Sambuca, Leeds

One of my favourite things things is going to the cinema, since high school I’ve been a regular and I’m more than happy to spend a few hours watching a film with salty popcorn in one hand and some sort of beverage in the other. Even though I’m more than happy to drive across Leeds and visit my favourite cinema, the Hyde Park Picture House, living in South West Leeds means it’s easier for me to drive to the Showcase cinema in the Birstall Retail Park to get my fix.

The in-laws also like to partake in a bit of cinema action and Sunday evening we went to watch The Theory of Everything. Unlike myself, they prefer eating a proper meal than just graze on popcorn beforehand, but with our nearest cinema being the Showcase you’ll only find the usual chains in terms of restaurants. That’s absolutely fine if that’s how you want to play it, but we wanted to see if there were any local finds. 

They’d asked me if I had any inside knowledge on Morley restaurants, to my detriment I didn’t really have a clue. We just used to go to Amaans for a curry, but apart from that I’m no use whatsoever!! So they went to TripAdvisor for guidance, not something I tend to use very often, but it does have its uses when you’ve no idea about an area, and isn’t really found on local blogs!!! Hmmmm maybe something I should be doing more of on here then, eh?! 

One called Sambuca popped onto their radar, an Italian spot found just off Morley’s main pedestrianised street Queen’s Street. As you can tell I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to knowing my local area well, a major fault I know. Ask me where the bare necessities are like the supermarket, post office, bank and dentist are, I can tell you those. But I was pretty hopeless knowing the whereabouts of this place until I looked further, realising it’s just near my local vets and the post office!!! 

Once again, apologies for rubbish photos, all taken on my phone.

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On arrival we were greeted warmly and given a table at the back of the small dining room, it has a homely feel and gives you the sense of Italy with the music playing in the background and walls decorated with lots of Italian maps. From the off, there was a friendliness from the staff and we found it easy to feel relaxed.

A bottle of house red was ordered, an easy drinking Merlot which we found more than a quaffable drop after we left it to breathe.

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With a  menu full of Italian classic dishes and a handful of specials for both starter and the main course, there’s plenty to get your teeth into. With a little guidance from our helpful server we’d all decided, I wanted something not too heavy, because as my other half will testify, there has been many a time when I’ll be having a mini snooze while all hell is breaks loose on the big screen!!

Service was good and attentive throughout, with our starters seeming to arrive in no time at all! One of the first things I noticed were the generous portion sizes, in particular with the fishcakes. They were massive!! With my penchant for meatballs, I chose that over some other lovely sounding starters and wasn’t disappointed, as they were delicious. I would have gladly eaten another portion of them, they were meaty, with a flavourful tomato sauce and covered in melted mozzarella cheese. A great start! The other two starters both hit the mark two, with well cooked prawns and fishcakes, a little chilli heat in the sauces to keep it interesting. 

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After such a good start, plates were cleared and after a short break the main courses were brought out. I’d gone for the lobster ravioli special, not going heavy on carbs in the starter would hopefully mean I wouldn’t get too full, or too sleepy! It was a lovely dish and not as rich as first expected, which was a good thing. The pasta was quite thin and not heavy, filled with sweet lobster and covered in a generous amount of sauce.  

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The other two main courses were well received, especially the linguine, which came with chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomato and a cream sauce.  The chicken with spinach was enormous!! The chicken itself was probably enough for two people and was smothered in spinach, with a white wine and cream sauce.  Comments apart from it being tasty and huge, was that it had quite a bit of garlic in it, making her apologise for whoever would be sitting next to her in the cinema!

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Instead of having ice-cream at the cinema, a portion of vanilla and strawberry ice-cream was ordered. Again coming out in super-quick time, was pretty standard in terms of quality and polished off quickly. Lastly some Limoncello shots were brought out to finish our meal off and very nice they were too!

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All in all, a lovely meal! Who knew there would be this place so close by?! The total cost of dinner was £77 with a tip. 

Food: Lots on the menu, all the usual classics with some decent sounding specials. Generous portions and well cooked.

Service: Staff made us feel welcome immediately, they were friendly, chatty and helpful throughout. Waiting times were good. 

Atmosphere: It’s a small restaurant with a bit of character, an eclectic mix of music plays in the background whether it be Italian standards or hits from the 80’s and 90’s. 

Sambuca

2 Queens Place

Morley

Leeds

LS27 8HG

http://www.sambucamorley.co.uk

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