Category Archives: pop-up

My 2014 Favourites!

The time of year has come where we make lists of our favourite things, for me as a so-called food blogger, it’s time for me to look back at some of the memorable eating experiences I’ve had. So with that in mind I’ve scoured the last year and picked out my favourites.

These aren’t in any particular order by the way:

1. The Man Behind The Curtain – whether Leeds’ food and drink scene is heading towards a Michelin star is debatable, the execution of the food and the service here are second to none and deserves to have praise heaped on it. The food is innovative, aesthetically beautiful and exquisite to boot.

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Part of the degustation menu

2. NOM Deli: one of the things I enjoy about food blogging is meeting people. I’m not the most out-going person, but this has brought me out of my shell more, and talking to like-minded individuals who base their work around the love of food is very inspiring. So when meeting the team from NOM Deli that’s what happened, they love the food from their native homeland and are serving their take on Banh Mi, bun and pho in Leeds city centre. I remember vividly trying the Banh Mi at Kirkstall Deli Market and being completely blown away by it! I’m definitely hoping to visit them again, to try out their Friday evening menu in the new year! Fancy reading about my experience at NOM, click here.

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Banh Mi with BBQ pork

3. Stuzzi – this is another one of those wonderful combinations of brilliant food produced by the most passionate of people! I know I’ve recently written about this team, but what the hell because I adore their Italian food and their infectious love for their cuisine! Both of my Stuzzi experiences at the Belgrave Music Hall residency and at their new home in Harrogate have been memorable. To read about my Stuzzi encounters click here.

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Stuzzichini sharing box

4. Tartine Bakery, San Francisco – this summer I spent seven days exploring the city to the fullest. If I was to choose one from the many amazing eats we had on that trip, for me it would have to be the afternoon we spent in the Mission District, firstly joining the back of an already long queue that hugged the building, then admiring and drooling over their beautiful bakes from afar. Having eyes on stalks to grab a table as soon as one came free then slowly devouring the prettiest tarts ever!!! The fresh fruit tart and lemon cream tart were both an absolute delight – so light and dreamy. A absolute must visit!! To read my experience of patisserie heaven in San Francisco, click here.

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Lemon cream tart

5. The Reliance – this isn’t necessarily based on one of my most recent reviews, our annual Christmas lunch, but also from eating here many times over the years. It’s a firm favourite in my eyes delivering on many levels and all important ones for me; great food served at reasonable prices, lovely staff all found in a relaxed space. Our Christmas lunch a few weeks ago just reaffirmed this for me! To read about my last couple of visits click here.

Meatball sandwich
Meatball sandwich
Confit duck
Confit duck

6. Le Langhe – this Italian restaurant in York won me over with it’s perfect pasta, so much so that we ordered seconds! Simplicity in its ingredients, yielding tasty results, I could eat a bowl of that silky pasta all over again as I type, it was so good!! Click here to have a read of my visit.

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Game ragu

7. Belgrave Feast – Oh I’ve eaten, and I’ve eaten well over the last year, enjoying amazing street food at Belgrave’s monthly feast!! I’ve gone on ALOT about the Belgrave in 2014 making it a difficult one to whittle down, so I thought which would I always go to time after time, without question I would have to pick out Arepa!Arepa!Arepaand Fu-Schnikens!! Both are extremely comforting, more-ish and damn tasty! 

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SobreBarriga Arepa
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Gua Bao with sticky ox cheek

Where have you had some memorable meals and why?

http://www.themanbehindthecurtain.co.uk

http://www.nomdeli.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuzzi/356068864465742

http://www.tartinebakery.com

http://www.the-reliance.co.uk

http://www.lelanghe.co.uk

http://www.belgravemusichall.com

http://arepaarepaarepa.blogspot.co.uk

Holy Pierogi pop-up @ Kirkstall Bridge Inn

Last month was the debut act of Alice Wood’s street food venture Holy Pierogi at Belgrave Music Hall’s monthly street feast. It had gone down an absolute storm and introduced her to the street world fraternity as someone to watch in her own right. Last Saturday was Holy Pierogi’s second foray into the world of street trade trading with a pop-up at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn

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Holy Pierogi at Belgrave’s Street Feast

Her specialities are, of course pierogi, with two versions including a beer braised beef and honey roasted sweet potato, a zapiekanka, which is basically an open-faced pizza using ciabatta bread, then bigos which is a polish stew. I’d been banging on and on about the pierogi dumplings to my husband for so long all bets were off as to what we’d order. 

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Even though I’d already been to Belgrave’s street feast earlier that day, regular readers may know of my insatiable appetite, I’d already planned to get my fill that evening. After a quick nosey at the menu we ordered a portion of bigos and both the pierogi. 

I love dumplings, they are a definite source of comfort food for me, and I’m sure my husband would testify to the fact that I like to eat them anytime of the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner! These pierogi are dreamy and pillowy, you get thinly rolled pastry and a generous filling which packs a punch in flavour. In one portion there was beef cooked till it had become soft and tender, with a background of horseradish providing a sense of warmth. In the other was sweet potato which worked well with sharpness from goats cheese and aromatic thyme. Additional extras with fried onions, chives and sour cream made them even more moreish. 

Honey roasted sweet potato pierogi
Honey roasted sweet potato pierogi
Beef cheek pierogi
Beef cheek pierogi 

Bigos quickly followed suit and was certainly a hearty portion, this girl likes to keep a customer well-fed! Love it! This stew was generous not only in portion size, but also in flavour with a nice balancing act going on between the richness from smoked bacon, sausage and mushrooms, and the sharpness from the sauerkraut. It was a filling stew but not a heavy one, if you know what I mean?! 

Bigos
Bigos

That evening had become quite a cold one, so it was lovely to sit back and relax in a cosy pub, have a laugh with the other half and a mate, get well fed whilst partaking in the odd pub game or too. I can imagine as the days get colder still, completely diving into a massive bowl of pierogi, with a warming drink and my feet up. Ahhh, sounds great, don’t you think?

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Our polish street food mini feast cost us £15 in total, and well worth it too!!

Look out for Holy Pierogi on her next outing!!

Kirkstall Bridge Inn
Bridge Rd
Leeds
LS5 3BW
0113 278 4044
http://www.kirkstallbridge.co.uk
https://twitter.com/holypierogi
http://holypierogi.co.uk

Stuzzi Residency @ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen

The month of August had seen a bit of a break at the Belgrave in terms of major food goings-on, without Street Feast and Laynes brunch as Beacons Festival took the deserved attention of the parties involved. Well this evening was the start of the food event to put that right with Stuzzi’s Kitchen Takeover!

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Who are Stuzzi? – a team of four named Harvey, Tom, Jimbob and James. If you’ve been to Salvo’s Salumeria you may have seen some of these guys before as this is where Tom, Jimbob and Harvey learned their trade, developing this passion for Italian food. 

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What’s the concept? – small plates of goodness based on Italian classics, produced using the best sustainable, seasonal ingredients from Italy treated simply.  

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Menu –  The guys at Stuzzi had been tempting people for the last couple of months with photos of their delights on social media, so when they published their menu, I literally thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Arancini balls….filled with ragu! Fritto Misto – you know how much I love deep fried stuff! Meatballs – which carnivore doesn’t love a good meatball, I make a killer meatball dish at home, but this was special! It went on….

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The Stuzzichini Misto sharing box (£15) was ALWAYS going to be the way to go for my friend Alice and I, and after just a few minutes our food was brought over in a box, all laid out just wanting to be devoured! As usual after a barrage of photos, I have to apologise to Alice as I always go overboard, we dove in.

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I thought we should go for the seafood dishes first as I didn’t want to give any residual heat the chance to toughen up our food. A quick squeeze of Amalfi lemon over the Fritto Misto and we were off!! We started off onto a winner – prawns were juicy, the squid was perfectly cooked, and needed only the slightest amount of pressure before it gave way in the mouth, lightly crisp on its exterior. Whitebait were gone in a few seconds and capers scattered generously gave a decent whack of additional seasoning where needed. Aioli goes perfectly with the dish and was decent, smooth and had lots of flavour. My only slight gripe was the fried courgettes were a little soft, just because they were underneath. Probably not the easiest to eat, but I suppose that what hands are there for.

Fritto Misto
Fritto Misto

Next up was the Seppia Nero,  even though we didn’t eat this straight away the cuttlefish remained tender and hadn’t become chewy. Quite a rich dish, it was great for sharing and we loved the bread it came with!

Seppia Misto
Seppia Misto

Pasta was our third course – Orecchiete with N’Duja to be exact, the al dente pasta was covered with a well flavoured tomato sauce, sweetness came from red onion and there a warming heat from the N’Duja, which as expected melted into the tomato sauce. It certainly gave my cheeks a bit of a glow.

Orecchiette con N'Duja
Orecchiette con N’Duja

Meatballs followed – now these were a little different than the norm, as these gems were made with beef and Mortadella in a rich tomato sauce, once again a gentle heat accompanied them. More than adequate in terms of size, it was great to see that they were moist throughout, whilst still being packed with meat and flavour!

Manzo E Mortadella Polpette
Manzo E Mortadella Polpette

Oh no, this was our last course….but we ended on a good one! The Arancini, these bad boys are made with saffron risotto filled with a meat ragu. Not only do I love risotto, I love ragu and they are covered breadcrumbs and fried….come on!!!! These were absolutely delicious and during the first bite I was already being a little embarrassing and saying how good they were. The risotto was unctuous and paired brilliantly with the ragu, both had their parts to play and didn’t overshadow the other. I was gutted I had to share and could easily have popped a few more in my mouth before going home.

Arancini
Arancini

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We also got chance to have a little bit of snackage (don’t think it’s a real word, but who cares), on their puffed pig skin. Crackling to me is one of the best things ever and this was crisp, salty and yummy!

Puffed pig skin
Puffed pig skin

We didn’t order the Zeppole, but I tried a little taster and it was light and moreish, an Italian deep fried doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar. 

Zeppole
Zeppole

I thought it was great, the team are obviously very passionate about their food and know what they are doing!! Also at £15 – great value too! 

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Stuzzi are opening a permanent base in Harrogate soon and I can’t wait to go and get the full experience!!

Stuzzi residency is on till Friday, then if you haven’t gorged yourself on every bit you can get your mouth around, I’m sure that won’t be the case, they’ll be spoiling us Leeds folk at Belgrave’s Street Feast too. 

http://www.belgravemusichall.com
1A Cross Belgrave St
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS2 8JP
0113 234 6160
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuzzi/356068864465742?ref=ts&fref=ts
http://www.salumeria-stuzzi.com/home.html

Manjit’s Kitchen Yellow Horsebox Launch Party!

Manjit’s Kitchen had their official launch party today (31st August), to celebrate their successful crowdfunder campaign. The reasons for the campaign have been spoken about on many occasions, but if you are unaware of why click here to read what Manjit and Michael have been through.

Having seen their yellow horse box being used at a number of events the last month or so, it was truly a fantastic sight seeing it in all its glory, basking in glorious sunshine on the last day of August. From what was an horrendous act of vandalism to Manjit and Michael’s property, they’ve managed with the support of family and friends to convert a horse box into an Indian style chaat station.

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The venue for the celebration was Wharf Chambers, I’d arrived whilst the sun was blazing, the horse box looked great, and to keep Manjit’s Kitchen company were two well-known fellows The Grub and Grog Shop and That Old Chestnut. Therefore plenty to get your teeth into! 

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My friend Alice and I were gonna try and get a bit of everything from everyone if possible, so with a 3 for £10 combo from Manjit’s, it was a no brainer. We’d be fools not to indulge, going for the Watermelon chaat, Samosa Chaat and Avocado Pani Puri.

The thing with Manjit’s food for me is it combines great elements together, without making me crave meat, and that’s saying something considering I’m such a hungry carnivore. The mix of textures, heat, sharpness and fresh flavours in Manjit’s food always brings people, including me  back for more without fail!

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The Grub and Grog Shop had two corkers on the menu with Beetroot in stout, and Courgette & chilli fritters. Bloody gorgeous the pair of them.  The beetroot lovely and sticky from the stout, whilst its sweetness was still apparent, the carrot brought the acidity and I loved the malt oil, a new one on me. When I think of malt I think Horlicks, like my dad used to drink every evening. The fritters were lovely with a good kick of chilli and more malt sprinkled on top, and the herb sauce brightened up each mouthful. So good!

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That Old Chestnut were on hand for pudding, with their selection of scrumptious cakes and my favourite of theirs – Tiffin bars! I couldn’t leave without taking the last of their Chocolate and Peanut tiffin bars. 

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What a great afternoon spent seeing one of the original trailblazers in Leeds’ street food scene still showing the way!!

http://www.manjitskitchen.com

http://www.grubandgrog.co.uk

http://thatoldchestnutishere.com

The Pink Shed – Behind the scenes photoblog @ Trinity Leeds

Any of you Leeds folk notice a pink shed in Leeds recently, you may remember seeing it once before, last year at Trinity Leeds? The Pink Shed was brought back by Chilled Events for Leeds Loves Food Festival after being so popular the last time. Some of you may have been lucky enough to get a seat at the table, whilst many others had to resign themselves to just walking passed, being jealous about the food that was being devoured inside. Over the two week period, some of the best independent restaurants and food producers from Leeds and its surrounding areas including Friends of Ham, The Greedy Pig and Shears Yard gave diners a fantastic dining experience to remember. 

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On its final weekend The Sunshine Bakery from Chapel Allerton had a 3 course Sunday lunch on the menu. Run by David Bennett, in my limited knowledge I knew that the place was well-respected for its cakes and also ran a supper club, but I had no idea that David was once a former chef for Marco Pierre-White, so had more than enough credentials for something like this.

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I’d gone along for a behind-the scenes peek at the goings on behind closed doors, or as it actually was down the seemingly never ending corridors of Trinity Leeds. The kitchens location was reminiscent of watching the final banquet episode on the TV programme The Great British Menu, with a temporary makeshift kitchen found down a corridor surrounded by never-ending fire doors. Whilst the actual pink shed was a lot more sophisticated that its exterior appearance, with eight places set around on the dining table. 

Here’s my photoblog of how the lunch service unfolded over the  following  couple of hours:

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Makeshift Pink Shed kitchen!
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The unpacking begins!
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Vegetables at the ready
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Starters!

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Galette of Sea bass with Asparagus
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Components of the main course
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Main course plating up
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Saucing!
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Roast leg of lamb with roasted vegetables and mint beurre blanc
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Components for the dessert

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Sablee aux Framboise
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Job well done!

My few hours as a fly on the wall was really enjoyable; whether it was the guys from Chilled Events basically doing their thing and hosting, or the team from The Sunshine Bakery, all working like a well-oiled machine with a few laughs thrown in along the way. All the food looked fantastic and smelled just as good, plates came back clean and comments from start to finish were massively complimentary.

Who knows if we’ll see The Pink Shed again, maybe, only time will tell. I’m sure whatever the team at Chilled Events have up their sleeve, it’ll have a simple but innovative premise, just like The Pink Shed. Where through collaboration with local independent businesses the Leeds community are brought together.

The Sunshine Bakery
182 Harrogate Road
Chapel Allerton
Leeds
LS7 4NZ
0113 2680656
http://www.sunshinebakeryleeds.co.uk
http://www.chilled-events.co.uk