Filmore & Union @ VQ, Leeds

Filmore & Union is one of those places in the Victoria Quarter that I’ve walked passed many times, but haven’t stopped to eat there before. I think being in the middle of the shopping area hasn’t really appealed to me so much in the past, however lovely it looks. Since thinking more about the issues with eating gluten free in Leeds, I was reminded of the place as an option, in particular as they have an accreditation with Coeliac UK, making them a possible destination. The only time I’ve visited one of their branches was October 2013, at their York train station branch, popping in for a bagel and a juice which I remember both were very good.

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On arrival, one of the first things I noticed were the delicious looking cakes and muffins, which I must admit looked hard to resist, luckily I was seated straight away and thankfully my table was near the outdoor heater. It’d been a chilly morning so I kept my coat and gloves on until I was warm enough to take them off. I liked the fact they had lovely, cosy blankets at each table too!

It was the middle of lunchtime so quite busy when I turned up, some were enjoying tea and cakes, others a spot of lunch. I wasn’t sure if I’d feel comfortable being sat there as the Victoria Quarter is a place where a multitude of shoppers stroll passed, but even though it’s so open, there was still a nice atmosphere and it didn’t feel too weird being sat in the arcade. 

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Their lunch menu is littered with lots of gf dishes, but also for those who require a dairy free, vegetarian and vegan menu too, great to see that everything was very clearly labelled. All sounded really healthy too; reading up on them in advance I noticed they say they ‘believe in pure, healthy food that supplies real nutrition for everyday life’.

Knowing I was going to be staying in town late into that evening, I wanted a filling lunch to keep me going, so when I was told there was a chicken tagine it sounded tasty and I went for it. On the menu they also have a selection of salads, bagels and wraps.

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Service was friendly and polite, with a juice arriving not long after ordering. My juice, a ‘slim down’ was made with pineapple, lemon, orange, apple and strawberry – really very refreshing, sometimes I can find juices a little too acidic, on this occasion it wasn’t and had the right amount of tang to it. 

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A little while longer, the tagine arrived and looked reasonable on appearance, but didn’t really jump out for me though. On taste, the rice had a lovely nuttiness, the salad leaves were fresh, crisp and brought their metallicy goodness to the dish. The tagine itself was a bit underwhelming, their version included courgettes and spring onions(?), it was nice, but I don’t know really, it needed something to bring it alive more. I could’ve coped with that but the chicken itself was a bit odd, the pieces seemed to remain in a rigid shape like it’d been cut whilst frozen and when cooked had a tough texture. Do you know what I mean??? Maybe I was unlucky and it was a once off, who knows, but I was disappointed, considering it was £10.95.

Gilmore's Tagine of the day
Filmore’s Tagine of the day

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I’m not sure if I would visit again to be honest, as overall I think what I had was over-priced. I’m not a big salad person, so next time maybe sticking to the bagels and wraps is a better bet.

My lunch came to £14.70.

Food: Has a menu which caters for many different dietary requirements, lots of healthy choices. My dish was disappointing though.

Service: Staff were friendly and polite, service reasonably quick considering it was in the middle of lunch.

Atmosphere: It didn’t feel out of place eating there, even though there were lots of shoppers walking passed and with the outdoor heaters it didn’t take long to warm up. 

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