Sandinista Pre-Theatre dinner, Leeds

So West Side Story tickets had been booked months in advance, but for most theatre goers there’s the pre-theatre dinner and drinks to consider too. As you can imagine this suits me just fine, so my friend and I needed somewhere close by that she hadn’t tried before, meaning favourites Thai Aroy Dee and Fuji Hiro were out. OK, The Belgrave; I love the place but it was rammed and we wanted to sit and eat without making a mess, I can’t eat a Patty Smith’s burger without getting it all over my face and hands so it was probably not the best option (this time).

We opted for Sandinista next door, my last visit was last year, which I remember was pretty good. To read my write up on this previous occasion click here. Since then Sandinista have worked with Anthony Flinn and devised a new menu full of Spanish-inspired dishes in ‘Pots, Pans and Cans’. As well as a selection of tapas dishes, there’s meat and cheese that can be selected to build your own platter. There’s so much I could have feasted on, but we had to be out within the hour and seated to watch Maria and Tony sing their hearts out, whilst falling in love on the backstreets of NYC.


We were lucky to grab a table as Leeds had a lot going on that evening, especially as Prince was performing at the First Direct Arena, which answered the question why so many people were dressed in purple (requested by the man himself). We quickly ordered our food and a bottle of Tempranillo, something easy drinking and moderately robust. Our server said that our food would be ready in approximately ten minutes, giving us plenty of time to eat, drink and saunter across the road to The Grand. 


Food arrived soon after, the sight of six pots, pans and cans full of food was a mouth-watering sight if ever there was one. 


My chicken wings were yummy! With an exterior that was perfectly crisp, the first bite unveiled the juicy flesh making these morsels ‘finger-lickin’ good’. The red pepper sauce was an excellent accompaniment with lots of flavour. My croquetas were packed with meaty fish possessing just the right level of saltiness, all inside a lovely crisp, breadcrumbed crust which encased the whole thing. Lastly my Jambalaya was a wonderful bowl filled with large juicy prawns, full flavoured sausage and al dente rice, that small bowl was a triumph packed with building heat and tasted great!


The noises from the other side of the table echoed my own! I tried some squid which was delicately crisp with a tender interior and by all accounts the other two dishes were equally as good.




Our Pre-theatre feast with a bottle of wine was just a few pennies short of £40. I thought it was pretty well spent, setting us up perfectly for a night at the theatre.

Food: A decent size menu with a good selection of dishes, plenty for meat lovers, vegetarians, also always fantastic to see gluten-free and vegan options highlighted.

Service: Staff were friendly and very helpful. Service from both kitchen and the bar was quick and they are obviously used to bringing out dishes quickly and have a brisk turnover.

Atmosphere: It was a Friday evening so the place was packed and there was a real tangible buzz about the place.

I’d definitely recommend Sandinista, pre-theatre or not!

Where do you venture out for a Pre-theatre menu, where’s good?

5 Cross Belgrave St,
West Yorkshire
0113 243 0395

Sandinista! on Urbanspoon

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