Tag Archives: Arepa!Arepa!Arepa!

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

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Street Feast VII @Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

The second weekend of each month always signals the return of Belgrave Street Feast! I’m sure regular readers know the drill by now, but just in case you don’t this is the deal; independent street food traders from Leeds and its surrounding areas come and feed the masses. There’s always a host of Belgrave regulars doing what they do best, such as Dough Boys, Patty Smith’s, Laynes Espresso, Fish&, Wilson’s Champions Pies. But what draws me back is the variety of new traders they entice each month.

With the other half in tow the aim was to share everything, mainly so I could have a taster of as much food as possible!!!

First course – returning to the Belgrave was Arepa!Arepa!Arepa! who took street feast by storm a few months ago with their brilliant Arepa. They may not be new to The Belgrave, but even the slightest hint that they were returning made them an absolute MUST for me. 

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Butifarra 

One of the best things about the Arepa is the difference in textures – crisp on the outside (courtesy of the hot plate) and soft on the inside, filled with tender pork, which had bags of flavour. It’s basically a delicious handful and even though it’s inevitable a mess is made whilst eating them, it’s well worth it!

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Complimentary lollies!!

Second course – Chaat Cart, we are very lucky in Leeds to have Manjit’s Kitchen, so for me this was always a bit of a comparison to see their take on it. I went for the Samosa Chaat; don’t get me wrong I liked it, but for me it was lacking a little something. I missed a little kick of heat, cool yoghurt and a sprinkling of crisp sev providing texture.

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Samosa Chaat
Samosa Chaat

The Moocher provided us with our third course, after a little research I found out they’re known for being keen foragers and this was reflected in the Ox heart dish which included wild garlic flower. But it was the beef and venison which sang out to us, opting for £3 portions as we were slowly filling up, good job too as they were generously portioned up!  

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Pulled venison
Black IPA beef brisket with celeriac croquette
Beef brisket and celeriac croquettes
Chipotle chilli pulled venison with slaw

It was basically a flatbread sandwich filled with tasty meat that fell apart with ease, and slaw added good crunch and helped cut through the richness in the meat. If I did have a niggle it would be the croquette, which could’ve done with being hot and crisp.

4th course – Fire and Salt BBQ the Taco took our fancy here and was assembled by opening a packet of Doritos, sliced lettuce and chopped tomato were dropped in, along with a squirt of their Jackalope BBQ sauce, then topped with four chunks of ox cheek. The meat was flavourful, but it wasn’t quite melt in the mouth, one of the chunks also had a lot of chewy fat still attached. I liked the tang from the BBQ sauce, whilst the lettuce and tomato did their usual job of keeping it fresh and light.

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BBQ Walking Taco
BBQ Walking Taco

The Caribbean Cafe were found on the roof terrace, these local traders are well known for their base in Kirkgate Market where they are dishing up flavours of the Caribbean. By this time we were pretty much done unfortunately, but I gotta say that the smell of jerk chicken on the hot plate was pretty tempting though!

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Noisette Bakehouse – I always have to leave with something to nibble on and as always the beautifully delightful bakes from Noisette Bakehouse caught my eye. Leaving with the almost legendary Sea salt caramel brownie and Sarah’s new Watermelon gin jellies!

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Watermelon Gin Jelly and Sea Salt Caramel Brownie

There are a couple of other traders who I should mention too, unfortunately I didn’t get chance to see them; Bare Plume and Flavours Found (who are also trading at Trinity Kitchen with Shake Maroc & Roll).

Next month it’s Beacons Festival I think, so I may see you there!

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
LS2 8JP
0113 2346160

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