Trinity Kitchen VI, Leeds

Trinity Kitchen’s newest set of street food traders have rolled into Leeds, and I’d been wondering for a while what newbies they could bring in to keep us punters coming back for more. With the usual buzz on Twitter with who’d be in the new line-up I had a nosey after school on Tuesday to find out.

The first stall to catch my eye and tastebuds was London based Mei Mei’s Street Cart. Mei Mei’s been making Jian Bing (filled Chinese Crepes) since childhood and obviously has cooking Chinese food in the DNA, with a grandmother that is a huge cooking inspiration.

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I’d known what a Jian Bing was, but had never eaten one so this was a new Chinese food staple for me, and one that I was itching to get my hands on. Being a roast pork fiend there was only EVER going to be one choice for my first Jian Bing – Char Sui Pork!

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I watched intently as Mei Mei made my Jian Bing. I loved the idea of having the spring onion and coriander embedded on one side as she flipped the crepe over whilst cooking it, with a thin covering of soy, hoisin and chilli sauce painted on the other. A layer of Char Sui pork and finally the addition of crispy wonton which was a GENIUS idea. 

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Here’s the final product, a thin crepe filled with Char Sui pork that had been marinated for 24 hours. It had flavourful, juicy meat and was lip-smackingly good. The chilli/soy/hoisin sauce combo gave a sweet, salty, mild heat that worked well with the pork. I really liked the additional greenery too, especially the coriander which added  freshness. All of this folded up into a parcel that was nearly the size of my FACE, it was that large!

Jian Bing with Char Sui Pork
Jian Bing with Char Sui Pork

This isn’t just any simple crepe, it’s a street food crepe elevated up a notch with a tonne of flavours and textures all in one shebang! I sat there a VERY happy girl and enjoyed every mouthful! I’m definitely going to have to make these Jian Bing at home!!!

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My next stop was The Cheese Truck, who are based in London and are friends with Donastia Social Club and Original Fry Up Material. Arguably two of the most popular traders to date at Trinity Kitchen, and definitely in my list of faves so far! Mathew set up The Cheese Truck after being inspired from a trip to the USA, and having already worked in the hospitality industry, whether it was for a catering company, setting up a restaurant in Covent Garden or working on the PR side of the business, he saw this as a natural progression.

With their cool industrial feel cooking station they sell their grilled cheese sandwiches with a range of fillings. I tried their Grilled Cheese with Keens Cheddar, Ogleshield and onion mix.

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The Cheese Truck’s beers from Camden Town and their cute ice-cream van/cheese truck!

My sandwich was filled with perfectly gooey cheese that did the whole stretchy thing when you take a bite. It was incredibly cheesy, but with the addition of the onion it doesn’t get too overpowering and helps to cut through the richness. All inside two slices of Sourdough from Leeds’ very own artisan bakers Leeds Bread Coop. Definitely fantastic comfort food! The other one that really took my fancy was the Grilled Cheese with Queso Chihuahua cheese, spicy chorizo and rocket. 

Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese

The final new trader to grace this month’s Trinity Kitchen is Pembermen’s from London. Serving baps filled with breakfast items or pulled meats (using local sources) from the hatch in their converted 1972 Commer camper van. I REALLY REALLY wanted to try something out, but I was too full to contemplate a third course. I think the All Day breakfast and pulled meat baps have my name written ALL over them though, especially the Gloucester Old Spot pulled pork! They also have coffee on the go and homemade biscuits too!

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Repeat offenders to Trinity Kitchen are Dogtown Hot Dog Co. and The Marvellous Tea Company, back with their hotdogs and cakes!!

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I was getting a little worried that Trinity Kitchen would run out of ideas, but from what I tried I feel positive about these. I’ll be back soon to try a bit more, especially to get my first Pembermen’s!

What street food would you love to see being served at Trinity Kitchen, and are there any street food traders you would love to see back again? 

Trinity Kitchen
Trinity Leeds
Albion Street
Leeds
LS1 5AT
0113 3942415

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BBC Good Food Show photoblog @ Harrogate

On Sunday I was fortunate to go to the BBC Good Food Show Spring, held in Harrogate for the first time at Harrogate’s International Conference Centre. It had been a three day event and was jam packed with stalls from the length and breadth of the UK, and also included the odd celebrity chef here and there, with John Torode and James Martin, amongst others entertaining the crowds.

I had come with Harley Wood as her guest and we were only really interested in having a gander at the stalls, so here’s a photoblog of my whirlwind tour around the stands, showing a sample in no particular order.

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Christine’s Preserves had their liqueurs out, just one string to their bow. Amongst their repertoire are conserves, marmalades and chutneys, mustards and relishes.
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Supreme sausages!
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Tucker’s Exotic Meats
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Truckles cheese!
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Tracklements – award winning producers of the UK’s first wholegrain mustard, as well as a whole range of other condiments traditionally made using quality ingredients.

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I Like Cheese!

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London’s Portobello Road Gin – a favourite in the brand and taste stakes!
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Sipsmith’s from London, a small, independent artisanal producer of spirits. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the branding and the product more than matched in quality too.

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Primal feast immediately drew us across with the sight of the ‘dominator’ burger. Specialising in using exotic meats, this burger was stacked to the hilt with bison, kangaroo and ostrich!!
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One of the Primal Feast lads enjoying the goods!!!

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Foxes Spices
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The Little Round Cake Company had lots of admirers and it was no surprise with their eye-poppingly voluptuous ‘merangz’ and gorgeous sponge cakes called ‘tweeners’.
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Voluptuous ‘merangz’!!
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Tweeners!!
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Yum Yum Tree Fudge – deliciously moreish fudge with a delicate sweetness from using less sugar than other fudge.
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Great British Sauce Company had their condiments and sauces on show, such as Proper Tomato Sauce and Hot & Sweet Chilli Sauce.  The tomato sauce was particularly good!
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Saucy!!
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Terra Rossa showed of their selection of Great Taste Ward winning oils and other Arabian specialities.

We tasted the odd thing here and there, it would have been rude not too don’t you think?!

It was a great event to be held in Yorkshire, and it would fantastic for the region to keep holding events of this magnitude again in the future!

Did any of you get to the event, what were your favourite stalls?

New gems @ Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market, Leeds

Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market returned on the weekend, and with only a short amount of time to wander and explore, the aim for myself and Alice (HarleyWood) was to seek out any new stalls that caught our eye. 

Within a couple of minutes, Ryan’s Kitchen street food stall was eyed up from the other side of the lawn. Walking towards the stall just made the smell coming from the pan waft in our direction, and it was obvious I was going to get me some of that!!!

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Neither of us had enough cash to get something separately so we split the cost and shared a Jamaican Chicken Curry Wrap with rice. In return for just 3 quid, we received a wrap that was filled with spiced chicken and boiled rice, the chicken had been cooked with Jamaican spices for a couple of hours. It was perfect – moist, fragrant and mild in flavour just as advertised!!! I love the motto on their sign ‘Mild & tasty Jamaican street food spiced not spicy’ their food does exactly what it says on the tin. We need to see more of these guys in and around Leeds street food events. 

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The second stall that caught our eye was award winning Hummingbird Preserves, based near Haworth. They use a traditional open pan method to make a range of homemade jams, curd, jellies and chutneys. Extremely tasty produce with a fantastic ethos, using fruit from fruit farms in the local area.

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I’m looking forward to next months market to find more gems like these!!

The next Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market is on the 31st May/1st June.

Do have any favourite stalls or new ones that you already love?

Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market
Kirkstall Abbey
Leeds 
LS5 3EH

Tel: (0113) 2305492
http://kirkstallabbeydelimarket.weebly.com

Future Foodie Delights in Leeds

I love planning ahead, whether it’s places I want to explore, exhibitions I want to see, holiday destinations that need researching and most definitely foodie destinations. Leeds has been on a food and drink roll, but it’s still developing and with the summer months not too far away, there’s still a number of things brewing in the food and drink pipe line.

Trinity Kitchen continues to do it’s thing in terms of serving food to the Leeds masses, with it’s ever changing street food from around the world. There’s the obvious big hitters such as the Belgrave which seems to be the place to go by all accounts at the moment since opening last year, and also Brandon Street Night Market with their monthly street food bonanza. The restaurant scene has also been bolstered by the likes of Shears Yard, Zucco, The Hungry Bear and RARE amongst others over the last year. 

With a number of new openings and events happening in the next few months, what else can we look forward to?

  • Thai Aroy Dee – a massive sigh of relief was had when I read this much loved restaurant was relocating to The Grand Arcade. It would have been an absolute travesty to lose such an amazing restaurant with the Victoria Gate redevelopment! The outpouring of love seen on social media ultimately means that it’s going to great seeing them up and running with not only their regular customers, but hopefully new ones. It’ll also be a fantastic thing for bringing people into The Grand Arcade too! 
  • Bundobust – Soon these guys will be opening on Mill Hill, after being a winner with all and sundry at different establishments and events around Leeds, such as Kirkstall Bridge Inn and at Belgrave. For those of you who haven’t sampled their wares Bundobust is a joint venture between award-winning Prasha(vegetarian restaurant in Drighlington) and Bradford’s The Sparrow. If their food and drinks follows in a similar vein to the efforts at their recent residency at The Belgrave (review here) it’ll be an amazing addition to the Leeds street food scene. One I’m am already relishing the thought of.
  • The Man Behind The Curtain – a new opening by chef Michael O’Hare in Flannels on Vicar lane. I’d been told how good The Blind Swine had been, unfortunately it had shut up shop before I could try it out. This is one I cannot wait to go to, with chef Michael O’Hare already having a reputation in York’s fine dining scene, I won’t be surprised if it’s a sure fire hit.
  • 2 Oxford Place – the first 100% gluten free restaurant certainly around these parts! Are there any elsewhere? With a gluten intolerant husband it will be fantastic if they can pull it off. They are even doing Sunday Roasts – let’s hope for yummy GF Yorkshire Puddings and gravy! Also if they can make decent bread, they could be onto a winner in my eyes.
  • With the prospect of heavyweights Meat Liquor and Byron Hamburgers moving into Leeds, at Trinity and Land’s Lane respectively, they’ll be making their best efforts to fight their way to the hearts of burger lovers. It’s going to be an interesting one, especially with the amount of competition from other establishments already in the city centre. Maybe a Battle of the Burgers is in order, I’ll be happy to adjudicate!! 
  • Bulgogi Grill will be bringing a new and exciting concept to Leeds with Korean BBQ and is part of the redevelopment to the Merrion Centre’s Arena Quarter. I’ve experienced something similar in Japan,  cooking marinated meats and vegetables on mini BBQ’s; an experience which was interactive, fun and memorable. Their opening is expected sometime in August.
  • La Bottega Milanese is in the process of opening another coffee shop in Bond Court, at the back of HSBC where the Pétanque pitch is. I’m eager to see the finished product and I’m sure Alex will be aiming for something that’s aesthetically beautiful, whilst being highly functional, and with the same great coffee and food as La Bottega in The Light. I really hope this will create more of a community environment in this part of town, instead of just being a bit of a walk-through. 
  • Leeds Food and Drink Festival (23rd May – 8th June) is always a major highlight of the food and drink calendar and is a must for any one interested in produce, artisans and food from restaurants and street food vendors in our local area. I was gutted to be away last year, but am definitely looking forward to this years, which promises to be even better than the last. Working in conjunction with Leeds Food & Drink Festival will be The Pink Shed, the pop-up private dining room at Trinity Leeds on 23rd May. With a number of restaurants of Leeds signing up this will be a great experience. Another cracking event as part of the festival will be Le Grand DeParty’ which will celebrate the 2014 Grand Depart with lots of french food and drink.
  • Beacons  festival (7th -10th August) – with a list of food vendors as along as your arm, there’ll be plenty to tackle and get your teeth into over the four day music and arts extravaganza in Skipton. With Ben Davy, the mastermind behind Dough Boys and Patty Smith’s at the helm, festival goers are going to be in for a big belly filling treat! Here’s a taster – the idea of Madeleine Express, Cafe Moor and of course Dough Boys will get your mouth watering. For a more extensive list have a nosey at the website.

There’s certainly a lot to look forward to, I’ll hopefully see you there!

What have I missed out, any other fantastic local food and drinks events coming up I should include in my list?

Post update: oh silly me I forgot to add an event that I’m actually attending, how silly am I?

  • The Noise of Strangers are a Leeds based group hosting their first pop-up in May. I’ve been keeping a close eye on these guys for months, eagerly awaiting news of their first outing. Their philosophy is to use seasonal ingredients and deliver a menu in an unusual setting. It all takes place in asecret location on 21/22 May, where guests, including myself will hopefully be treated to a wonderful five course dinner. I’ve been wracking my brain and looking at their photographic clues to try and work out where it could be, but I’m nowhere near to a solution yet.
  • Cafe Culture – For those of you coffee lovers out there, the Corn Exchange are hosting a Cafe Culture event, I’m gutted I won’t be here for this as this would have been right up my street, unfortunately I’ll be in Edinburgh with the task of running the Edinburgh Half Marathon. On 24th May, the event will try to bring a little taste of Parisienne cafe culture to Leeds, as unbeknownst to me the Corn Exchange has a link to the Halle au Blé (wheat, corn and grain hall) in the French capital. Just one of many fab collaborations of local independent businesses showing all that is good in coffee; such as Laynes Espresso, North Star Micro Roasters, Casa Espresso and Grumpy Mule. There’ll also be lots of family friendly activities and entertainment going on too. 
  • Strano’s, the pop-up brought from Gip and John Dammone and chef Johnny Lyons will be celebrating the anniversary since the the Strano journey started which culminated in their first Strano’s pop-up which I attended last October. They’ll be hosting a celebratory meal with their highlights dishes from the pop-events on 20/21 June at it’s new home of the Enoteca in Salvo’s.
  • The Beasty Boys – a Peruvian inspired Supper Club at the Carnegie Pavilion in Headingley. They are a  Leeds based duo specialising in one of the current food trends of ‘Nose to Tail’ dining. The event is donating 100% profits to raising money for Put Them First, a UK charity which aims to improve the lives of children in Peru. With tickets priced at £25 for 6 courses (16 dishes) per person! It also BYOB so sounds like it could be a bargain!

Souvlaki anyone? – Leeds

For me as a school teacher, these Easter holidays have so far been about having two weeks where I can catch up with friends, have a culture fix, eat out, all mixed in with a boot full of marking and planning. 

So with a chance to catch up with a mate last week, after having to dish out on a new windscreen and wipers near Crown Point, I met up with my friend in Leeds city centre. I tend to be the one who has to decide on where to eat, I understand why, but coming up with something that’s tasty and suits all palates, budgets etc isn’t the easiest at times.

Driving into Leeds a few weeks ago I noticed that Harry’s Bar & Brasserie had vanished from Great George Street, and a new establishment with blue signage had replaced it. I couldn’t tell what it was the first time round, so I purposefully drove passed again and noticed it was in fact a recently opened Greek restaurant called Souvlaki. I think it’s been open since February.

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After a few minutes of indecision we ventured in. It still had the same familiar lay out of Dish and Harry’s Bar & Brasserie, it’s predecessors, but with newly painted walls in blue. It was certainly quite bright and vivid, livening up what has always been a small space.

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I’ve only been to Greece once, and it wasn’t even the mainland. My husband and I’s first holiday abroad was to Skiathos, one of the Greek Islands, in 2001 I think. Also my one and only sunbathing holiday, I’m much more of an art/architecture/culture/fit in as much as you can kinda girl! I remember the food being fairly standard and wasn’t particularly memorable, but I do remember a spot of Metaxa very well though!!

Souvlaki has a lunch menu that seems pretty straight forward, a good thing at lunch I think. I didn’t want to be overloaded with a tonne of options and I knew I wanted something easy to eat and not particularly fussy.  They had five Souvlaki on the menu, all came in a pitta bread with salad and chips. Our decisions were made pretty quickly, but after being told we couldn’t mix and match our choices; originally I was going to go for a combo of a Halloumi with Lamb Souvlaki, we did the next best thing and I ordered the Halloumi, while my friend chose lamb and we went half ‘n’ half.

In terms of cost – the Souvlaki were all under £7, not bad! There was also a standard list of mezze options such as stuffed vine leaves, feta cheese and deep fried white bait (£2.95-£5.95 each), which on another occasion I’d like to try and probably find myself having a Greek food fest of my very own!

Our orders were taken by the server who was friendly and within 10 minutes we had our food brought to the table. It looked simple, maybe a little sparse even, but I suppose it’s because the pitta came filled with the salad and chosen meat/halloumi.

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A quick half ‘n’ half swap and I took the first bite. I was pleasantly surprised with both of the choices. The lamb was juicy and had decent flavour, whilst the Halloumi had enough charring on it so it had the right amount of give and was lovely and salty. With lots of crunchy salad and tzatziki it all got eaten very quickly. All being cooked to order so was great. My friend certainly didn’t waste any time (he never does actually), but that doesn’t take anything away from our lunch. I’m just a relatively slow eater.  Oh, the fries were crisp with a little sprinkling of smoked paprika, all in all pretty good  at £6.95 each.

With a couple of soft drinks which were a little pricey at £2 each, our lunch for two people cost the princely sum of £17.90.

I’d RECOMMEND Souvlaki for lunch.

Food: Tasty bit of food. A varied menu of classic Greek and Mediterranean dishes.

Service: Friendly and quick. 

Atmosphere: We ate alone, so hard to judge. It’s a nice room, a little bright in colour with the blue, but I fully understand the reason for it. 

Value for money: Reasonably priced and doesn’t break the bank. 

Souvlaki
18 Great George Street
Leeds 
LS1 3DW
0113 345 2433

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