Tag Archives: Fu-Schnikens

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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British Street Food Awards 2014

The British Street Food Awards were held in Leeds (26-28th Sept) after months of heats finding regional street food winners. Amongst the list of regional finalists, including Leeds’ Fu-Schnikens were a number of local wildcard entrants too, with Manjit’s Kitchen, Fish& all in the shout for awards.

Twitter had told me one thing – get to Fu-Schnikens ASAP, as they’d sold 800 Gua Bao over two days!! Within a minute of ordering it was in my hand…ahh the simple joys food can bring!  I love the damn things, if you’re unfamiliar with Gua Bao, they are Taiwanese steamed buns and should be light, even pillowy in texture. Often filled with slow cooked meats, pickled vegetables or variations on this theme. I admired it for a minute, the obligatory photo shoot ensued then sizeable mouthfuls later it was gone. UNCTUOUS – the meat literally disintegrated in my mouth, the ox cheek was gorgeous, lovely beetroot helped to cut through the richness in the meat, whilst the palm sugar worked well tempering just a touch!

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Sticky Ox Cheek Gua Bao, topped with pickled beetroot, palm sugar, chives and sesame
Sticky Ox Cheek Gua Bao, topped with pickled beetroot, palm sugar, chives and sesame 

Second on my hit list Dorshi – a Leeds favourite amongst the street food fraternity, serving dumplings to die for. Grabbing a combo to get a taste of everything was recommended, so who was I to go against their advice?! There’s no surprises when it comes to these dumplings, and trust me I mean this in a 100% positive way, as I’ve never been anything but wanting more of these. The fillings are bang on for flavour, their ingredient choices and flavour combinations are thoughtful. There are differences in textures from steamed and fried dumplings, pickled vegetables and lovely barley salad, delicate sweetness from the damson hoisin, saltiness from the fish, sourness from pickled vegetables.

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Dorshi - Gurt Meal box - selection of 4 dumplings with sides
Dorshi – Gurt Meal box – selection of 4 dumplings with sides
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The Real Junk Food Project – Pomegranate, plum and beetroot smoothie

I was so looking forward to trying something from The Crabbieshack, going for soft shell crab (without bread) and the pomegranate, Harissa, red onion, coriander and red cabbage. Advertised as being coated in ‘Old Bay’ Tempura batter, umm I wouldn’t have called it Tempura batter as it was thick and greasy. The salad, however tasty just wasn’t sharp enough to cut through the greasiness. Bread probably would’ve soaked up some of the oil, but the batter needed to be lighter! Hate to be negative, but I was disappointed and I’ve had much better!

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Crabbieshack - Soft Shell Crab with salad of pomegranate, Harissa, red onion, coriander and red cabbage
Crabbieshack – Soft Shell Crab with salad of pomegranate, Harissa, red onion, coriander and red cabbage

Fancying some liquid refreshment, I got a shot of HY Kitchen‘s homemade Schnapps…oooh it was warming, and would give anyone a bit fire in the belly. So good, that these guys from Austria won the Best Drink award! 

HY Kitchen - Schnapps!
HY Kitchen – Schnapps!
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Some of Leeds’ finest bringing their dishes to the judges – Richard Johnson, Lisa Markwell (Editor of The Independent on Sunday) chef Ed Baines, street food entrepreneur Yianni Papoutsis and actress Gaynor Faye.

Some of Leeds' finest waiting to bring their dishes to the judging panel

Manjit’s Kitchen was looking mighty fine in front of Leeds Civic Hall, often with a long queue of hungry people wanting their Chapasty or Flatbread. Late in the day I had one of their Beetroot and Paneer Chapasty’s – tasty, moreish, nice and small so great for sharing!

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Manjit's Kitchen - Beetroot and Paneer Chapasty with salad
Manjit’s Kitchen – Beetroot and Paneer Chapasty with salad
Buddha Belly The Moocher
Buddha Belly and The Moocher
Ahimsa
Ahimsa
Best Newcomers - Nusou and Best Dessert - Antto's Fish Bar
Best Newcomers – Nusou and Best Dessert – Antto’s Fish Bar
People's choice - The Little Blue Smokehouse
People’s choice – The Little Blue Smokehouse
Best Overseas Trader - Nordic Street food
Best Overseas Trader – Nordic Street Food
Best Snack  - Fresh Rootz
Best Snack – Fresh Rootz
Best Sandwich - The Cauldron
Best Sandwich – The Cauldron
Best Mobiler - The Hip Hop Chip Shop
Best Mobiler – The Hip Hop Chip Shop
Best Sandwich - Original Patty Men
Best Sandwich – Original Patty Men
Best Main - Fish&
Best Main – Fish&
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Best of the Best – Fu-Schnikens!!!

Congratulations to all the winners, great to see some of the traders who we’ve seen at Trinity Kitchen, such as Fresh Rootz and The Cauldron win, and also amazing overseas traders too!

I’m so happy Leeds was represented really well, and for two of the city’s traders winning awards (Best Main and Best of the Best), it’s just brilliant and reinforces the city’s stature in street food!!

Belgrave Street Feast @ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

The Belgrave Street Feast was held at one of my current favourite haunts Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen on Saturday. I was gutted to miss the first event last year so was glad to see a second and was definitely going to be seeing what foodie goodness would be on offer!!

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A number of well known, local street food heroes were selling their wares and showcasing great flavours from different cuisines.

Fish& – Andrew worked his magic selling out with his fantastic mussels dish! Freshly steamed Scottish mussels, cooked with the Fish& twist of chilli, parsley and Brooklyn Brewery lager. Simply yummy, you can’t go wrong with delicate mussels, rich flavours and a fresh bread bowl making the perfect vehicle for soaking up the cooking liquor! There was also a fantastic looking Chilli corn chowder which went down well too!

Mussels cooked in a Brooklyn Beer Broth
Mussels cooked in a Brooklyn Beer Broth

Dough Boys Pizza – regular twitter and blog followers may know what an ardent fan I am of Ben, his team and their consistently yummy pizza!! My friend and his daughter feasted on three ‘slices’ (quarter of a pizza each): Sausage fest, Screaming goat and Into the Woods – all for less than £4!!! You’d be foolish not to get a half price slice 12-7pm, seven days a week!!!

Dough Boys Pizza, half priced slices!
Dough Boys Pizza, half priced slices!

Fu-Schnikens – Ben from Dough Boys makes these wonderful Taiwanese Bao called Gua Bao. These little gems have already found fame and love in London, courtesy of Bao London and Yum Bun, so Ben has brought his take to Leeds. They are steamed buns filled with hoisin, crushed cashew nuts, sesame seed, palm sugar, picked carrot and mooli, then topped with either:

  • braised pork belly
  • glazed portobello mushroom
  • crispy panko breadcrumb chicken

My name was all over the MEAT being the hungry carnivore I am. You must know by now how much I LOVE juicy pork belly with a passion, and katsu chicken – chicken deep fried in honeyed Japanese panko breadcrumbs. OH MY!!!!!! It’s a good thing I don’t know how to make the buns, because I’d be making these all the time!!! The  additional condiments are JUST RIGHT (ahhh Goldilocks strikes again!), with crunch, sweet, sour and fluffy buns. Writing about them doesn’t do it justice, you just got to eat one, or two in my case!

Ben at the Fu-Schickens street food stand serving Taiwanese Guo Bao!!
Ben at the Fu-Schnikens street food stand serving Taiwanese Gua Bao!!

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Bundobust – a collaboration between much-loved Prashad, the Indian vegetarian restaurant now based in Drighlington and The Sparrow pub from Bradford, serving fantastic Indian street food.

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Pav Bhaji - an original Mumbai street food dish
Pav Bhaji – an original Mumbai street food dish

I sampled the Pav Bhaji which was really tasty, with a good kick of heat from the spicing and lovely fresh flavours from the herbs, red onion and tomato. They are soon to open Bundobust on Mill Hill, in Leeds city centre, I’m sure they will make a great addition to the Leeds food scene!

Patty Smiths Burgers:  They like to support local businesses and source all of our ingredients locally, with that in mind they suppliers include Sykes Farm from Wetherby, Leeds based RK Harris & Sons and finally Fosters Bakery from Barnsley. I didn’t eat one on Saturday, but I did a few days earlier and I have to say it’s a great burger!!! The beef patty was cooked just pink in the middle and has a cheese sauce which was inspired! I hate it when you have cheese that’s still solid on the sides, a cracking Chipotle mayo and lovely fresh pickle, lettuce and tomato to go with it!! A soft brioche bun to hold it all together too, a WIN WIN I say!!

Patty Smith's burgers - The 'Dirty burger'
Patty Smith’s burgers – The ‘Dirty burger’

Last but buy no means least, I couldn’t come to the Street Feast without having something from Noisette BakehouseI hope you can tell from my photos that every single thing she bakes looks soooo delicious, and it tastes just as good, if not better!!

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I had my slice of baked heaven with an espresso from Laynes, who were on hand to provide people with great coffee. What a perfect way to end my afternoon at Belgrave Street Feast!!!

Espresso with rhubarb and quince tart.
Espresso with rhubarb and quince tart.

Here’s to the next instalment!

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
LS2 8JP
0113 2346160
http://www.belgravemusichall.com