It’s been over a week since my last post and I basically haven’t had time to eat or sleep since Wednesday. For those of you who don’t know, I may be a regular eater outer in my free time, but I am a high school teacher during the week. Wednesday we got the dreaded call from OFSTED and since then I have literally worked non-stop, surviving on 4/5 hours sleep in 2 days.
During the last few days I have missed my regular yummy food mid-week session and have been hankering (as usual) for somewhere good to go. I’m a person who loves to research stuff, e.g. holidays – I make a detailed itinerary from weeks of preparation so I can see absolutely everything and a similar thing happens with going out for food. I am always looking at new restaurants, reviews etc. I can’t even remember what day it was last week because I’m still in a state of being a zombie (having lost hours of my life I will never get back from working nearly non-stop for 2 days. Well I’m going off the point now, I was once again looking at restaurants and I saw one called Dish, and I thought I’d recognised some of the interior from a place I had loved and really missed when it closed down last year. This place was called Aglassto which I had frequented many times and had longed for something else to open in it’s place. Well the day I had seen it, just by complete coincidence was the day before it was awarded Best Newcomer at the Oliver Awards (a yearly ceremony which awards the best in the regions culinary talent). This definitely made up my mind that I had to try this place out.
Now the proprietor and head chef Eddy Nuttall comes from good stock, having worked at Heathcotes and was part of the team at Jamie’s Italian so I was certainly hoping for good things. They say they offer modern British food using local produce and ingredients from sustainable methods. They are open for lunch and dinner and also have a pre-theatre menu and cocktail bar. We had arrived just before opening at 12pm as I wanted to get there before it got busy. I’d read it had been popular since it opened, and especially after winning best newcomer award, I assumed other people would be doing the same as me and wanted to see what the fuss was about. The man who served us was very friendly and helpful, my friend had a baby’s pushchair and they immediately offered her a high chair and put the pushchair out of the way. He also pointed out that they have a child and baby menu too. They also have a gluten free menu with a good range of starters and main courses. I think the chef has thought carefully about the menu and what could be done to cater for gluten free diners which is excellent. After a perusal over their menu we decided on starters of wild boar and venison salami, rocket salad and extra virgin olive oil, east coast crab bruschetta with scotch bonnet chilli, horseradish and preserved lemon and smoked haddock salad with smoked olive tapenade. Our main courses were a pot roasted chicken with sweet potato and purple sprouting broccoli, turbot en papillote with fennel, pearl barley and a salad and finally a salt cured corned beef burger (gluten free ciabatta bun) served with beetroot relish, pickled chillies and thyme baked potato wedges.
In terms of drinks we ordered a bottle of chilean sauvignon blanc which was a decent price at £17.50. The wine was lovely, crisp and very quaffable. It didn’t take long and we were on the 2nd bottle.
The east coast crab bruschetta was nice, the crab was lovely and creamy with a good proportion of white and brown crab meat. I couldn’t really taste any scotch bonnet chilli or horseradish though which would have made it come alive more. The bread that it sat on was quite difficult to cut and I was a little afraid that if I tried too hard it would spill off the plate. The preserved lemon was a good addition as it cut through the richness of the crab.
The wild boar and venison salami was lovely and had a real depth of meaty flavour, it came already seasoned with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. I was told it was so delicious they could have eaten it twice over.
The last starter of smoked haddock salad with a smoked tapenade was excellent, the fish perfectly cooked and seasoned. The tapenade in particular was a real winner, it had a punch of olive but in a mild way because it had been smoked.
The restaurant had mostly filled up by the time we had finished our starters, so I was definitely glad we had arrived when the restaurant had opened.
The main courses arrived and all looked great, my turbot en papillote was very yummy. The fish was perfectly cooked, the clams were nice and soft, fennel gave a slight aniseed flavour. The pearl barley was al dente and was a great addition to the dish , I hadn’t had barley with fish before so it was something new for me. The side salad was nice and fresh, but I would have quite happily eaten the dish without the salad and I’m not sure if it actually needed it.
The burger was tasty, the actual salt cured corned beef burger was served in strips and was very nice. It came with a whole green chilli and gherkin. The bread was gluten free, as requested, it was very moist (surprising because all the gluten free bread products have been very dry unless they had lots of fruit in them). We think it was kept moist by the fact it was fresh and heavily buttered.
The pot roasted chicken breast with sweet potato mash and purple sprouting broccoli was nice but a little on the bland side. After cutting into the thickest part of the chicken my friend had noticed that a blood vessel was still very red and not cooked enough for her liking so she notified the waiter and the chicken was sent back. After approximately five minutes it came back and thankfully was still moist. The vegetables were cooked well and accurately. The waiter was very efficient and had it sorted without any fuss whatsoever.
Once again we weren’t planning on having desserts, but they looked so yummy on the menu. I ordered the apple crumble with tonka bean custard, one fellow diner ordered the lemon tart with goji berry compote and the other ordered one of their digestif cocktails called the Monkey mule (Monkey shoulder triple distilled whiskey, lime, syrup, ginger beer and angostura bitters).
The apple crumble was excellent, the apples were soft with a bit of sharpness and the tonka bean custard was creamy, giving a very mild vanilla flavour to the custard. The lemon tart was delicious, it had a thin golden sugar top giving a crunch, a soft zingy lemon filling and thin base. The goji berry compote was fantastic and had a sort of sweet but sour flavour to it. The meal in total was £103 for 3 people, considering we had 2 bottles of wine, 3 starters and main courses, 2 desserts and a cocktail I think that’s not bad really. The quality of the food was good but there’s definitely room for improvement, the service was great and it’s definitely a welcome addition to the restaurant scene in Leeds. I’m hoping this place will last longer than it’s predecessor because I’d like to come back and taste some of the other dishes on their menu.18 Great George Street Leeds LS1 3DW 0113 8276875