You could quite easily drive past The New Ellington Hotel as it’s tucked away very neatly on York Place. I’d read good things about the place and fancied trying it for myself, so armed with a Pink Gorilla 30% off voucher a table for 2 was booked in their restaurant.
From the main reception and lounge area, downstairs we entered a dining room that was gorgeous visually, very sumptuous with deep purple velvet seats and walls covered with Art Deco pictures from Tamara Lempicka.
I had high hopes after reading that their kitchen is lead by Anton Scoones, who had worked at The Town Hall Tavern previously. We were welcomed in and brought to our table, the only customers in there. The wine list and menus were soon brought over by our waitress who was immediately very friendly and chatty.
Looking at the À la carte menu when doing my usual pre-meal research I found that they have a mix of traditional and more dishes with a twist. Starters range from £6.95 to £10.95 for lobster lasagne while main courses, e.g. Caesar salad, pot of mussels to a Yorkshire rib-eye steak range from £11.95 to £19.95.
I chose the crispy duck egg followed by salt cod and scallop, my fellow diner the lobster lasagne and flat iron steak.
The starters arrived looking pretty as a picture, my asparagus tender and an excellent crispy duck egg, perfectly cooked with a gorgeous golden runny yolk and coated with breadcrumbs giving it another texture. A great starter, light and tasty, making use of the very end of the asparagus season (due to prolonged wintery weather). The lobster lasagne was a far more complicated affair. Deconstructed into its component parts, with an avocado ice cream which even for me (who isn’t a fan of avocados) was delicious. It had a sprinkling of something with a flavour we couldn’t quite put our finger on, so after asking our waitress she consulted the kitchen and informed us it was a lobster oil turned into a snow. It had a very delicate taste, I wouldn’t really say we got the lobster favour though.
My main course of salt cod and scallop looked as good as my starter, perfectly arranged the plate. I dove straight in, going first for the salt cod which was well cooked and with a delicate saltiness, usually salt cod can be a bit full on for me, but this wasn’t too salty, I’ve had some in Spain (Bacalao) and I must admit I struggled with it. The scallops tasted nice, but were probably a touch over for me, then again I’m quite happy to eat scallop dancing between cooked/not cooked. The gnocchi were lovely and light, while the samphire was a perfect accompaniment giving it that added flavour of the sea. The steak looked great and I was secretly half wishing I’d ordered that instead, it was a decent size and cooked medium rare, as requested. It was very succulent, juicy and full of flavour and my fellow diner when asked about it gave a satisfactory nod which was all that was needed. A good steak must be partnered with good chips and these were. They had a golden crust with a lovely soft, fluffy centre. Very yummy!
I then ordered a dessert of lemon meringue pie – a decent sized dessert had a lovely zesty lemon pie, topped with lovely meringue and dehydrated strawberries. A refreshing sorbet, coulis and espuma craquant which was thin and crisp filled with a very yummy foam. We did get another snow though, again I wasn’t sure what it tasted of.
We wanted to try some cocktails so a Gin mojito and a non-alcoholic cocktail was ordered. Both were very refreshing and a nice alternative to the usual dessert wine or coffee.
Apart from the À la carte menu they also have a set menu available at two courses for £16.95 and £19.95 for three. Digby’s is well worth a visit, it has lovely food, wine, great cocktails and friendly service. In terms of cost, with our 30% voucher it was £80 (without tip) for 2 people.
What I would say is it would enhance the dining experience to be told what it is in the dish in more detail, as some of their dishes show off technical wizardry. There were a number of times where we asked what things were, even though our waitress kindly asked the chef, it would have been nice if as part of their practice, they already knew this information.
That aside I’d still recommend Digby’s!Digby’s Restaurant The New Ellington 23-25 York Place Leeds LS12EY 0113 204 2150