Every week there seems to be ‘week’ for one thing or another, recently it was Pie Week, today is the start of Meat Free Week! The primary aim is to get people thinking about meat intake and its impacts, not just on health and well being, but also all meat products, whether animals or processed products and finally environmental issues. There’s shed loads of great meat free recipes on the internet for those of you nifty cooks out there, but if you fancy eating out Leeds possesses some fantastic spots producing delicious meat-free dishes. Fancy taking up the challenge? It starts today 23rd – 29th March!
Here are three of my favourites:
Prashad – award winning Gujarati restaurant originally based in Bradford. Initially finding fame from their work with Gordon Ramsey, Prashad have built on this and then some moving to a new premises in Drighlington. Great for me, as it’s very near my house, but don’t let the out of town location deter you, it’s well worth a little jaunt, and even being an ardent meat lover I don’t miss it when I eat here. Their Masala Dosa’s are a sight for sore eyes, trust me it’s in a good way!
The Grub & Grog Shop at Northern Monk Refectory – one of the current breed of hot spots to eat in the city. Jim and Dan, the team behind this venture have wowed us with their food and drinks for quite a while now, since opening up a permanent base in town have a received amazing reviews and these are all well deserved!! Their menu is thoughtful, seasonal, using as much locally sourced produce as possible to create a menu that is mostly vegan or vegetarian. Anyone can eat well with no problems whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner….oooh think homemade crumpets, kohlrabi fritters and finally homemade spelt pasta with Shiitake mushrooms, greens and chilli.
Bundobust – in a similar vein to The Grub & Grog Shop, Bundobust have been examples of independent trailblazers over the last year. Seducing people with their Gujarati street food and ales to match, on a personal note their food’s been hard to resist!! There’s a lot to love on the menu, my faves – bhaji bhaji, egg bhurji, veg rice dry fry (there are others too, but the list would go on for a bit!!).
Well there’s three to get you started, I’d love to know the places you rate serving fantastic meat-free food!!
Part of the challenge of Meat Free Week is to raise money for good causes, including Beating Bowel Cancer, Compassion in World Farming and World Land Trust and Meat Free Week, if you want to get involved and take up the challenge click on the link below.
The last year or so I’ve been following the progress of Sarah Mather’sNoisette Bakehouseand her Madeleine Express whilst they’ve been wooing the Leeds faithful with her award winning bakes. My first memories all came about after searching for gluten free goodies and low and behold they came to the rescue, culminating in meeting Sarah in November 2013 at Brigatte World Feast. Since then I’ve seen her and Madeleine trade at Kirkstall Abbey, Trinity Kitchen, Noonshine at Outlaws, Amazing Graze and other worthy events around Leeds. Her bakes are one of the main attractions when visiting Belgrave Music Hall‘s monthly Street Feast and Laynes Espresso (apart from the coffee of course), with a tour de force spread just perfect to have with your dose of caffeine. Sarah’s also showcased her skills and bakes at the Taste Of London Festival and wowed the judges to win YBF‘s prize for baking and had her desserts on the menu at Tate Modern!!
The business which started off with Sarah’s Citroen H Van Madeleine taking her home baked goods on the road, it’s proved such a huge success they wanted a base to not only bake, but also sell their wares. So, after months of painstakingly developing their Bakehouse space in Robberttown Village, maybe 10 miles from Leeds city centre, their labour of love which was once a former hairdressers was now finally ready to open to the public.
A date of the 1st February was finally set and on a bitterly cold, crisp winter’s morning Noisette Bakehouse opened its doors to the world. I had a feeling it would be a busy one so planned to arrive just as the doors opened, luckily living a few miles away meant it didn’t take very long. As expected there was a warm welcome from a display of eye-poppingly beautiful baked goods and a rapturous hug from the intoxicating smell of buttery, sugary goodness!!! Sarah’s inspiration spans far and wide, using traditional baking techniques, she combines her creativity and innovative recipes with seasonal produce to conjure up everything a sweet tooth may desire!
I’ll apologise from the start as I couldn’t help myself and took far too many photos, but they were hard to resist and I found it virtually impossible. Sorry they just don’t do them justice!!
Locals from Roberttown Village and its neighbours popped in and walked away very happily with the choices, in particular one-time blogger Northern Writes who left with a bit of everything!!! Also Krag, one of the duo that is North Star Micro Roasters who also walked away with a number of goodies in tow.
You’ll see all-time favourites such as *the* Salt Caramel Brownie, Popcorn Cookie Pop and of course Vanilla Madeleines, but as always some newbies on the menu – a Smoked Paprika Cornbread and Cheese & Rye Scones, maybe (probably) others too!
The Noisette Bakehouse team still have plans for the shop space now that the bake space is sorted, maybe a place where customers can enjoy locally roasted North Star coffee whilst leisurely grazing on their pick of the freshest bakes from the oven. Who knows? I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see the next chapter in their journey.
The Bakehouse is open on weekends –
Saturdays 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sundays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
A few months ago I’d read that a new hummus bar aptly named Humpit had opened in the Corn Exchange. With a recommendation from Andrew Critchett of Fish& fame, it would’ve been foolish of me to not want to seek this place out. But the usual stuff like work and life got in the way, a couple of months passed before I visited to find they’d shut up shop because they’d sold out!! Surely a good sign though? I’d also read some glowing reviews singing its praises which added to my need to get a fix of the good stuff as soon as possible!!
Fast forward to mid-December, Belgrave Music Hall’s Xmas Feast was on and Humpit were on the roster to trade that weekend. But having over-faced myself on food from other vendors, yeah, I know there’s no surprise there, I’d planned to go for lunch the following week instead.
Humpit is found on the ground floor of the stunning Corn Exchange, as the building is so beautiful I had a customary wander around both levels to take in the general splendour. It’s a must for me whenever I wander in for a nosey. What was fantastic was seeing all the spaces occupied by independent businesses, maybe the first time I can remember this happening in years!!
Opened for just three months, the place has quickly become a hot spot and has many regulars. Their menu has three core elements – hummus, pita and falafel, a simple concept which they seemed to have got down to a tee! Served in different combinations with different toppings. I went for the Humpit Classic – a bowl of hummus, with whole chickpeas, parsley, olive, paprika and a pita on the side and a glass of freshly made lemonade.
There’s the choice of eating inside or outside the shop, as they have a few outside tables, but I chose to stay in so I could take in the atmosphere of the interior a little more.
Being 100% vegetarian and vegan, this was another meal where I found myself not missing meat in the slightest!! Also I think for the price it’s a bargain, the portions are generous, extremely satisfying and filling.
You won’t get one of those solid, dry pita breads you get at the supermarket!! Without the facilities and space to make their own (maybe in the future?!), they took time to find a bakery to make them to their specific requirements resulting in a light and fluffy pita. Served warm it was perfect for carrying the hummus and the additional toppings.
In my limited experience of hummus eating, I think it’s some of the best hummus I’ve ever eaten, so smooth and creamy. Served warm, with a drizzle of olive oil it was delicious. I opted for a combination of three toppings – falafel, pine nuts and tahina, spicy salsa and finally mushrooms and onions. They all worked so well together! The salsa had a gentle kick, whole chickpeas were warm and comforting, then onions and mushrooms provided a woodiness and sweetness. Hold on, I mustn’t forget the falafel, with it’s golden brown crust, they were fantastic. I’m not normally the biggest falafel fan, probably because I’ve only ever eaten those awful rock hard bullets, usually I find them dry as a bone and fairly tasteless. These were the antithesis to those aforementioned falafel, I could see now that it’s no surprise their falafel in pita is such a popular seller! Made with lots of coriander and parsley, inside the falafel had a lovely greenness to them and great on flavour too.
The additional coriander and chilli paste gave another facet, livening it up with delicate heat and distinctive flavour. It was so yummy I couldn’t help dipping my fingers back in the bowl to get more after I’d finished my hummus bowl! All of this was washed down with lemonade that had tonnes of freshness and acidity, complementing the hummus by cutting through the richness and acting as a bit of a palate cleanser.
Being 100% vegetarian and vegan, this was another meal where I didn’t miss meat in the slightest!! Also I think for the price it’s a bargain, the portions are generous, extremely satisfying and filling.
While I was there, a steady stream of customers came and either filled up their tables, going in a similar direction to me with the Humpit classic, or happily ordered take-out with falafel in pita, which at £3.50 sounds like a bargain.
I’d definitely recommend Humpit, one to try any time, but even more so now that our pockets a little emptier after the festive season!!!
Food: short, simple menu with three core elements which work sold at very reasonable prices! My lunch was filling and tasty!
Service: lovely, friendly, helpful and informative. Waiting time is a matter of minutes.
Atmosphere: With a steady stream of customers visiting the place, there’s a good, busy feel to the Humpit. The staff are chatty and really friendly too. As the shop surrounds the main space of the Corn Exchange it benefits from the atmosphere that the rest of the building provides.
Disclaimer: my meal would have cost £7.50, but at the end of my lunch when I tried to pay it was refused and given complimentary, even when I said ‘no’. That being said as always my opinions are 100% honest, and I wouldn’t bother saying I loved it unless I really did!!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
What a great afternoon spent seeing one of the original trailblazers in Leeds’ street food scene still showing the way!!
My hunt for independent coffee haunts has once again taken me to Sheffield withSomewhere Else Coffee. This recently opened coffee establishment is family owned and run by Caroline and Katie Scott, a mother and daughter duo who originally hail from Rotherham. Having once been in the business of managing a boatyard building barges, it’s certainly a bit of a departure to making an espresso, but this dream of opening their own coffee shop was just too great.
Choosing the city of Sheffield for its home, they appreciated what the place had to offer in terms of history and character. After a long search to find the perfect space for the shop, they saw completely by chance an empty betting shop that had been covered up for years on Eccleshall Road. Being able to see passed all the work that it would need, they fell in love with the space, in particular the front window. For the interior they used inspiration that harks to the past, with recycled and reclaimed materials found every now and again in there quirky designed interior.
They wanted to use a local roastery for the coffee and happen to use Leeds based roaster North Star!! These guys are certainly getting around, and no wonder with their superb coffee, you’ll be able to find North Star’s Dark Arches for their house coffee. This is something they are very proud of at Somewhere Else, as they are the first to sell coffee from North Star in these parts. Somewhere Else isn’t just about coffee though, tea also plays an important part on their beverage list too; using Sheffield based Birdhouse.
Cakes are all homemade by Caroline’s own fair hands, popular they are too; in particular their blueberry, strawberry and almond cake which goes down a storm! With many of them catering for a range of dietary requirements, whether they be gluten intolerant, dairy or vegan there’ll be something delicious for you!
I really liked the space they’ve created, having used lots of reclaimed materials to produce a shop that’s light, bright and mixed with quirky touches every now and again. Upstairs there’s a more cosy snug and a studio room that showcases work from local artists and University students. In keeping with one of their main priorities of being a part of the local community, they help to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Keeping the shop in the family is very important to these guys and their aim is for it to grow steadily, building a firm base on Eccleshall Road and doing a good job of it.In the future they’d like to sell coffee beans, increase their repertoire using different brewing techniques such as Aeropress, and possibly hosting coffee cupping events.
If you’re ever in Sheffield and fancy coffee from fantastic local roaster North Star, served in relaxed surroundings by some lovely people, why not try Somewhere Else Coffee?
Hi, I'm Diane and welcome to my blog. I'm currently hopping between Leeds and the South finding the best and the worst in food and drink whilst on my travels. You'll find reviews and recommendations, sometimes the odd thing about running, travel and my life in general.