Tag Archives: Bundobust

Olia Hercules – The Wild East photoblog!!

Leeds Indie Food Festival has been in full swing for a week now, having a limited amount of time and budget I’ve had to consider my choices wisely. Out of all the dining experiences going on, I wanted to try something new, apart from bringing the talents of Leeds and further afield together, I think it’s something the festival has encouraged.

The event that struck out to me was ‘The Wild East’, a Ukrainian supper by London based chef Olia Hercules, working in collaboration with Marko Husak (Bundobust) and with the beautiful interior of local coffee shop Mrs Atha’s as the backdrop. Having not much knowledge of Olia, it was soon apparent that this lady certainly knew her culinary stuff, having worked with the likes of Yottam Ottolenghi and been named a Rising Star of 2015 by the Observer, as well as being a food writer with her own cook book!

Last night we were treated to a feast of delights, with Olia’s roots in Ukrainian food, she brought us traditional dishes along with food from Georgia, including an intriguing Soviet Korean carrot salad. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have grabbed a ticket for this event, you’re in for a treat with an absolutely delicious dining experience from Olia. All the proceeds are going to charities who are helping children who’s lives have been affected by the war in Ukraine. 

Here are some photos from the evening:

Green Borscht – Duck broth w/ sorrel and chopped egg
Sourdough made with Ukrainian hop flowers
Schneider Weisse Tap 7
Roasted beetroot, prune and walnut salad
Georgian poussin w/ tarragon, coriander, basil, dill and wild garlic
Rolled aubergine

Soviet Korean pickled carrot salad
Tabaka – Georgian poussin w/ pickled carrots, Georgian beans with crispy shallots, rolled aubergine, a roasted beetroot, prune and walnut salad, plum chutney and sourdough
Syrnyk – Ukrainian curd cheesecake w/ rhubarb compot
Meringue 
Coffee – courtesy of Mrs Atha’s

I hope you enjoy the evening as much as I did!!

Leeds Indie Food Festival

Mrs Athas

Central Road

Leeds

LS1 6DE

Bundobust!

Bundobust is OPEN! I know, it officially opened on the 11th July, but I’ve waited to say it for so long, so I’m gonna. It finally happened, with hoards of Leeds folk waiting for this moment for ages, from the looks of it on social media they were RAVENOUS!

Oh….are there some of you unaware of Bundobust? Well, I like to think of Bundobust as a meeting of minds from Prashad – locally and nationally renowned Gujarati restaurant originally from Bradford, now based in Drighlington, and The Sparrow – well known watering hole in Bradford. Serving up Indian vegetarian street food with style and drinks to match.

The team who came up with this gem are Mayur Patel (Prashad) and Mark Husak (The Sparrow), who’ve teased us with their pop-ups at different venues and events. So much so that when they planted the seed of a permanent venture in Leeds city centre, I’m certain a cry of joy could be heard across Leeds, that’s what I like to imagine happened anyway! 

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Following a couple of preview evenings a continuous stream of teasers on social media quickly ensued, and with early reviews praising both food and venue to the hilt, things looked promising and my expectations were high. By the time of the official opening, word had spread like wildfire demonstrated by a street-long queue waiting to get in!! 

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The place is very laid back – walking through the entrance you’re soon surrounded by a jigsaw puzzle of recycled doors, cushions made from sacks once containing rice and dhal, chip board, naked brick walls and also comes with a dose of quirky minimalism combined with a slice of charm.

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The place is a bit tardis-like, as from the street I didn’t expect the amount of square footage it actually has, and comes with an inspired inside/outside space.

The location could possibly be a stroke of genius; in the centre of town, but far enough from the hustle and bustle of Boar Lane. Maybe like the Northern Quarter, Bundobust’s presence, along with nearby neighbours Friends of Ham and Laynes Espresso will spark the resurgence of this end of town too!

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One thing I immediately noticed walking up to the bar is the signage, I LOVE it!!! This place sets its stall out immediately, with the phrase ‘no beef’ predominately positioned at the bar. 

They seem to have struck a harmonious chord, with the philosophy of combining craft beers and Indian street food at the heart of Bundobust. Not far off a match made in heaven, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t drink a lot of the stuff!! With this in mind they have a grand selection of handpicked beverages, chosen to pair well with Indian food such as IPA’s and Pilsners. Also great news for those with a gluten intolerance (other half included) Bundobust stock Mongozo, this means they don’t need to miss out either. 

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Being the innovators that they are the team like to experiment, on the bar was a piece of apparatus I hadn’t seen before. Marko informed me it was a Hop Randall which infuses other flavours into beer, such as pineapple and apricot. Even though I’m not the greatest beer or ale drinker by any stretch of the imagination, I may have to sample this at some point!

For those without a penchant for ale, their wine and cocktail list may tempt you, including the Bhang Lassi which I remember fondly from their Belgrave residential. Nestled amongst the choice of soft drinks is the Indian staple Mango Lassi for non-alcohol drinkers. One thing I was gutted about just because I only spotted it as I was leaving – lovely soothing and warm House Chai, having been introduced to this by a mate, I need to remember to get some next time. A fantastic addition to the drinks menu, these guys really have thought of virtually everything!

So what about the food? The food menu or ‘munch’ as they’ve named it is short and concise, 12 items at present, but it’s also well planned as it consists of items which are ideal depending on how hungry you are, whether it be a few snacks to have with their beers, or something more substantial. Marko suggested one small snack with a drink or two, e.g. the Okra fries, for something to accompany it either a samosa-based dish (Bundo Chaat and Bhel Puri) or Bhaji, and for a more filling dish the Dosa, Pethis or Idli Sambhar.

I’d been preparing myself all day for this three courses it was! First the Okra Fries (their memory still echoes from their guest residential at the Belgrave), the Bhaji and Massala Dosa, and to drink a Mango Lassi. The Lassi was perfect for what had been a reasonably warm day, sweet and thick enough to make it incredibly moreish. The addition of the fennel seed and aniseed just makes it come alive and gives it vibrancy.

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Turn over from ordering to table was pretty reasonable; good news for my rumbling belly.

The Okra Fries are a great snack, perfect for dipping into while sipping on of their specially selected beverages. They are exactly as described on the menu – crisp and spiced.

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The bhaji were pretty much perfect – accurately spiced, fried perfectly so they arrived crisp. To complement the bhaji was a tangy sauce, which didn’t play second fiddle and definitely came through nicely. Gotta love fried stuff, in moderation of course!

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I love a Massala Dosa, I remember my first at Prashad and this is a smaller version of that. With a crisp, wafer thin rice flour and lentil crepes, the perfect vehicle for the curry it accompanies. A well balanced, all rounder of a dish – lightly spiced curry, the potato and onion are evident and haven’t just disintegrated, the lentil soup brings a little oomph and the coconut chutney does what it’s supposed to and cools it down when required.

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After all the pop-ups and the hard work, everything has come to fruition and I for one am a HUGE fan. Looking at the response they’ve had it’s obvious I’m one of many!! Bundobust does pose a problem for me though, just the fact that I literally walk up Mill Hill, passed Bundobust every time I come into Leeds may prove lethal, 100% in a good way that is!!

I suppose the saying ‘good things come to those who wait’, would ring true here as the team have delivered big time. If you haven’t been yet, you should go.
The cost of my meal was £15.50. 

I’d definitely recommend Bundobust!!!

Food: Great Indian street food, perfect for sharing or for having all too yourself!!

Service: Staff are lovely and friendly, good at helping with menu choices and food waiting times were very reasonable.

Atmosphere: Good atmosphere, the place had a real buzz even when it was just half full (got there before the after work crowd arrived).

Bundobust
6 Mill Hill  
Leeds
LS1 5DQ
http://www.bundobust.com

Bundobust finally opens on 4th July!!!

Hooray!!! Bundobust are opening after spending months fitting out their premises on Mill Hill in the city centre!! I’ve walked passed countless times, eagerly waiting for the good news and it finally happened. This is one of those occasions when there’s the tiniest bit of regret I’m not accepting freebies anymore, especially when I see the preview invite pop up in the inbox, but I have to decline and will, no doubt feed my face silly when the place is open to the public.

For those of you who don’t know of Bundobust, they are a collaboration between much-loved Prashad, Drighlington’s Indian vegetarian restaurant and The Sparrow pub from Bradford. Their aim is to serve fantastic Indian street food from their street food kitchen, accompanied with great Indian craft beer.

Just to the get the mouth watering and the taste-buds tingling in readiness for the opening, here’s a photo from the pop-up at The Belgrave a few months ago:

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If I was a betting person I doubt the bookies would let me put money on my (popular) prediction; that Bundobust is going to be a highly sought-after food venture. With their crowd-pleasing street food already having a large following; myself included in that long list, I cannot wait to be ordering everything off the menu!! If the food’s anything as good as the stuff they’ve dished up in the past they are definitely onto an odds on winner!

Bundobust opens on the 4th July, I’ll see you there no doubt!!

This date has now been changed to the 11th July.

Bundobust
6 Mill Hill
Leeds
LS1 5DQ

Veg Out @ Wharf Chambers, Leeds

Veg Out! The vegetarian and vegan festival was back at Wharf Chambers last weekend, after not attending last year I’d put it in the calendar early doors. On the food front the event saw some of Leeds’ best vegetarian and vegan food producers and also a very welcome return from Dorshi, who stole our hearts with their amazing food at Trinity Kitchen. 

It was great to have Dorset’s street food duo Radhika and Jolly back in Leeds! No dumplings steaming away on this occasion, instead they were bringing something new to me and many others I suspect, with something called Popiah, an Asian spring roll with a difference!

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Homemade wafer thin skins, which were just like spring rolls skins filled with all sorts – stewed turnip, carrots, cucumber, chilli, hoisin fried onions and peanuts, then if that wasn’t enough either Shiitake mushroom and beetroot or pear and pickled ginger. We went for one of each.

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A little fiddly to hold, but all was forgiven after the first mouthful, with great flavours, mixing savoury, sweet, sour and a whole host of textures.  A great come back! 

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Bundobust, the Indian street food maestros have wowed the Leeds crowd with pop-ups at Kirkstall Bridge Inn and Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen. With a new permanent residence hopefully just weeks away from opening, they were reminding us of what we’ve got to look forward too.

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Going for a favourite, the Bundo Chaat which I’ve had before but you can’t really go wrong with a winner like this. As a massive carnivore I don’t actually ever miss the meat when tucking into Bundobust’s food, it’s just very tasty.

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The Grub & Grog Shop were also in residence selling fritters, sandwiches and stews. I liked the idea of fritters so got a mix of both Beetroot and chickpea and pea, courgette and mint. The pea fritters were lovely and carried a distinctive sweetness from peas, but also a whack of minty freshness, whilst the beetroot fritters were much more earthy. Both enjoyable, the only thing I would have preferred was more punch from the roasted tomato sauce.

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That Old Chestnut and Leeds Bread Coop were selling out like hot cakes when I saw them, unfortunately I didn’t get chance to take any photos, no surprise as there wasn’t much left! Being such a lovely, sunny day the Wheelie Good Ice Cream Van had their ice-creams which I didn’t managed get my hands on either, but I did spy many people enjoying their ice-cream in the sun.

A great event, one that will be in my calendar again for next year!

Veg Out
Wharf Chambers
23-25 Wharf Street
Leeds
LS2 7EQ
07523307089

Future Foodie Delights in Leeds

I love planning ahead, whether it’s places I want to explore, exhibitions I want to see, holiday destinations that need researching and most definitely foodie destinations. Leeds has been on a food and drink roll, but it’s still developing and with the summer months not too far away, there’s still a number of things brewing in the food and drink pipe line.

Trinity Kitchen continues to do it’s thing in terms of serving food to the Leeds masses, with it’s ever changing street food from around the world. There’s the obvious big hitters such as the Belgrave which seems to be the place to go by all accounts at the moment since opening last year, and also Brandon Street Night Market with their monthly street food bonanza. The restaurant scene has also been bolstered by the likes of Shears Yard, Zucco, The Hungry Bear and RARE amongst others over the last year. 

With a number of new openings and events happening in the next few months, what else can we look forward to?

  • Thai Aroy Dee – a massive sigh of relief was had when I read this much loved restaurant was relocating to The Grand Arcade. It would have been an absolute travesty to lose such an amazing restaurant with the Victoria Gate redevelopment! The outpouring of love seen on social media ultimately means that it’s going to great seeing them up and running with not only their regular customers, but hopefully new ones. It’ll also be a fantastic thing for bringing people into The Grand Arcade too! 
  • Bundobust – Soon these guys will be opening on Mill Hill, after being a winner with all and sundry at different establishments and events around Leeds, such as Kirkstall Bridge Inn and at Belgrave. For those of you who haven’t sampled their wares Bundobust is a joint venture between award-winning Prasha(vegetarian restaurant in Drighlington) and Bradford’s The Sparrow. If their food and drinks follows in a similar vein to the efforts at their recent residency at The Belgrave (review here) it’ll be an amazing addition to the Leeds street food scene. One I’m am already relishing the thought of.
  • The Man Behind The Curtain – a new opening by chef Michael O’Hare in Flannels on Vicar lane. I’d been told how good The Blind Swine had been, unfortunately it had shut up shop before I could try it out. This is one I cannot wait to go to, with chef Michael O’Hare already having a reputation in York’s fine dining scene, I won’t be surprised if it’s a sure fire hit.
  • 2 Oxford Place – the first 100% gluten free restaurant certainly around these parts! Are there any elsewhere? With a gluten intolerant husband it will be fantastic if they can pull it off. They are even doing Sunday Roasts – let’s hope for yummy GF Yorkshire Puddings and gravy! Also if they can make decent bread, they could be onto a winner in my eyes.
  • With the prospect of heavyweights Meat Liquor and Byron Hamburgers moving into Leeds, at Trinity and Land’s Lane respectively, they’ll be making their best efforts to fight their way to the hearts of burger lovers. It’s going to be an interesting one, especially with the amount of competition from other establishments already in the city centre. Maybe a Battle of the Burgers is in order, I’ll be happy to adjudicate!! 
  • Bulgogi Grill will be bringing a new and exciting concept to Leeds with Korean BBQ and is part of the redevelopment to the Merrion Centre’s Arena Quarter. I’ve experienced something similar in Japan,  cooking marinated meats and vegetables on mini BBQ’s; an experience which was interactive, fun and memorable. Their opening is expected sometime in August.
  • La Bottega Milanese is in the process of opening another coffee shop in Bond Court, at the back of HSBC where the Pétanque pitch is. I’m eager to see the finished product and I’m sure Alex will be aiming for something that’s aesthetically beautiful, whilst being highly functional, and with the same great coffee and food as La Bottega in The Light. I really hope this will create more of a community environment in this part of town, instead of just being a bit of a walk-through. 
  • Leeds Food and Drink Festival (23rd May – 8th June) is always a major highlight of the food and drink calendar and is a must for any one interested in produce, artisans and food from restaurants and street food vendors in our local area. I was gutted to be away last year, but am definitely looking forward to this years, which promises to be even better than the last. Working in conjunction with Leeds Food & Drink Festival will be The Pink Shed, the pop-up private dining room at Trinity Leeds on 23rd May. With a number of restaurants of Leeds signing up this will be a great experience. Another cracking event as part of the festival will be Le Grand DeParty’ which will celebrate the 2014 Grand Depart with lots of french food and drink.
  • Beacons  festival (7th -10th August) – with a list of food vendors as along as your arm, there’ll be plenty to tackle and get your teeth into over the four day music and arts extravaganza in Skipton. With Ben Davy, the mastermind behind Dough Boys and Patty Smith’s at the helm, festival goers are going to be in for a big belly filling treat! Here’s a taster – the idea of Madeleine Express, Cafe Moor and of course Dough Boys will get your mouth watering. For a more extensive list have a nosey at the website.

There’s certainly a lot to look forward to, I’ll hopefully see you there!

What have I missed out, any other fantastic local food and drinks events coming up I should include in my list?

Post update: oh silly me I forgot to add an event that I’m actually attending, how silly am I?

  • The Noise of Strangers are a Leeds based group hosting their first pop-up in May. I’ve been keeping a close eye on these guys for months, eagerly awaiting news of their first outing. Their philosophy is to use seasonal ingredients and deliver a menu in an unusual setting. It all takes place in asecret location on 21/22 May, where guests, including myself will hopefully be treated to a wonderful five course dinner. I’ve been wracking my brain and looking at their photographic clues to try and work out where it could be, but I’m nowhere near to a solution yet.
  • Cafe Culture – For those of you coffee lovers out there, the Corn Exchange are hosting a Cafe Culture event, I’m gutted I won’t be here for this as this would have been right up my street, unfortunately I’ll be in Edinburgh with the task of running the Edinburgh Half Marathon. On 24th May, the event will try to bring a little taste of Parisienne cafe culture to Leeds, as unbeknownst to me the Corn Exchange has a link to the Halle au Blé (wheat, corn and grain hall) in the French capital. Just one of many fab collaborations of local independent businesses showing all that is good in coffee; such as Laynes Espresso, North Star Micro Roasters, Casa Espresso and Grumpy Mule. There’ll also be lots of family friendly activities and entertainment going on too. 
  • Strano’s, the pop-up brought from Gip and John Dammone and chef Johnny Lyons will be celebrating the anniversary since the the Strano journey started which culminated in their first Strano’s pop-up which I attended last October. They’ll be hosting a celebratory meal with their highlights dishes from the pop-events on 20/21 June at it’s new home of the Enoteca in Salvo’s.
  • The Beasty Boys – a Peruvian inspired Supper Club at the Carnegie Pavilion in Headingley. They are a  Leeds based duo specialising in one of the current food trends of ‘Nose to Tail’ dining. The event is donating 100% profits to raising money for Put Them First, a UK charity which aims to improve the lives of children in Peru. With tickets priced at £25 for 6 courses (16 dishes) per person! It also BYOB so sounds like it could be a bargain!