After we’d worked out the menu, partly from listening to one of the staff explaining it to the couple at the next table, we opted for some starters and pasta dishes, which on the menu was called ‘discover the difference’ & pasta (£12.95).
For our starters we picked some prosciutto di parma, prosciutto san daniele and Calabrian nduja with some bread. The prosciutto arrived sliced as thinly as you like and was great on taste, as you would expect. The nduja was a bag hit with it’s spicy meatiness, kept soft with the ingenious use of a tea light holder. The three of us certainly had our appetites whetted sufficiently before our next course.
Two game ragu pasta and one pumpkin and goat cheese pasta came our way, here they say their pasta is freshly made daily and cooked to order, with sauce that isn’t added for the sake of it so pasta swims around in it, but used to enhance it. The last bowl of pasta I really enjoyed was the braised beef pappardelle at Zucco a few months ago, OH. MY. GOD this topped it! Even before the first mouthful, just picking some up on the fork, you could see the pasta was mega thin, cut in pappardelle width strips. It was silky, lightly covered in a flavourful game ragu and a grating of parmesan providing additional seasoning. We enjoyed the pasta so much that we unashamedly banged on about it for the rest of our lunch.
Our praise continued to the point where we ordered a second portion of game pasta to share!! I don’t regret it one iota, it was totally worth it.
I’d never eaten at Le Langhe before, and this won’t be last time, as even though everything about our lunch wasn’t perfect, the food wasn’t far off from being! If you’re in York I’d recommend you head there yourself.
Lunch with wine (and an extra pasta) for three people cost £65 without tip.
Food: excellent, some of the best pasta I’ve eaten, ever.
Service: a little haphazard at times, but friendly, helpful and efficient on the whole.
Atmosphere: we arrived at lunch, so there was a steady stream of diners throughout our stay. Quiet, gentle chatter about the place.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post which mentioned my irritation and annoyance at one of Leeds’ premier food events – Leeds Loves Food in June. Commenting on the organisation of the event, the vast number of chain establishments involved (it’s sponsored by ASDA), poor publicity, all whilst most of the local independents were being pushed onto the side streets.
Well you can imagine my delight when a brand new collaborative group of food lovers/bloggers/traders said they were bringing a festival for the independent food and drink scene. Lets face it, Leeds seems to be coming of age in this department, but still lacks a true celebration of the independents that really make this place come alive!!
So who are these people, they call themselves Leeds Indie Food (#LIF15), made up of six people who already champion the independent scene in their own right. Their master plan is to gather the best of Leeds’ independent food and drink industry culminating in a festival of food and drink culture. To me this is something that is very relevant and much needed in Leeds.
A few things make #LIF15 stand out; firstly, this won’t just be over a long weekend like we’ve had in the past, this is going to take place 7th to 25th May 2015. Events will be spread city-wide, using talent from independent businesses in communities around the city, not just squeezing everything in and around Millennium Square for a change! This team want a festival run by and for the heart of independent Leeds.
Now this doesn’t come for nothing, the LIF team are working for free, but all the independent businesses involved need to be paid for. With this in mind a crowdfunding campaign has been set up on Kickstarter.com to raise the required funds to get the festival off the ground. £6750 to be exact.
To give you an idea of some of the independents which have already signed up to be involved, here’s some of the line-up; Laynes Espresso, Friends of Ham, Dough Boys, The Greedy Pig, Bundobust, Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, to name just a few.
If you love food from independent businesses you really should take a look, if you fancy pledging, it doesn’t have to be much, donations start at £1! But for those who are feeling more generous there are some enticingly lovely rewards for backers.
White Cloth Gallery is a venue synonymous with cool exhibitions and secret cinema screenings. Ideal for city worker lunches and after work drinks. Recently they’ve worked on a new menu, one with a wider range of options, including some healthier choices. I’d gone to have a nosey, take some photos at a pre-launch tasting and was joined by four other hungry regulars who all work in offices nearby. The aim was for us try a selection of dishes, critique and give feedback, commenting on what was good, areas for development and any other ideas we might have.
The menu is divided into four areas: small plates (£6), pizzas (£8), superfood salads (£5) and pressed foccacia sandwiches (£6).
Pretty quickly we were brought lots of dishes to try, the table started to disappear underneath everything, I couldn’t keep up. First a couple of superfood salads, I found them quite tasty, but the rice and bulgar wheat dishes had a little too much oil, something easily remedied. It was hard to judge whether they were worth £6, even when told each bowl would be full during an actual lunch service. Out of these I preferred the bulgar wheat salad, with salty halloumi and coriander it had lovely flavour, the seasonal broccoli salad was also enjoyed especially in combination with the toasted almonds, giving extra texture and nuttiness. For me, and others around the table these were thought more of as side dishes, rather than individual dishes.
Next up were items from the small plates section, such as meatballs with tomato sauce and penne pasta, roasted globe artichokes with pesto and penne pasta. I can make a mean bowl of pasta and meatballs and was disappointed that even though the meatballs had some chilli heat, they could’ve done with more seasoning and were a tad bland. The pasta was well cooked, but the tomato sauce was a little nondescript and could be punchier in flavour. My favourite of the pasta dishes is shown below, it also gained praise from my fellow diners, the delicately spiced soft pork worked really well with the flavour from the onions.
A couple of sandwiches were brought out, at £6 I thought were a little pricey considering their size and a tad gimmicky with their presentation, but cute nonetheless. Both had good flavours, at £6 could definitely be bigger or served in combination with a salad.
Whenever I’ve eaten at White Cloth, I’ve always had their pizza and enjoyed it very much, the last time was in April when I devoured their pork sausage meatball with red onion marmalade and rocket oil!!! Fellow diners around the table all agreed that the pizza is usually what they come for here, rather than anything else.
I’ve always expected their pizzas to have a thin base and be generously topped, which on this occasion they were again. Faced with a selection of three pizzas, everyone dove straight into the meat options, my favourite was the spiced pork and roasted balsamic onion, I’m assuming the same main ingredients as the pasta dish I spoke about earlier. The chilli meatball pizza was tasty, but the meatballs had the same issues for me as in the pasta dish, needing more seasoning and were a little dry. I would’ve loved a drizzle of chilli oil, or even the rocket oil I had from the pizza I’d admired back in April. The poor artichoke pizza was left alone, apart from one slice that was tried, it seemed that everyone at the table were hard and fast carnivores, so it hadn’t really taken anyone’s fancy. Even I was getting pretty full by this point and couldn’t manage any more.
As this was a pre-launch tasting, the idea was to get feedback, take suggestions on board and making alterations where needed. The menu at White Cloth Gallery has now gone live, with a few pricing changes, pasta and salad dishes now £4 and sandwiches £5. Maybe this will entice more people to go for dishes in combination, such as pasta with a salad etc. I’ll be interested to pop across one lunchtime and see what the final menu tastes like and spot any improvements which may have been made.
White Cloth Gallery 24 Aire StLeedsWest Yorkshire LS1 4HT
A couple of weekends ago we had the pleasure of spending some time with relatives who live in Australia, for the short time they had in the UK some day trips were planned to show them around the area. One of these trips was whistle-stop tour into the Dales, firstly popping to Betty’s for a quick cuppa and a buttered tea cake, where we got superb service throughout.
A quick saunter around Bolton Abbey; taking in the view for a few moments listening to sheep baa-ing away, watching the other half and his dad skim stones in the river, quietly walking through the priory ruins and its cemetery. There was even a wedding going on as we walked passed the Priory Church, nice little touch was the tractor, adorned with ribbons (I think, not too hot on farming equipment!)
With lunchtime was fast approaching, the plan was to make our way to The Craven Arms, in the lovely sounding village Appletreewick. My father-in law knows most of the Dales like the back of his hand, and has visited this charming pub many a time after long walks in the area. You could tell it was a popular pub early on, as we’d passed one down the road with hardly any one there, but this one had people spilling onto the street outside! A good sign, but could we get a table for seven?
After a few minutes of hunting around, a man and his partner very kindly offered up theirs as they weren’t eating, which we gratefully thanked them for. Initially thinking we couldn’t all fit around, with a little bit of budging up we managed it and decided on our lunch order.
The menu is written up on black boards behind the bar with a number of family favourites, such as Yorkshire pudding with red onion gravy, beef burger and shepherds pie topped with cheesy mash potato. Great to see the chefs make use of their local produce, reading dishes using locally sourced partridge, lambs liver, grouse and mallard too. I also liked the sound of the items listed on the artisan deli menu: homemade cider flavoured black pudding, piccalilli, marmalade and chutneys.
Food arrived in good time and were certainly hearty portions, I didn’t expect anything less being in the Dales. Mine especially looked massive (Jacksons pork sausages with mash)! It was so big I just couldn’t finish it, shame really as there were meaty sausages, smooth mash and decent gravy going to waste. Before I got too full I did manage to get a little taster of the other half’s steak and ale pie….extremely good, light, buttery pastry the meat was tender and fell apart, came with decent chips and a rich glossy gravy. That’ll be my choice the next time I visit! But saying that the fish and chips looked particularly handsome too.
We were all pretty much full and needed to walk it off, so the last part of our whistle-stop tour was a stop in Grassington, straight up the Main Street, passed The Square and back around, it was a shame we were running out of time and could’ve spent a little longer absorbing the area more, but a lot had been planned into one day. From the response of our visitors, it seemed like the day had been a success, they got a taste of the Yorkshire Dales.
Lunch for seven people came to £97.10 with drinks.
Food: hearty, uses local produce, decent portions, filling.
Service: lovely staff who were friendly and helpful.
Atmosphere: it has a buzz about the place, filled with many locals and visitors.
Winner of the... Women of the Year Enterprise award. Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Food Blog. Marie Claire Woman At The Top award. Fortnum & Mason Food And Drink Award. YMCA Courage & Inspiration Award. Red Magazine's Red Hot Women Award. #17 Independent On Sundays Pink List 2013. And the 100m race when I was about, seven...