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?!
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.
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!