Category Archives: Fusion

Belgrave Street Feast, Leeds

Belgrave’s Street Feast was back on the weekend, with the World Cup in full flow some of this month’s street food traders had embraced this with vigour, bringing the essence of South America to the Belgrave, using it as inspiration for their street food snacks.

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As always Belgrave’s in-house regulars were in attendance – Dough Boys, Patty Smith’s, Noisette Bakes and Laynes Espresso were doing their thing. One of the best things about street feast is always the mix of cuisines available in one place, with this in mind Belgrave’s food guru Ben Davy had drafted in a great bunch of traders to get your teeth into:

Hay having spent the last few weeks wowing visitors of Trinity Kitchen with their take on South American flavours, were now serving up their version of Chivito on the roof terrace BBQ. Chivito a national dish from Uruguay, consisting of a thin slice of steak  topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise. Not to be outdone there was also it’s meat-free counterpart, named Vegito with Portobello mushroom filling on the go. At the helm was Alice with her trusty side-kick Meg ‘sanga slinging’ to the masses into the early hours, whilst England played Italy in the opening match of the World Cup.

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Chivito
Hay’s Chivito

The Beasty Boys with nose to tail South American street food. Just from sampling a taster of their ham hock empanada, I quickly got sucked in to having a triple whammy combo of Chicken & Ox Tongue, Hare and rabbit, Smoked ham hock & pigs trotter! If that wasn’t enough it was accompanied by two different pickles, two chilli sauces, ketchup and chimichurri sauces- all homemade. Wonderfully light, flaky pastry and full flavoured meaty fillings really hit the spot. Nicely accompanied with a whole host of extras flavour and textures.

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Pickled black beans and spiced carrots
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The Beasty Boys triple Empanada whammy!

Afsaneh’s Kitchen had a wonderful array Persian food with a medley of dishes, such as a Mezze with Barbari bread, Persian Sandwiches filled with Saffron Chicken or Chargrilled Aubergine. Also a Chickpea stew with saffron rice. Everything looked so beautiful in particular the bejewelled bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate seeds and vibrant colour from the smoked aubergine, tomato and garlic dip.

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Asfaneh Kaviani

Le Petit Banh Mi – this French/Vietnamese duo had their yummy Banh Mi sandwiches filled with Pork, Beef or tofu, also the option for a rice paper rolled with any chosen filling. 

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Banh Mi Roule

Afrikhokho – Cocoa confectionary wearing its heart on its sleeve, its founder Chris was born and raised in South Africa and he’s used this as the inspiration for his business. Combining African recipes with a clever use of flavours, in particular cocoa they had an intriguing range of baked goods on display.

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Accra slice with bananas and almonds
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Brazil Arabica & Madagascan single origin chocolate loaf
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South African Melktert

Indie Ices – Mike Tattersall had conjured up a fantastic mix of lollies, ice-creams and kulfi, they all sounded fab, but the Cardamom and rose syrup kulfi sang out to me. It had a lovely balance of creaminess, a hint of cardamom and rose, not too overpowering and perfumey! The perfect antidote to the chilli heat I’d got from Jim at Grub & Grog Shop.

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Cardamom & Rose water Kulfi
Indie Ices – Cardamom & Rose water Kulfi

Pitta Palace – these lovely ladies were at their first street feast, dishing up Pittas ready to go with hot and fiery Piri Piri Chicken, Beef and chorizo stew, also Feta and olive or Falafel fillings.

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Pitta Palace

The Grub & Grog Shop  had ‘A taste of Brazil’ with Chimichurri steak skewers and Yuca fritters. I sampled a tasty skewer with its mega juicy steak, heat and a mellow chimichurri sauce. 

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The Grub & Grog Shop’s -Chimichurri Steak skewer sampler

Hepworth’s Deli had a glorious display of goodies, with a fantastical array of sweet and savoury treats, also a great pick & mix salad bar.

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Hepworth’s Deli delights
What’s your favourite street food vendor been so far, any you’d love to see for the first time or return to the Belgrave?
Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
1-1A Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
LS2 8JP
0113 234 6160

Yorkshire Food & Drink Show 2014, Leeds

The three-day finale to the Leeds Food & Drink Festival – Yorkshire Food & Drink Show 2014 was in Leeds city centre across 6th-8th June. The name and status of the event suggested it would showcase Yorkshire based producers whether they be restaurants, bars, cafes, street food vendors, bakers and so on.

Squeezing in a quick after work visit on Friday, I headed straight for the Handmade in Yorkshire area of the festival. To my surprise they were perched off the Headrow on Victoria Gardens, I was expecting them in Millennium Square.

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It was great to see a good mix of stalls offering a varied range of cuisines. These Yorkshire based food purveyors included many regulars on Leeds’ food scene, such as The Greedy Pig, Asfaneh Kaviani and Le Petite Banh Mi, El Kantina. I’d expected it to be much busier and wondered if that was due to lack of publicity, but also the fact that these local establishments hadn’t been included in the main festival space. Did people even realise this was going on just a few minutes walk from Millennium Square!!

The following images show selection of goodies from Handmade in Yorkshire:

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Oat Cuisine

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Asfaneh Kaviani
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Little Yorkshire Pie
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Pudsey Pickles
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Stickey’s Honey
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Blue Sky Baker
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Home Foods
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Hepworth’s Deli
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Cafe Moor
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Nachos Amigos

Whilst wandering around I fitted in a mini feast from the charming lads at Le Petite Banh Mi, the lovely ladies at Pitta Palace and multi-talented Mario at Gusto Italiano. Le Petite Banh Mi are a duo combining Vietnamese and French influences, marrying the bread from Garforth’s star baker Dumouchel with the ingredients and flavours of Vietnam.

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I tried the five-spiced pork and the beef, I liked both, but definitely preferred the beef with it’s punchy flavours from lemongrass, garlic, pepper and chilli which were all very evident. These guys have only been doing this a short time so I look forward to seeing them at many more events.

I also got to meet the ladies who run Pitta Palace, using locally sourced ingredients to make great tasting fillings for their wraps. A quick taste of their yummy slow cooked Piri-Piri chicken and their flavourful Thai-style beef was enough to make me remember them for next time!!

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Pitta Palace

A quick hit of caffeine in the form of a lovely Cappuccino from Gusto Italiano and I was good to move onto find more local food heroes. 

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Gusto Italiano

I didn’t have to wander far to find some, lined up just around the corner on Cookridge Street were well-known street food vendors Fish&, Indie Ices and Señor Churro amongst others, who’d been relegated onto the side street. 

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Senor Churro
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Fish& and The RoadHog Diner
The Crepe Escape and The Mexican Pilgrim
The Crepe Escape and The Mexican Pilgrim

A quick chat with Mike from Indie Ices and a few minutes to savour one of his delicious Kulfi, gave me enough time to see many people just using the street to get to Millennium Square, most walking passed the street food vendors.

Indie Ices
Indie Ices

Nearing Millennium Square I could tell it was busy, just from the noise and entering it I found the place absolutely rammed. My aim was to hunt for more Yorkshire based establishments, and even though there were some I was a little perturbed to see chains and businesses which weren’t even from Yorkshire. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me so much as they are probably using locally sourced produce etc, but local businesses do that just as well. Such a shame as Leeds and its surrounding areas has plenty to offer to satisfy people, shouldn’t the festival be championing these a lot more? I literally scooted around as quickly as possible taking these photos along the way:

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The Yorkshire Hot Dog Company

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Puckett’s Pickle
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Puckett’s Pickle, The Crusty Pie Company and MorRon Wine
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Sukhothai, Stew & Oyster and Soul Kitchen
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Zouk
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The Porkery and Cafe Parisien

I didn’t really want to get sucked in, so headed back to The Greedy Pig for a Bone Marrow Slider that was just as good as the first time I tried one at Belgrave’s Street Feast.

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The Greedy Pig
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The Greedy Pig’s ‘Nose to Tail’ tapas

Yeah, it was great to have Millennium Square heaving with people, but the festival could have been so much better. If only the organisers had really made the most of showcasing what’s great about Yorkshire’s food and their producers. I hope for something better next year! Did you visit the Festival, what were your opinions on it?

Belgrave Street Feast pt IV, Leeds

Last Saturday was the latest Belgrave Street Feast and if it was anything like last month’s, it had promised to be a fantastic family day of feasting on wonderful street food.

My day was a mixture of whistlestop tours – a morning appointment in York, zipping back for Street Feast, then being a dutiful wife taking the other half to a hockey dinner. So when I arrived it was already VERY busy and was obvious too see the word had got out how great the event is.

New street traders this month were Manchester’s Arepa!Arepa! Arepa!, Newcastle’s Tasty Thai Deli and Leeds’ own Street Fodder and Belgrave’s new experiment Taco Wall.

I’d made it my mission to try an Arepa from Manchester’s Arepa!Arepa!Arepa! For those of you, like I was, unfamiliar with an Arepa, they’re traditionally eaten in Columbia and Venezuela and are basically flatbreads made with a maize based flour, (100% gluten flee – BONUS!) Cooked on a hot plate and filled with whatever you fancy.

Arepa and plantain on the hot plate
Arepa and plantain cooking on the hot plate

I always like asking what they’d recommend so when asked the question ‘do you eat meat?’ regular readers probably know the answer was a definite ‘yes’, then they said it was cooked in beer! There it was – a deal had been done and that was it, the Sobrebarriga Arepa was the one for me! With the selection of condiments at my disposal they recommended the Chipotle sauce, so who was I to think any different.

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Sobrebarriga Arepa
SobreBarriga Arepa

It was absolutely DELICIOUS and the best thing I ate all day!! For 4 quid, this so-called ‘beef sandwich’ was something that fitted easily in one hand, but WOW was it filling!!! Slow cooked, tender beef with the flavours of cumin and garlic in the background, the hint of beer was evident too. With the additional Chipotle sauce giving up its rich smokiness in service to the Arepa, what a match made in heaven! The flatbread (which had a delicate flavour of its own, probably from the corn) was a great vehicle to hold it all in. It soaked up all the juices too, so every last bite was full of flavour. 

My verdict – Arepa are extremely YUMMY and one of my FAVOURITES at Street Feast so far! These certainly made a regular beef sandwich pale into insignificance for me! Plans are already afoot for them to make a return to Leeds soon, I cannot wait! 

I couldn’t decide what to have next, having tried all but Tasty Thai Deli and the new Taco Wall before. Belgrave’s new in-house Street Food Lab experiment ‘Taco Wall’ had Fish Tacos (£3.50) on the go. I love battered, deep fried fish and when I saw them being dished up I was immediately sold. 

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Fish Taco
Fish Taco

Served on a little pancake the fish came with a selection of bits and pieces, like pickled cucumber, pepper, pineapple and coriander with a yoghurt sauce. I really liked the additional pieces, but for me the fish whilst well cooked, was a little under seasoned and could’ve done with a pinch of good old salt to bring out more flavour. Considering it was their first time out, fair play to them, with a couple of tweaks I’ll be back for more!

As always Sarah from Noisette Bakehouse had her ‘A game’ on, with a beautiful selection of cakes and sweet treats to woo all customers.

Noisette Bakehouse
Noisette Bakehouse

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Last month I never made it to the roof terrace, so I made the effort this time to see what was going on up there to find Hepworth’s Deli serving a lovely selection of bakes, and also a colourful salad bar too.

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Hepworth's Salad bar
Hepworth’s Salad bar

My time was nearly up and I wanted to be able to walk back to my car with a snack, so after seeing the boys at The Grub & Grog Shop I went for the recommended Veg Sandwich.

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A snip at just £3.50, I walked out VERY happy! Filled with lovely vegetables cooked and treated well, packed with flavours from the sweet parsnip to the pickled veg, such as the carrot, I loved the hint of garlic running through the sandwich and the beautiful salad leaves and pretty edible flowers. Basically street food at its best – portable, tasty, bargainous and made locally!

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The Grub & Grog’s veg sandwich on the move!!

Street Feast will be back next month on the 10th May, I’ll see you there for another day of feasting!!!

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
1-1A Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
LS2 8JP

0113 2346160
http://www.belgravemusichall.com

 

Amazing Graze returns, Left Bank, Leeds

Amazing Graze returned to Left Bank Leeds, for the second year running at the former St Margaret of Antioch Church last weekend. Wanting to bring street culture to the people of Leeds, the duo behind Manjit’s Kitchen – Michael and Manjit had drafted in great traders to feed the masses, and entertained all ages with art stalls, workshops and performances during the day, and for those wanting to stay into the evening the legendary Stir it Up, local musicians and DJs. 

I was itching to get there Saturday morning, dragging the other half along when we were both ravenous for a spot of lunch! The traders on show were ones they’d met along the way since starting their street food adventure, who also happen to serve great food reflecting cuisines around the world.

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Our lunch started at Fish& with their twist on fish and chips. Being a creature of habit the other half got a Sharing Box with all three fish batters.  A good way to start our Amazing Graze Saturday! 

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That was just for starters! Our next course was a burger, it just had to be really after hearing Original Fry Up Material were back in Leeds. They’d won the hearts of many and then some during their residency at Trinity Kitchen.

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My aim was to try and graze (pardon the pun), to work my way through as many stalls as possible. Yeah, it’s a lot of food but it was worth a try!! I’d been banging on repeatedly how AMAZING OFM‘s burgers were, so I shared a Cheesy burger with the other half. He absolutely LOVES burgers and knows a good one when he tastes one. After being asked what he thought, he quickly admitted they were indeed fantastic and I hadn’t been exaggerating the whole time! For me a great burger needs a soft bun that doesn’t fall apart even at the last bite, a patty made of top quality meat, well seasoned and cooked pink, so it oozes meat juice. Fresh salad, preferably lettuce which is sliced, perfectly melted cheese and just enough sauce to come through, but not detract from other flavours. Well here you have it, have a gander at this!!! 

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It’d obviously made a lasting impression on the other half, as before we left he got his hands on one of their Bacon Chilli Cheese burgers, which he thought this was EVEN better than the Cheesy burger!!! 

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Next up was a little something from the organisers of Amazing Graze – Manjit’s Kitchenwho were as usual dishing up their wonderful vegetarian Indian street food.

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Since their first appearance on the Leeds street food scene, they’ve built such a loyal following it’s no surprise to see them holding an event with such wonderful traders! Manjit’s well equipped to hold her own against these guys though and I ordered a Samosa Chaat which I’ve eaten many a time, basically because it never fails!! With its multilayering textures, flavours and the pockets of heat you get from chilli, its great at just £4!!

Later I tried some Bhel Puri and Aubergine fritters which both hit the right spots, in particular the Bhel Puri which was full of fresh flavours and great combinations of textures. 

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Relative newcomers to the street food scene The Grub & Grog Shop were serving up their ‘grub’ with tasty sandwiches, stews and salads, also their own homemade rose lemonade with grapefruit and honey ‘grog’.

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I was lucky enough to baggsy the last Flemish beef stew, sharing it with a friend. A few years ago, my best mate and I explored Ghent for the day where I ate the regional dish Carbonade Flamande, which this is loosely based on. I distinctly remember on that occasion in Ghent I found it incredibly intense and rich, so I must admit I was glad this version was less intense as it was certainly the better for it. There was tender beef in a lovely rich gravy, flavoured with beer, the vegetables were soft but still had a touch of bite left. 

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Other Leeds favourites included Madeleine Bakehouse with their beautifully delicious bakes and sweet treats.

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Also newcomer to the street food scene Bánh mì Booth with their Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich and noodles.

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I recently reviewed them at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn which you can read here, but sampled some dumplings here and thought they were good, they had a crisp wrapper exterior filled with well flavoured pork. Very nice! Some No Name veg fritters I found disappointing, they were lovely and crisp, but for me lacked flavour and were a little bland. I did like the satay sauce that accompanied them though and could even be made more peanutty.

Leeds’ own The Greedy Pig showcased their ‘Nose to Tail’ menu, I was very gutted I didn’t manage to get my hands on any. I heard the dishes were pretty special, in particular the Tongue Tacos!!

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El Kantina served up Mexican delights and Las Paelleras the Spanish Paella and tapas dishes on offer.

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I tried some of Las Paelleras’ Andalucian Shrimp fritters with aioli dipping sauce. They were crisp and golden, the prawns were well cooked and juicy and I did get a hint of spring onion running through them. The aioli sauces were great and went well with the fritters. My only picky criticism is the fritters were a tad greasy. 

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Manchester’s Diamonds Dogs with their humongous hotdogs. I have no chance of managing one of these beasts as they are so generous in size, especially once I’ve already started eating other yummy things. Next time I really need to plan ahead and not eat a thing beforehand!

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Last but by no means least, Ginger’s Comfort Emporium with her ‘ice-cream for grown-ups’.

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I hadn’t realised they were outside until I was leaving so was pretty full by then and had to miss out. On what I’d seen on social media with photos of delectable sweet treats with a difference, I MUST rectify this next time !!

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All in all Amazing Graze was a wonderful event for people wanting a relaxing time, eating your way through a number of different delicious cuisines. It’s another example of fantastic collaboration between independents, roll on this time next year!!! 

Amazing Graze

Left Bank Leeds

Pinche Pinche, Leeds

I hadn’t seen the other half all week due to work commitments so Saturday evening we decided to go out for dinner. For some reason I was lacking inspiration and couldn’t muster any decent ideas of where we could get a good feed, especially from somewhere we hadn’t tried before. Leeds foodie Twitter folk came to the rescue and gave me a couple of great ideas of places that have been on my list, but I’d forgotten about. Out of the two, we decided on trying Mexican restaurant Pinche Pinche, based in Chapel Allerton it’s a restaurant I knew of through glowing reports I’d read in the past. I hadn’t gone out for Mexican in while so it made a refreshing change. It’s located on Harrogate Road, right in the centre of the action in the area and luckily we managed to park outside courtesy of the free on street parking. 

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It was Saturday evening and it opened at 6pm, so I was hopeful it wouldn’t be too busy if we arrived before 6:30pm. On arrival we were nearly out luck as they were pretty much booked up till much later that evening, but thankfully we managed to nab the window seat which we duly accepted.

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The menu is broken down into Appetizers and tapas, salads, Enchiladas, Northern Mexico/Tex-Mex (Burritos, Chimichangas, Fajitas Nachos and Ribs) and sides. There’s also a children’s menu too. 

I was pretty hungry after just having a yummy bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and skipping lunch, so we ordered the Pinche guacamole to share first.

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Made with Hass avocados, onion, coriander and fresh lime juice it was tasty and had a creamy texture to it. It was a very large portion of guacamole and we were defeated by it as it was too much for either of us to finish. 

Next up were the main attractions: the other half went for a burrito with chips, yes not strictly Mexican, but Pinche Pinche say they offer Tex Mex dishes as people typically think of these as Mexican, even though they aren’t strictly authentic, but more of a fusion.

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The burrito was absolutely crammed to the rafters with chicken and rice, tasting great. Unbeknownst to me though the other half had eaten a mini curry after his Saturday hockey match so he struggled to finish it all on this occasion. 

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I liked the idea of trying the street food dishes so went for Tostados and Quesadillas, both were really well done with lots of tasty fillings. The Quesadillas had a filling of Adobo marinated pork with spicy pan-fried pineapple, the tender meat had a slight hint of pineapple running through it. The Tostados were crisp corn tortillas generously topped with slow braised lamb in a Pasilla chile marinade,  each had refried black beans and topped with Salsa Ranchera (tomatoes, chipotle chile, onion and garlic) and cheese. The meat was moist, flavourful, the beans were meaty (if that’s possible) and the salsa helped to cut through any richness.

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I loved the sides, the rice was fantastic and I could eat bowls of the stuff with finely chopped coriander and parsley running through it, it had a lovely texture and great flavour. I’ve been a massive fan of plantain since Uni days, where a housemate used to cook it for me in exchange for apple crumble and custard, and then this was even more reinforced on a memorable holiday in Cuba a few years ago. These were lovely, well, cooked with just the right amount of give and softness to them. 

Our dinner cost us £48.50 for 2 courses each with sides and a bottle of wine. We were both pretty stuffed by the end of dinner, in a good way too!

I’d recommend going to Pinche Pinche!!

Food: good portion sizes, full of flavour, a great range of dishes with lots to cater for different dietary requirements. 

Service: staff were accommodating, friendly and efficient. 

Atmosphere: had a good buzz at the place. I wasn’t too keen on the red lighting though (from a photograph taking point of view).

Pinche Pinche
116a Harrogate Road
Chapel Allerton
Leeds
LS7 4NY

0113 2681110

http://pinchepinche.com

Pinche Pinche on Urbanspoon