Tag Archives: Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen

Bullwinkles pop up @ Belgrave

Ok, do you remember earlier this year, I’d put out a snippet on ‘What would you like to eat in Leeds in 2015?’ – my thoughts made a bee-line for Poutine, the Canadian dish that’s a heady concoction of chips, cheese curds and gravy. Trying it for the first time on holiday last year, I’d really built up a craving for the stuff and had hankered for our next encounter. So reading that Belgrave’s development team Food Lab were trying their hand at Poutine I very nearly rejoiced, I’m not quite that way inclined, but I definitely whooped for joy at the mere thought! Ben Davy’s Food Lab’s last outing was many months ago I think, I maybe wrong, please correct me if I am! I remember the early days in Belgrave Feast they sold fish tacos to Leeds folk, so I guess this was an opportunity to try new things, develop their repertoire, as well as get punters in!

Rocking up on Wednesday at 6pm, it seemed many others all had the same craving, as the Belgrave seemed busier than normal; I suppose that was partly the point?!

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Expecting a queue to quickly form, I slid into the front of the queue, a quick squiz at the board gave three options, their classic take on poutine, which could be pimped up with extras in the form of tea-brined fried chicken and smoked bacon. Being a complete glutton and easily swayed I went for everything, it would’ve been rude not too, don’t you think?!

Now, speaking to those who maybe unfamiliar with Poutine, it can have a number of different toppings, e.g. chicken, but primarily it has three core elements. One of them, the cheese curds had been substituted with mozzarella though as cheese curds couldn’t be sourced.

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So, how was it…..?

Chips – basically awesome, Belgrave regulars know how good they are, I’ve used many minutes of my life banging on about them!

Cheese – ah, now for me, it’s the cheese curds that really do it, so it was a shame they were absent, as the characteristic saltiness and squeakiness was missing, but on taste it was still good, you know who doesn’t like stringy cheesy chips with gravy?!

Gravy – peppery and tasty, lighter in appearance and looser in viscosity than traditional poutine gravy, but I liked that it wasn’t as heavy.

The addition of fried chicken that was juicy, golden, perfectly crisp, and a generous sprinkle of smoked, salty bacon the combination, albeit minus the cheese curds was still a winner! (£6) Considering it was their first outing, it was pretty damn tasty, hey it may not have been an authentic poutine, but as always Ben Davy always works wonders with his own twist.

Food Lab are bringing out special pop ups fortnightly, with the likes of the humble lobster roll, steak and chips, and Fu-Schnikens Ramen, which I’m determined to get my hands on this time after missing out a couple of weeks ago! I’m hoping the broth is awesome so I can slurp away with the best of them!

Belgrave Music Hall

1A Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS2 8JP
 
0113 234 6160

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

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, 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

Street feast V @ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

Last weekend was a pretty busy one, just how I like it! With a quick stop at the Vegan Festival in the Queens Hotel, a jaunt at The Belgrave, then the 12:40 train to Manchester for some girly fun! I’m a big fan of the Belgrave, as are many Leeds folk and Street Feast has become an event that I look forward to, in particular because of the new street food traders brought into the fold every month.

The usual social media sources kept me up-to date with this months vendors, so with limited time I was on a mission to try new things! As much as I would’ve LOVED to have indulged and feed myself silly I couldn’t, doesn’t mean I didn’t try though!

There were the usual In-House regulars:

Fish&Noisette BakehouseLaynes EspressoDough BoysPatty Smith’s, Fu Schnikens, The Grub & Grog Shop. Guests included Street FodderEl KantinaCrepe LucetteBanh mi BoothGingers Comfort Emporium and Discovery Bay.

The Greedy Pig‘s ‘Nose to Tail Tapas’ would be this month’s Street Lab experiment and newcomers to the event in the drinks department were Little Tipples with their distilled delights!

I had previously tried all but three food vendors, so my mission was to get a belly full of The Greedy Pig, Discovery Bay and Ginger’s Comfort Emporium in 45 minutes. It might sound like loads of time, but it really isn’t if you’re like me and uses up time dreaming at the thought/sight of delicious offerings from every other vendor! Oh I wish I wasn’t so greedy and didn’t possess such a voracious appetite….sometimes!!

The first time The Greedy Pig introduced their ‘nose to tail tapas’ to the masses I was gutted not to get my hands (and mouth) around one of their offerings.  Amazing Graze was first class evidence of how good their food was after rave reviews! I’m not one that’s particularly squeamish about the lesser used parts of the animal, so I was quite relishing the chance to try something. I thought as long as it wasn’t like a bush tucker trial I’d be ok.

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‘Nose to tail’ dining has been one of the food trends of the last year and it’s something I think probably needs to be done with care and thought. The Greedy Pig have taken their time to develop their menu and have slowly introduced Leeds to their version, so as soon as I saw Bone Marrow Sliders on the menu, it had my name written ALL over them! With bone marrow in the butter, it was cleverly used and disguised in such a way that made it more accessible to the eater.

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The smells from the hot plate were pretty amazing, the beef brisket patty with it’s bone marrow butter speckled with mustard was incredibly delicious and uber rich in flavour. A little messy to eat, but if licking my lips and fingers is a hardship then I’m in the wrong game! If there was any criticism, it would be that the bread may have been a little too thick, especially as it was a slider. Maybe a different choice of bread would’ve been better, as Focaccia is quite an oily bread. But, saying that I’d eat another one or two right now!! On taste the star of the show definitely came through no doubt about it!

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The other stall I’d been dying to try out was Discovery Bay, its owner Barrington Douglas has been serving up wonderful Caribbean food at his Huddersfield restaurant since 2006. Having a following from celebrities and royalty alike, there must’ve been a reason why his food was so special, his Jerk Pork Pies are eaten in Buckingham Palace of all places!

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Jerk Chicken was their recommendation so of course I had to go for that, I’d be a fool to go against it! In exchange for £5, I received a wrap topped with Jamaican Jerk chicken and Caribbean sweet pumpkin curry. Condiments were either their Hot sauce or their Sweet & Sour sauce for added ‘something something’, as my other half would put it, I opted for the Sweet & Sour.

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Caribbean sweet pumpkin curry

I had 15 minutes before I had to rush off, I felt a bit like Cinderella with a food time limit, not dressed for a ball or anything and there was no evidence of a pumpkin carriage, but I desperately needed to head off, meanwhile I still wanted to savour the food in front of me as it was so moreish!!

The delicately spiced chicken was juicy and succulent. I really loved the pumpkin curry and the two of them just seemed to work in perfect harmony with each other. With a bit of veg for some crunch and the heat from the sweet and sour sauce it was crammed with flavour, but also hefty in size too. All for £5, you’ve got to be kidding me!! 

My time was virtually up and the last thing on my to try list was Manchester’s Ginger’s Comfort Emporium. Being a bit behind the game with Ginger’s they first came on my radar at Amazing Graze. Famed for their wonderful flavour combinations using locally sourced ingredients I was desperate to walk out with some. 

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After a quick once-over at the menu and I chose the Plum, gin and juniper for my takeaway street food treat, once again showing how street food is not only extremely delicious and moreish, but also so portable!

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So good, full of flavour from the plums and I secretly quite liked seeing people watching little green with envy as I waltzed down Briggate with my takeout.

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I’m loving the new vendors Belgrave keeps bringing to Leeds and its definitely keeping me on my toes too. I massively enjoyed my 3-course street feast, see you next month where I’ll be filling my belly once again.

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