Tag Archives: crackling

Dinner @ Dish

A couple of weeks ago the Oliver Award winning restaurant Dish opened in its new home on Boar Lane, Leeds. If you’ve walked passed and recognised the venue it may know that it was the previous location of Anthony’s Restaurant. We went last Thursday to check out the new dining room and of course the food! On arrival we were greeted by a bar man in their lovely cocktail bar area, then kindly escorted downstairs to their dining room where we were welcomed in by Chris the Manager.

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One of the main reasons for the move from their original home on Great George Street was to have a much larger dining space, but also kitchen space and this has been reflected in the more extensive menu on offer. The main dining room looked very smart with a second bar and the pass from the kitchen in the background, it’s been filled with dark wooden tables, grey upholstered chairs and original wall art for a sleek and sophisticated feel. I completely understand why they have moved with a much larger kitchen and dining room giving them a lot more options. I did miss the vintage, quirkiness of the old place, but this was definitely a step up and somewhere that Dish can grow into.

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The menu was full of interesting and innovative dishes, showcasing modern British cooking. When it came to deciding what to order I was gutted when the other half picked the dishes I had my eyes and grumbling stomach on (scallops and pork belly), so I opted for the crab and turbot.

In a restaurant of this quality the wine list is just as important as the food, they have a decent wine list with a range of choices to suit all tastes and pockets. It had been a long day at work, so we both wanted something easy drinking and chose a very quaffable pinot grigio.

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We’d arrived fairly early in an evening service so there was just one other couple dining when we arrived, this meant we could hear and feel the buzz from the kitchen. We happily kept filling our wine glasses up with a light, crisp pinot while waiting for our starters to arrive.

East coast crab with a salad of sauté tiger prawns, preserved lemon, horseradish snow, pickled white radish, red radish, wild rice and curry leaf granola and scampi oil
East coast crab with a salad of sauté tiger prawns, preserved lemon, horseradish snow, pickled white radish, red radish, wild rice and curry leaf granola and scampi oil
Chargrilled King scallops, saffron blinis, scallop tartar, smoked white chocolate veloute and mist, chilli oil and langoustine powder
Chargrilled King scallops, saffron blinis, scallop tartar, smoked white chocolate veloute and mist, chilli oil and langoustine powder

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My crab dish was exactly was I was expecting at Dish, it was very tasty, light and refreshing with lots of interesting ingredient combinations. The crab and prawns were both delicious, well cooked and had a lovely sweetness to them. A decent sized portion for a starter and was very well received. The granola added an interesting mix of textures, with it’s slight crunchy/chewy texture, radish kept the dish light and with the lemon gave a welcome acidity to the plate.

I was told that the scallops was a good dish, perfectly cooked and characteristically sweet in flavour, chilli oil provided a subtle hint of chilli. But it was the smoked white chocolate velouté that really brought the dish together and made it very enjoyable first course.

The dining room started to fill a little more as our main courses arrived.

Yorkshire belly pork, slow roasted fro 8 hours with fennel and chilli black pudding, smoked mash, pig ear and walnut salad pork crackling and roasting juices
Yorkshire belly pork, slow roasted for 8 hours with fennel and chilli black pudding, smoked mash, pig ear and walnut salad pork crackling and roasting juices
Pan fried turbot, served with a shellfish and vegetable coral bed, with a smoking saffron broth
Pan fried turbot, served with a shellfish and vegetable coral bed, with a smoking saffron broth

There was a lot of love for the belly pork from the other side of the table, making me even more gutted than I was before. From what I could gather the pork was moist and juicy, well cooked with a lovely bit of crackling lining the meat. The generously portioned mash was nice and smoky, but not overpowering and the healthy disc of fennel and chilli black pudding was meaty and well flavoured. The pig ear and crackling were crunchy, but the crackling could have done with more salt though. The roasting juices were rich and full of flavour finishing the meal off nicely.

My fish dish of turbot was brought over with a steaming broth, produced by little lumps of dry ice used to create some theatre to the dish. On the whole the component parts were cooked well, the turbot was moist, but I do prefer a crispy skin on my fish. It was an interesting dish with a lot of ingredients, including keta caviar (I think), clams, prawns, tomato, broad beans, radish and a saffron broth. I did expect more in terms of flavour though, as the fish lacked a little seasoning for me and I would have liked the broth to be more intense in flavour.

From my previous experience of eating at Dish I’ve come to expect impeccable service, it was great to see the team have carried on in exactly the same vein. The staff were friendly and welcoming, efficient and enthusiastic without being over the top. We were offered a dessert menu which I quickly said ‘yes please’ to and saw a short, but concise list of desserts and a cheeseboard, also on offer were digestif cocktails. My choice was the treacle tart, I’m a bit fussy with desserts as I’m not a chocolate, panna cotta or cheese fan so the treacle tart it would have to be or nothing.

I definitely made the right choice! It looked really good on a piece of grey slate, a decent wedge of treacle tart with a scoop of sorbet, a dollop of clotted cream and what I think was an intense raspberry snow. I don’t have treacle tart very often so I really savoured it and made every mouthful count. Served warm so the yummy filling had a lovely give to it, it was as if it had surrendered itself to a very good cause. The clotted cream was just right – creamy and rich enough to balance out the sweetness of the tart. And finally the sorbet I loved and was full of raspberry goodness. Basically the dessert was excellent!!

Treacle tart, clotted cream and raspberry bellini sorbet
Treacle tart, clotted cream and raspberry bellini sorbet

The other half ordered one of the digestif cocktails instead of a dessert. The tonka bean provided a lovely subtle vanilla hit to the espresso martini.

Tonka bean espresso martini
Tonka bean espresso martini

The total bill for our meal for 2 was £65 including service charge, reasonably priced for 3 courses each with wine! In matters other than our experience that evening, Dish is also open for lunch, both weekdays and weekends. I can vouch for the Sunday lunch, as it’s excellent!! Starters range from £5.50 – £12 for a sharing platter, main courses range from £9.50 –  £18.50, there is also a rib of Yorkshire beef to share at £55 and desserts are between £5 and £12 (sharing dessert).

I’d recommend Dish, it’s got a great new home and is serving good, modern British food.

Food: Enjoyed on the whole, interesting and innovative menu.

Service: Excellent, friendly and attentive staff.

Atmosphere: Quiet background music. Place has a nice ambience to it.

Dish Dining Room & Bar
19 Boar Lane
Leeds
LS1 6EA
(formerly at 18 Great George Street)
0113 3182274

dishdining.co.uk

Dish Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon

Anniversary lunch @ Pollen Street Social, London

It was my 5th wedding anniversary on the weekend, so while my husband was on a stag do having fun with the lads, I thought I should be having fun too!!! Some of my favourite things are the arts, food and theatre so months ago I booked to watch The Book of Mormon in the West End. Surprisingly for me, I hadn’t yet booked anywhere for lunch literally till the morning of the show, just before I got the train. This doesn’t mean I hadn’t been thinking about it though, I’d been scouring my Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide and using my other usual methods to find my yummy food fix for weeks. After looking through my ‘where next’ list I remembered a meal that one of my best mates and I had a couple of years ago where we ate at the Pollen Street Social, just before it gained a Michelin star. I knew I wanted to try Jason Atherton’s food after watching him win the starter and main course on the Great British Menu a couple of years before. Having previously worked with culinary heavyweights such as Pierre Koffman, Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsey, and even more notably at the World Famous elBulli working with Ferran Adrià, this was a chef who obviously had skill and an imaginative creativity to his food. That first encounter was memorable for both of us, so I thought a special day deserved a lunch that befitted the occasion.

The Pollen Street Social is found just off Regent Street and a couple of minutes walk from Oxford Street tube station, away from the hustle and bustle of all the shoppers and traffic.

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Today I chose from the set lunch menu, for Michelin starred cooking they provide a short but still an excellent menu of £26 for 2 courses or £29.50 for 3.

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For the starter I chose the slow cooked egg and main course the pork belly. Even though I wasn’t initially going to choose a dessert, I couldn’t help myself and the lemon verbena sorbet was just crying out to be eaten.

The main dining area is very sleek and stylish and from my table I could see into the kitchen where dishes were being finished off on the pass before being sent out.

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I was brought over an appetiser to start with – crackling with salt cod brandade and an apple and English mustard dip with some green olives. Wow the crackling was something else, when you snapped it the sound produced reminded me instantly of twisting a sheet of bubble wrap, so all the bubbles pop at the same time, it was that loud. It was quite amusing listening to the dining room, as table after table you would hear this sound repeated across the room. On its own I could have eaten bags of the stuff, but the accompaniments were delicious, both working in harmony with the crackling.

Crackling with salt cod brandade, apple and English mustard dip and green olives
Crackling with salt cod brandade, apple and English mustard dip and green olives

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I couldn’t decide which one I liked more to be honest, the salt cod brandade was light and delicate, while the apple and mustard was more punchy, with the mustard coming through. I’m not a big olive fan but I did have one, straight away you got hit of umami savouriness and helped to cut through the richness of the crackling.

The starter was brought over by my waiter who described the dish to me, I kept having to ask him to repeat it to me so I could write it down. The egg was cooked superbly and once the yolk had been split its vibrant orange content oozed out acting as a sauce. The delicate mushrooms on the thinnest toast were delicious and underneath the egg there was a mushroom puree (for want of a better word) which was very intense in flavour and provided a very woody note to the dish. The crumb made from chicken skin was lovely, with its crunch gave it another texture and added savouriness.

Slow cooked egg, mushrooms on toast and chicken skin crumb
Slow cooked egg, mushrooms on toast and chicken skin crumb

The main course of pork arrived, the dish looked extremely elegant with each element placed with immaculate precision. If you’ve read my blog before you should know by now how much I love pork belly!!! This was amongst the best I’ve ever eaten, just the slightest amount of pressure and the meat just fell apart. The pork was so tender and moist it really did melt in the mouth and there wasn’t even much need to chew. The pig cheek was also very delicious, lightly spiced so it didn’t overpower the flavour of the meat. For pig cheek to be cooked well, it must be slowly cooked so the gelatinous nature of it melts away leaving a wonderful texture behind. The accompaniments were also superbly cooked and all added to the overall dish. Such as the apple, which everyone knows is a perfect partner with pork, its tartness cutting through the richness of the meat. The black pudding was really tasty, I’m not usually a huge fan of the stuff when the flavour is too concentrated, but this was very tasty and a lot more subtle, it didn’t mask and overpower the star of the show which was definitely the pork. The potato fondant were buttery and soft and the sauce was glossy and deep in flavour, working fantastically well binding all the individual components together. The whole plate was a real winner and I loved each mouthful!!!

Wiltshire pork belly, spiced cheek, fondant potato, roast apple, black pudding and apricot puree
Wiltshire pork belly, spiced cheek, fondant potato, roast apple, black pudding and apricot puree

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The pre-dessert: My waiter then brought over something to help cleanse the pallet, he once again described it to me, and again I had to ask him to repeat it to me as each dish seemed so complex I couldn’t remember everything when I wrote it down!!! At the bottom of the glass there was a canteloupe melon and camomile tea sorbet, covered with a yoghurt foam which had a sprinkling of lime zest on the top. The foam was light and airy and the sorbet was intense and punchy, I loved the combination of the melon with the tea, it really worked.

Pre-dessert - Canteloupe melon and camomile tea sorbet, yoghurt foam and lime zest
Pre-dessert – Canteloupe melon and camomile tea sorbet, yoghurt foam and lime zest

The dessert: The dish looked so pretty it took me a minute to decide how I was going to tackle it, I didn’t want to grab my spoon and start demolishing it. The sorbet was packed with flavour from the lemon verbena, it had a lovely delicate sharpness and the meringue shards made with bergamot had a more intense flavour of orange, the texture of the meringue was wonderful, you could snap the pieces of meringue, but as soon as you put one on your tongue its moisture would help it to dissolve away. It was wonderful. I used to do exactly the same thing when I used to eat a bag of skips, but these were much thinner, lighter and more gorgeous. The olive oil gel was a good accompaniment to the other two components, to me it seemed to hold to other two together, with its own distinct but more savoury flavour that it provided to the dish, balancing out the lemon verbena and bergamot.

Lemon verbena sorbet, bergamot meringue, olive oil gel
Lemon verbena sorbet, bergamot meringue, olive oil gel

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Some gorgeous little financiers were then brought over and the waiter said ‘ooh, these are really good’, just before he walked away. I’m not a baker but I do know that a good financier is supposed to be moist, light, golden in colour and have plenty of almond. The waiter may be biased, but he didn’t exaggerate….. they were spot on, little gems of heaven filled with a very yummy strawberry jam. As I was eating on my own I got to have both of them too, so I was especially pleased about that!!

Almond and strawberry financiers
Almond and strawberry financiers

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Anniversary gift: I remember the first time I came to eat here they gave a little foodie gift to leave the restaurant with, my waiter brought this to my table and I waited till I got back on the train to Leeds to eat it. I’m not a chocolate fan, I’m much more a savoury person but I loved it. When I opened the box there was a large cube of soft sponge, layered with some sort of chocolate mousse which was packed full of air, then covered in a glossy chocolate ganache. It was wonderful, I spent the next ten minutes eating it (I know that’s a long time for most people, but it takes me forever to eat anything with chocolate!!) If all chocolate products were of this quality I could even be converted!!IMG_3808

IMG_3875In my opinion when you go to any restaurant of quality, Michelin starred or not of course the food is important, but it’s also the experience as a whole which is important too. All the staff that came to my table were very friendly, in particular two who served the dishes to me were particularly chatting and made me feel very relaxed. Service was very efficient without being robotic and the dining room had a lovely atmosphere to it, as I watched it seemed that the staff all worked with purpose and were certainly a well-oiled machine. It’s what you would expect in a restaurant of this standing. From the moment I stepped in the front door the service was impeccable, every part from the front of house to the waiters were superb and really made my anniversary lunch very special.

The total cost for my meal was £43.31 including service charge. I know it’s not the cheapest of meals, but for a dining experience of this quality it is well worth every single penny. I couldn’t help but recommend the Pollen Street Social, it definitely gets 10 on all fronts!!!

8/10 Pollen Street Social
Pollen Street
Mayfair
London
W1S1NQ
020 7290 7600
http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com

Pollen Street Social on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Pre-theatre tapas @ Sandinista

I’m a massive Strictly Come Dancing fan and had tickets for Midnight Tango, with Flavia and Vincent from the show @ The Grand Theatre booked for months. The criteria for food was somewhere I’d not been to before, but was also close to the theatre. Sandinista the popular Cantina bar was the place of choice on this occasion. imageFor those of you who don’t know of Sandinista, it’s a Latino based bar that has been open since 2002, just around the corner from nearby cocktail haven Mojo. From being such a successful bar in Leeds it has also opened a sister venue Smokestack on Lower Briggate and another Sandinista in Manchester.
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Even though I’d been many times for late night drinks on a Saturday, I’d never eaten there before. They had a couple of deals on offer – 3 tapas for £10 or 20% discount on food and drinks with a valid theatre ticket. We couldn’t miss an opportunity for having a cocktail as we were in one of the best cocktail bars in Leeds. We decided to partake in some cocktails of the mojito kind, so we could also reminisce about a well-loved holiday in Cuba.
Mojitos
Mojitos (of course!!)

They have a tapas menu with a lot of choice, both for meat eaters and vegetarians. Over the last few months I’ve been looking at places which also cater for gluten free and at least half of their menu is. Our man took a minute to go through the menu, including the specials and platters. We opted for a selection of 6 different dishes. The food took a little while to arrive (probably because we did order quite a lot of food), but they did arrive all at the same time and completely filled our table.

Gratinado de berenjas - Aubergine and tomato gratin
Gratinado de berenjas – Aubergine and tomato gratin
Croquetas de Bacalao - salt cod croquettes with aioli
Croquetas de Bacalao – salt cod croquettes with aioli
Rice and beans
Rice and beans
Tortilla - Spanish omelette with aioli
Tortilla – Spanish omelette with aioli
Alubias estofadas con panceta - roasted pork belly with a white bean and truffle cassoulet
Alubias estofadas con panceta – roasted pork belly with a white bean and truffle cassoulet
Chorizo asado - roasted chorizo with potato, onion, almond and manchego cheese
Chorizo asado – roasted chorizo with potato, onion, almond and manchego cheese

I didn’t know there to start we had so much choice, everything was yummy!! I think my favourites were the Aubergine dish – the aubergine had the right balance between being soft, but still had texture so it wasn’t like baby food. The melted mozzarella provided the seasoning and was unctuous and characteristically stringy. I loved the pork belly, with its crispy crackling and soft tender meat, it came with a tasty creamy white bean stew. Having a bowl of rice and beans will always remind my best mate and I of sitting in one of the many paladares in Havana and Trinidad. It was tasty, but not a patch on the ones we remember from those memorable Cuban evenings. The croquettes were good, possibly a little too ‘golden’ but the breadcrumb crust was light and thin and the filling was good, not too salty!! The tortilla was probably my least favourite, it was nice but a little under seasoned for my taste and more firm than I would have preferred. I will always compare tortilla to the heavenly ones I had on holiday in Northern Spain a few years ago. Where the egg bordered on being fully cooked or just runny, allowing the tortilla to have a little bit of give. All in all we enjoyed our pre-theatre meal and I was certainly very full at the end of it!!

We washed our food down with great mojitos, plenty of rum, mint and lime giving the drink its characteristic zing.

Overall the service was friendly, cocktails were great and the food was tasty. A couple of things I know i’m probably being a little picky about, but that aside I enjoyed the meal a lot.

With the 20% discount our total bill came to £35 (including tip) for 2 people. Pretty good I think, we both walked off to the theatre well fed and watered!! I’d always recommend Sandinista for drinks on a Saturday night, but I’ll also be recommending them for food now too!!

Sandinista Cantina bar

5/5a Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
LS28JP
0113 243 0395
http://www.sandinista.co.uk/leeds/

Sandinista! on Urbanspoon

Dough Bistro – 1st guest post by Lucy Reynolds

From the outside of the restaurant and its unassuming location, you could be excused for overlooking Dough Bistro, nestled on Spen Lane in the north of Leeds. Armed with a Groupon voucher for the tasting menu (I love a bargain) and with my equally food obsessed mother, we walked into the small, rustic setting and were greeted by the very friendly staff. We had a 6pm booking so it was quite quiet but we sat behind an elderly couple who already had started on the taster menu and whose noises of appreciation made us quietly confident of the quality of the food.
The waitress gave us a menu which outlined the seven courses and gave details for the wine which accompanied it (we only chose the food option minus the wine flight mainly because we are lightweights – seven glasses of wine would probably have ended up with us in Leeds Police station). I’m not sure whether I’m a fan of knowing what’s coming, mainly because it takes away the element of surprise, but my mum enjoyed it. The first course was apple wood smoked salmon filled with lobster mousse with black caviar and chives. The reason I have no photograph of it is due to the minuscule portion and my immense greed – I inhaled it before I could think of photographing it. More of an amuse bouche, it was delicious and the black caviar was fantastic on top, popping saltily in the mouth.
The next course (and in my opinion, the best of the night) was the Yorkshire buffalo with mushroom and Rigwelter ale sauce and Leeds chorizo potato salad and beetroot salsa.

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Yorkshire buffalo with mushroom and Rigwelter ale sauce, Leeds chorizo potato salad and beetroot salsa.

A beautiful plate was put in front of us and the taste was even better. The buffalo was rare and tender and the chorizo salad was mildly spiced but incredibly creamy. The knockout element was the ale and mushroom sauce though. The depth of flavour was incredible and it perfectly complimented the buffalo – I could have eaten that dish again and again.

Next up was another seafood dish – cold water prawns with a chilli and lime mayonnaise dressing with coriander oil, wild rocket and pineapple salsa.

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Cold water prawns with a chilli and lime mayonnaise dressing with coriander oil, wild rocket and pineapple salsa.

Having been a life long hater of mayonnaise, both myself and my mum were not really looking forward to this course, but to our surprise it was delicious. The pineapple salsa was sharp and brought out the sweetness in the prawns, whilst the peppery rocket cut through the creamy sauce. Altogether a good dish, but I would have liked a warm dish as both the previous dishes were cold.

The next dish was a palate cleansing sorbet of blackcurrant and Tanqueray gin.

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Blackcurrant and Tanqueray gin sorbet.

Simply presented, it certainly cleansed the palate and packed a lot of fruit flavour but lacked any sense of gin unfortunately. However it didn’t detract from the taste and our palates were ready for the next course.

Placed in front of us was an impressive plate of belly of pork, crackling, celeriac purée, baby vegetables and a seared Whitby scallop on a slice of black pudding.

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Belly of pork with crackling, celeriac purée, baby vegetable and Whitby scallop on a slice of black pudding.

The scallop was huge and cooked to perfection – slightly opaque in the middle and sweet. The black pudding is an obvious partner with the scallop but also worked well with the richness of the pork, which was pull-apart tender and moreish. The crackling was tasty and crunchy although lacking seasoning, as was the celeriac purée which seemed to get lost on the plate. The baby vegetables were merely cubes of carrot and swede which ,whilst tasty for a brief period, added nothing to the overall impact of the dish. Overall, a good dish but lacked the taste of the buffalo dish.

Our first dessert was coffee posset, with Bailey’s syllabub with crushed ginger and oat crumble.

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Baileys syllabub with crushed ginger and oat crumble.

Served in a small shot glass, it was quite hard to get the spoon to the bottom but that just shows how scrumptious it was. The creamy oaty top was gorgeous enough but when the Bailey’s syllabub was delved into – whoa mama! I would have happily bathed in that syllabub…I know that sounds strange, but try it first, then tell me you wouldn’t do the same.

The last dessert was a dark chocolate and Amaretto set mousse, Amaretto sauce and Amaretto ice cream with a chocolate crisp.

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Dark chocolate and Amaretto set mousse, Amaretto sauce and Amaretto ice cream with chocolate crisp.

Whilst looking the part, the set mousse was solid and extremely hart to eat – after some deft manoeuvring with a spoon, a stray piece ricocheted and nearly took my eye out, much to the amusement of the older couple sat behind us, who had obviously experienced the same challenge as us. However, once the chocolatey brick was conquered, the taste was reminiscent of nougat and the Amaretto sauce was divine. Not the best dessert but tasty nonetheless. With it we requested the dessert wine which was a triumph – a Chaputier Muscat sur lie, 2008. Heady with floral notes, the sweetness was perfectly matched to the dessert – a lovely end to an overall enjoyable meal.
So, for the reduced cost of the Groupon voucher, this seven course menu was well worth the cost. I’d recommend anyone to try out this little bistro – local produce, delicious cooking and friendly service. I’ll definitely go back.

Dough Bistro
293 Spen Lane
Leeds
0113 278 7255

Reds True Barbecue

Reds True Barbecue opened at the top of Call Lane in Leeds city centre in September 2012 and has been busy ever since. I’d been 3 times before but had never written a review on it, so thought a visit with meat loving friends could also coincide with a little blog on the side.

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We’d already built up the reputation of the place to our eating companions and so there was a certain level of anticipation. They have a first come first serve policy on the weekends, so from previous experience had a feeling it would be very busy when we arrived. It was, the man on the door said the next free table would be available at 8:30pm, at the time it was 6pm so we put our name on the list and went for drinks while waiting for the call.

For those of you who haven’t eaten at Reds, the restaurant work with the philosophy of ‘Low ‘n slow BBQ’, cooking at low temperatures over many hours producing tender, melt in the mouth cuts of meat, e.g. beef brisket, pork ribs and shoulder. With an open plan kitchen you can see food into their Oklahoma smokers (which are on virtually all the time unless being cleaned) and the food being prepared. The team at Reds have done extensive homework on this style of cooking food, having travelled around parts of the United States, e.g. Memphis and South Carolina researching all matters BBQ, such as different meat rubs, sauces, cuts of meat and cooking equipment.

Their extensive menu consists of Little plates, e.g. rib tips, Ribs, e.g. baby back ribs, Big Plates, e.g. North Carolina Pork ‘n Slaw, Feasting Plates for larger groups, Steaks and burgers, e.g. Pit burger, and Salads and sandwiches, e.g. New York Reuben and sides, e.g. corn bread. I remember the first time I came it took ages to read through the menu and choose something.

We decided to share little plates of homestyle nachos, cracklings, jalapeños poppers, rib tips and house made beef jerky. After being informed that the rib tips and beef jerky had run out we chose the BBQ rib taster and jumbo BBQ wings instead. For the main course we decided on Pulled Meat Nachos, Texas Beef Brisket, Combo 4 – Texas Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork and Pulled Pork Sandwich.

For drinks they have a large menu of wines, cocktails, growlers, boilermakers, lagers, craft beers, ales, even milk shakes, floats and the usual soft drinks. We ordered a root beer, red wine, Long island Iced tea and Reds Iced Tea.

Four Roses Bourbon, Diplomatico Anejo Rum, Orange Liqueur, lemon and honey topped with Yorkshire tea.
Reds Iced Tea – Four Roses Bourbon, Diplomatico Anejo Rum, Orange Liqueur, lemon and honey topped with Yorkshire tea.

Our starters arrived a few minutes later. Everything looked fantastic and the smell alone just made you want to wolf the whole lot down really quickly, but knowing that my main course was large I had to air on the side of caution.

Homestyle nachos -hand cut corn tortillas, fresh red onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, homemade chilli can queso, guacamole, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Homestyle nachos -hand cut corn tortillas, fresh red onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, homemade chilli can queso, guacamole, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Cracklings - crispy housemade pork cracklings scattered with spice dust.
Cracklings – crispy housemade pork cracklings scattered with spice dust.
Smoked pork ribs.
Smoked pork ribs.
Jalapeño poppers - crispy coated spicy peppers filled with Jack and cream cheese.
Jalapeño poppers – crispy coated spicy peppers filled with Jack and cream cheese.
Jumbo BBQ wings - hickory smoked jumbo wings (served mild or hot) with a celery stick and blue cheese dip.
Jumbo BBQ wings – hickory smoked jumbo wings (served mild or hot) with a celery stick and blue cheese dip.

The nachos are great, the warm tortillas crisp are really tasty on their own, the accompaniments are a match made in heaven with great, thick guacamole, with enough chilli to give it a real kick but a good dollop of sour cream to have just enough of a cooling effect. It would have been nice if the cheese was melted on the top to give it a lovely stringy texture, but apart from that it couldn’t be faulted. The cracklings are always yummy and didn’t disappoint, lovely a crisp with the pork fat cooked to perfection. They should be bagged up and sold everywhere they are so good. The ribs were tender, not too smokey which was good for me and the meat came off the bone so easily. Jalapeño poppers were great, lovely and crispy, with melted cheese inside and a gentle kick of the Jalapeño made them a real winner in my eyes. Last but not least – the Jumbo BBQ wings were tender and juicy and coated in their fantastic BBQ sauce.

Our main courses arrived not long after our starters were cleared.

Pulled meat nachos - home-style nachos covered in pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken topped with fresh red onion, jalapeños, housemade chilli con queso, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Pulled meat nachos – home-style nachos covered in pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken topped with fresh red onion, jalapeños, housemade chilli con queso, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Pulled pork sandwich - North Carolina pulled pork in a glazed bun covered in apple sauce, slaw and unholy BBQ sauce.
Pulled pork sandwich – North Carolina pulled pork in a glazed bun covered in apple sauce, slaw and unholy BBQ sauce.
Texas beef brisket - 21 hour smoked beef brisket in a tangy BBQ gravy, served with fries and slaw.
Texas beef brisket – 21 hour smoked beef brisket in a tangy BBQ gravy, served with fries and slaw.
Combo 4 - Texas beef brisket and pulled pork - 21 hour smoked Texas brisket and north carolina pulled pork with fries and mac n cheese.
Combo 4 – Texas beef brisket and pulled pork – 21 hour smoked Texas brisket and north carolina pulled pork with fries and mac n cheese.

Once again the food smelled amazing and I could not believe the size of my pulled pork sandwich, it was huge! I wasn’t sure how to tackle it so I picked it up and bit into what was really yummy, the pulled pork tasted fantastic and the slaw works well with the meat, cutting through the richness. The bread bun is so soft and very tasty. The fries were crisp and the BBQ smoked beans really deep in flavour making it a good accompaniment to the sandwich. My fellow diners also enjoyed tucking into their dishes too, I was told the beef brisket was lovely and soft and had a deep meaty flavour. The BBQ gravy was very tasty, that and the slaw working well with the brisket. One of the condiments added was their North Carolina BBQ sauce (a vinegar based pepper sauce), which added another layer of flavour to the whole meal. The pulled meat nachos is something that I have tried to tackle before and knowing from experience it is a very satisfying eat, the nachos warm and crisp, the guacamole, sour cream, chilli con queso and unholy BBQ sauce in plentiful supply adding tonnes of flavour and the jalapeño peppers adding the extra kick, bringing the whole dish alive. Finally the Combo 4 – the beef brisket cooked to perfection and the pulled meat lovely and soft, topped with crispy crackling and gherkins. The chosen side of mac-n-cheese working well with its Jack cheese sauce. All in all a winner of a dish.

In terms of service and atmosphere, their staff are knowledgable on the food, quite happy to recommend dishes and obviously show passion for the philosophy of the restaurant. The atmosphere is always good with music of the American south playing in the background.

The cost of dishes can range from £2.95 – £9.45 for little plates, £8.50 – £21.95 for ribs depending on quantity, £8.50 – £17.95 for big plates, £8.95 – £19.95 for steaks and burgers and £5.95 – £9.95 for sandwich plates.

Our total bill for 4 people was £99.85, not including tips. Definitely worth the wait and value for money. We walked out of there completely satisfied and very full!!

Reds True Barbecue
Cloth Hall Street
Leeds
LS1 2HD
0113 834 5835