Tag Archives: pork belly

An evening @ Eric’s Restaurant, Huddersfield

It’s the last week of the school summer holidays and we are having a family get-together, I’d organised dinner out with the adult siblings in the family. This happens just a few times a year so I wanted us to eat where we could have a good feed!! I’d read a review on Eric’s Restaurant a few weeks ago about how amazing their Sunday lunch had been, and by coincidence when I looked into it further found that the place had been named the Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year for the North East 2014.

Since the restaurant opened in 2010, its built up a very faithful following from locals, bloggers and restaurant reviewers alike!! It sounded like an excellent choice to have family dinner. The owner Eric Paxman has worked with some notable chefs in the past, including Marco Pierre White and Bill Granger so has learned from some of the best in the business. The restaurant is in Lindley, Huddersfield, I had no idea where it was at all, but the lads who went to 6th form college nearby were more familiar with the area.

IMG_4074 IMG_4072 On entering the restaurant we were welcomed straight into their bar/waiting area, I noticed the place has been decorated very tastefully and looked very comfortable. We’d ordered a bottle of Prosecco which was light and crisp, a good way to start our evening. This allowed us some time to peruse the menu, I thought their menu looked very good and had something for everyone, with 9 starters, 8 main courses to choose from and lots of variety in terms of main ingredients. It took a few minutes for some of us to choose just because everything sounded so mouthwateringly good on the page. We finally chose our starters and some wine and were happily tucking into the lovely soft bread that was brought to our table.

Bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Our starters were brought over and I was immediately impressed by the generous portion sizes, I’d ordered the scallops and had never been given 4 scallops in a starter before, quite unusual I thought! Everyone was really pleased tucking in happily and I thought mine was particularly yummy. Perfectly cooked, the scallops slightly opaque and soft in the middle, lovely crust on the outside, the relish with its peppers were a good match for the delicate scallops and didn’t overpower the main ingredient. The spring roll was crisp and had a generous filling of crab, carrots and ginger. Other comments on the starters were that the pig cheeks were very tender, the sticky sauce was sweet and not too sickly. The Bolster Moor farm black pudding was one of the highlights of the evening, it was lovely and soft with just the right amount of flavour. The halloumi cheese was said to be the best they’d ever had. The seabass dish was also found to very good, lovely and crisp with a delicate amount of spice. It was felt that more spice could have been used, as the apricot and cumin chutney was more than a match for the seabass and overpowered the delicate flavour of the fish. All in all it was a good introduction to the food at Eric’s and I was hoping it would give us an indication of the quality and portion size of food we would receive for the main course.

Pan fired King scallops, crab, carrot and ginger spring roll, sweet corn and red pepper relish
Pan fired King scallops, crab, carrot and ginger spring roll, sweet corn and red pepper relish
Sticky braised pig cheeks, potato rosti, "Bolster Moor Farm black pudding, apple,  tarragon jus and crispy shallots
Sticky braised pig cheeks, potato rosti, “Bolster Moor Farm black pudding, apple, tarragon jus and crispy shallots
Toasted halloumi, paperdelle pasta, piperade and basil pesto, shallow fired basil crisps and Kalamata olives
Toasted halloumi, paperdelle pasta, piperade and basil pesto, shallow fired basil crisps and Kalamata olives
Crisp tandoori seabass, apricot and  cumin chutney, cucumber and mint raita
Crisp tandoori seabass, apricot and cumin chutney, cucumber and mint raita

Well I wasn’t wrong on the portion sizes, it seems like generous portions are the way to go here at Eric’s and long may it continue!!! When I was brought my dish I said ‘wow, there is no way I can eat all of this’ as it was massive.

Fillet of locally reared pork fillet and confit belly, creamy mash, buttered cabbage, french black pudding and apple jellies
Fillet of locally reared pork fillet and confit belly, creamy mash, buttered cabbage, french black pudding and apple jellies
Chargrilled 28 aged 'Bolster Moor Farm' fillet steak, sautéed woodland mushrooms, roasted tomato and triple cooked chips
Chargrilled 28 aged ‘Bolster Moor Farm’ fillet steak, sautéed woodland mushrooms, roasted tomato and triple cooked chips
Pan fried fillet of hake, tomato fondue, braised fennel and kalamata olives, wilted spinach, potato gnocchi and saffron aioli
Pan fried fillet of hake, tomato fondue, braised fennel and kalamata olives, wilted spinach, potato gnocchi and saffron aioli
Roast rump of lamb, buttered Cavalo nero , chargrilled courgettes and home cooked beetroot, garlic and rosemary dauphinoise, roasting juices
Roast rump of lamb, buttered Cavalo nero , chargrilled courgettes and home cooked beetroot, garlic and rosemary dauphinoise, roasting juices
Chargrilled tuna steak, sauteed Cornish new potatoes, braised red peppers, french beans and avocado mayonnaise
Chargrilled tuna steak, sauteed Cornish new potatoes, braised red peppers, french beans and avocado mayonnaise

As you can see all dishes were again extremely generous in terms of portion size but also with presentation. They looked fantastic and very appetising. I loved my dish but knew there was no chance of me eating it all as it was so big. I’d ordered the pork dish, the fillet was excellent, no hint of dryness here which can be the case with poorly cooked meat. This was moist, succulent and had a yummy sweetness. The belly pork was as tender as you would expect with this cut of meat and had a salty crackling which was tasty, (not quite as good as my mam or dad’s but not many are). The apple jellies were a perfect partner with the pork and gave a nice sharpness to the whole dish, with yummy black pudding, creamy mash, well cooked greens and a rich, glossy sauce to die for it was certainly a well loved dish, not just by myself, but by two others who helped me to finish it off!!! Other examples of comments from the rest of the table were the fillet steak was well cooked, medium rare as requested, it came with a huge basket of excellent triple cooked chips, lovely and crisp while the potato still had plenty of give in the centre. It had a very tasty sauce on the side which bound all the ingredients together, it looked like an aioli of some sort but I can’t be sure. The tuna was perfectly cooked, pink in the middle and the lamb was moist with rosemary dauphinoise which were a real winner. To be honest I think that all the main courses were much appreciated by all diners involved and everyone was extremely full. But this didn’t stop some of the party wanting desserts. They offer a short and concise selection to choose from, all £5.50.

Creme brûlée with mixed berries and shortbread
Creme brûlée with mixed berries and shortbread
Selection of ice-cream
Selection of ice-cream

I assumed the salted caramel and chocolate ice-cream were extremely tasty, as sat next to me was a diner who didn’t really utter a single word during the dessert course, apart from saying how yummy the big the portion was. I think there’s a general consensus that when the dinner table is quiet that’s a good indication of tasty food being eaten. This was a great example of that! The creme brûlée was also well received, with its perfectly thin, crisp, caramelised sugar top. Lovely and warm in the middle, deliciously creamy with lots of vanilla. It was polished off in a matter of minutes. In matters other than the food the place had a really nice atmosphere, there was a very cosy feel to the upstairs dining room which was furnished very tastefully. It’s definitely a popular place as this was a Wednesday evening and the place was full. Eric himself even came into the dining room on many occasions bringing dishes to tables and helping to clear up too!! The service from good overall, with the waiting times for food from the kitchen low and we were never waiting too long for the next course. What could be improved in the future was the amount of information waiting staff have on what’s run out, this happened a couple of times during the evening with wine and desserts. The waiting staff had to keep returning to tell us what we’d ordered had run out, where I felt that if they were regularly updated this would make service flow a little better. This is a slight niggle as I found the service was very pleasant and friendly. The total cost of dinner was £280 for 5 people, including a generous tip. Food: large portions, cooked well, varied and interesting menu. Service: good, at times need more fluid communication in terms of what’s available. Atmosphere: lovely, cosy feel, tasteful and modern decor. Value for money: certainly not the cheapest of dinners, but great for a special occasion. If you want something lighter on the pocket, they offer an early bird menu at just £17.95 for 2 courses and £21.95 for 3. Also there’s a fixed lunch menu at £14.95 or £15.95.

Eric’s Restaurant
75 Lidget St
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
HD3 3JP
01484 646416
www.ericsrestaurant.co.uk/

Eric's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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

Molecular night @ Dough Bistro – guest post by Lucy Reynolds

This was my second time at Dough Bistro, and I’d brought along the original Miss Tale of Two Sittings with me for the ride. As a self confessed foodie, this could have been blogging suicide for me – what if she didn’t like it? Had Dough already peaked? What if they served us Pot Noodle?

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These thoughts ran through my head as we entered the restaurant and were met by the extremely friendly staff, who asked which cocktail we’d like. With a thirst quenching choice ahead of us, I plumped for the oak-smoked margarita with lime salt, whilst my companion Diane chose the rhubarb caviar and ginger mojito. Both cocktails were good – possibly not the most attractively presented, but it was a tasty aperitif.

Our arrival drinks - Rhubarb caviar and ginger mojito and Oak smoked margarita with lime salt
Our arrival drinks – Rhubarb caviar and ginger mojito and Oak smoked margarita with lime salt

Promised with a ‘Molecular Menu’, we were thrilled with the pretty little amuse bouche which was a croquette of camembert and dehydrated olive, with a chilli jam and a pea puree. The difference in texture and taste in such a small dish was a sign of good things to come.

Chilli bread rolls
Chilli bread rolls
Croquette
Croquette of camembert with chilli jam and pea puree

We were right: our first dish was a deconstructed prawn cocktail and it was described on the menu, it had prawns, tomato sand, lettuce, Marie Rose foam and cucumber gel – less 1970’s dinner party, more postmodernist art on a plate.

Garden in a pickle - Black olive soil, pickled vegetables, goat's cheese, rhubarb rain drops and pumpkin seed.
Prawn cocktail – prawns with tomato, lettuce, Marie rose foam and cucumber gel

The presentation was beautiful and the taste of the juicy prawns in the creamy sauce were evocative of the familiar crowd pleaser, pepped up with the clean and fresh hit of the cucumber gel. The tomato sand was a conundrum though – it was white, grainy yet melted immediately on the tongue. Though pleasant tasting, it didn’t really taste like tomato – I’m not sure what it tasted of, and it seemed a little like a lost opportunity.

The second dish was called Garden in a pickle, and it was like we had entered Lilliput in Gulliver’s Travels.

Garden in a pickle - Black olive soil, pickled vegetables, goat's cheese foam, rhubarb rain drops and pumpkin seed
Garden in a pickle – Black olive soil, pickled vegetables, goat’s cheese foam, rhubarb rain drops and pumpkin seed

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The plate was again immaculately presented with tiny plant pots which, I was regrettably informed, were inedible. The rest, however, was fair game. So we had black olive soil, which was a novelty but also delicious, pickled vegetables like spring onion, beetroot, cornichons, icicle radish and capers which had a great piquancy, which cut through the rich, creamy goat’s cheese foam. Along with toasted pumpkin seeds, this dish was an exciting little treat, not meant to fill you up but more to tease the taste buds for the next course. The size of the dish also makes you savour the small portion, and the top quality of the food.

Next up to further our gastronomic journey was ‘Ham and Cheese’. Obviously not just Ham and Cheese, I hear you cry! Well, you’d be right (and thanks for playing along!).

Ham and cheese - Yorkshire ham, parmesan ice cream, capers, white truffle snow and parmesan crisp
Ham and cheese – Yorkshire ham, parmesan ice cream, capers, white truffle snow and parmesan crisp

We were dealing with Yorkshire ham, capers, white truffle snow (akin to the tomato sand, slightly vague and tasteless) and, I’ll give you a minute to digest this…parmesan crisp and ice cream! Yep…you read it right! Again, the plate was very attractive and on first taste, the salty ham and cool yet pleasantly savoury ice cream worked extremely well together. The capers cut through the creaminess and the quality of the meat was very high – a worthy adversary to Parma ham. The only drawback of the dish was the quantity of the ice cream to the ham: once it melted, it overpowered the dish and it was hard to taste anything but parmesan. The crisp also lacked eponymous crispiness – the fact it was thick and chewy was not pleasant and coupled with the growing puddle of parmesan cream, it took over the individual tastes of the dish.

What helped though was the palate cleansing sorbet that followed up this course. A mix of tart grapefruit and a VERY generous serving of rum, this cut through the dairy richness of the last course, and prepared us for the curious next course.

‘Own made spaghetti’ was served up, with a sous vide pork belly bathed in a saffron consommé. Beautifully clear consommé was the base for the ‘lobster spaghetti’, which we served ourselves from small syringes. We were reliably informed that our lobster spaghetti was created from a lobster infused puree mixed with methyl cellulose which creates a solid form when it hits the consommé.

Own made spaghetti - Saffron consommé, sous vide pork belly and lobster spaghetti
Own made spaghetti – Saffron consommé, sous vide pork belly and lobster spaghetti

Whilst a wonderful novelty, neither of us were able to taste the lobster in this so called spaghetti and felt that it didn’t add much to the dish. The real star of the dish was the pork though, being slow cooked in a water bath for 12-14 hours. It was so tender that it sang Luther Vandross songs…ok, so that’s not technically true, but it is a metaphor that suits the purpose. The pork was delicious.

Chocolate surprise - Chocolate pave, gold pebbles and raspberry ravioli
Chocolate surprise – Chocolate pave, gold pebbles and raspberry ravioli

The dessert was billed as a ‘Chocolate surprise’ which always makes me suspicious, because I would always call my own cooking a surprise, basically to cover up the fact that I don’t really know what the outcome will be. Usually it is edible….usually. When the plate arrived, we actually had a very elegant looking plate which consisted of a chocolate pave, with white chocolate gold covered pebbles, popping candy and a raspberry ravioli, created from puree cooked in calcium. The pave was tasty and had an interesting chewy oaty base, which worked extremely well with the fruity explosion of the ravioli. It wasn’t the most innovative dessert, and seemed like a stroll towards the end of the meal rather than a sprint finish, but then what do I know? – I’m mixing metaphors all over the place!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening with some extremely interesting and delicious dishes. Dough is a hidden gem in Leeds. Whilst I know it has won awards, it seemed sadly quiet whilst we were dining, which is a shame. Although a few of the dishes could do with some slight improvements, the overall feel of the place, the staff and the quality of the cooking is second to none. Exciting gastronomy is practised here; I will definitely be going back for more.

Dough Bistro

293-295 Spen Lane
West Park
Leeds
LS16 5BD
0113 278 7255
doughbistro@yahoo.co.uk 
http://www.doughleeds.com
 

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

Cielo Blanco @ Trinity Leeds

Brand new Mexican restaurant Cielo Blanco opened in Trinity Leeds last week, The venue is linked to well known Call Lane favourite Neon Cactus. Neon Cactus is well known for it’s tequila based cocktails as well as its great Mexican food (winners of this years Oliver Awards Best food award), so I was looking forward to a similar standard if not better food at Cielo Blanco.

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So for the weekly catch-up with the best mate I was thinking, oooh lets try out the new Mexican place. I’d already had a lengthy gander at the menu (as usual), and had my eye on so many of the dishes that I couldn’t wait to get my teeth literally stuck into their food. The menu consists of street food (small plates of tacos, tostados, quesdillas, empanadas) and a selection of what they call market dishes. There’s a range of sharing boards, these come with fresh salsa, wheat, hand pressed tortillas, guacamole, chipotle and sour cream.  Then there’s burritos, enchiladas and salads. For groups of 4+ they have a feast menu with a large range of dishes, more than enough to satisfy.

We needed a table with room for a pushchair, so the waitress was very efficient and brought over a highchair straight away and we sat down with enough room for the three of us to sit. The service was really good from the time we entered the restaurant. It took us a few minutes to choose from the menu because everything sounded so great, and after asking the waitress for advice about how much we should order we eventually decided. For starters – a tostados with spicy king prawn, chipotle and lime sour cream, cielo ceviche of queen scallops with east coast mackerel and a sharing board with outdoor reared belly pork with cumin crackling, Oaxacan stew and sweet potato and epazote (a Mexican herb) to follow. The waitress assured us that this would be a large meal for 2 of us. They also had a children’s menu which we ordered some food for the little one too.  For drinks, they have a great cocktail menu, Mexican beers and a small, but succinct list of wines, including some good Argentinian, Chilean and Mexican wines.

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To start our meal off we were brought some lovely, warm tortilla chips and a trio of dips – guacamole, a chopped salsa with sweetcorn, chilli and a salsa piquant with peppers. The tortilla chips were fantastic, really tasty and a fab crunch to them, not over salty and even though they are fried were not at all greasy. Extremely moreish!!!

Tortilla chips with accompaniments.
Tortilla chips with accompaniments.

Our starters arrived a few minutes later, both tasted great, the little tostados were warm and the prawns with the chipotle, lime and sour cream really went well together, a little garnish of pepper, lettuce and tomato giving it a bit of crunch and freshness. The ceviche of scallops was lovely, a generous portion of queen scallops lovely and soft, with some gem lettuce to act as little holders to carry the scallop and equally tasty mackerel.

Tostados with spicy king prawn, chipotle and lime sour cream.
Tostados with spicy king prawn, chipotle and lime sour cream.

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Ceviche of queen scallops with East Coast mackerel.
Ceviche of queen scallops with East Coast mackerel.

The sharing board came while we were eating our starters and the board was so large it was hard to fit everything on the table.

Sharing platter - outdoor reared belly pork with authentic Oaxacan stew and sweet potato and ezapote, accompanied by guacamole, salsa, charred onion and warm wheat and hand pressed tortilla.
Sharing platter – outdoor reared belly pork with authentic Oaxacan stew and sweet potato and ezapote, accompanied by guacamole, salsa, charred onion and warm wheat and hand pressed tortilla.

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We soon realised the waitress was right when saying it would be more than enough to feed the two of us, not that we were complaining though!! The belly pork was great, it had a lovely crackling with meat which was very juicy, it made a great tortilla with the sweet potato and charred peppers and onions. There was also rice and a stew which was so tender! More accompaniments of guacamole, sour cream, salsa really made it a very filling meal indeed!

All washed down with some Argentinian Viognier for me and a Mexican beer called Dos Equis for my friend, it all went down very easily. The service was great throughout, the waitresses were attentive and on hand to clear away and tidy up after us.
The next time I come I’ll definitely want to try some of their cocktails, they looked especially good.

In matters other than the food, the atmosphere is great and already has a good buzz about it. In terms of cost, I think it’s very reasonable – street food dishes range from £3.95-£7,95, you can order 6 street food dishes for 2 people @ £10.95 each. The sharing boards are £10.95 each and the burritos and enchiladas are £5.50-£7.45. For groups of 4+ the feast is £14.50 per person. Our meal in total was £60.35 for 2 people and a little one (excluding a tip).

Great food, drinks, atmosphere and service = a return visit soon!

Cielo Blanco
415 Trinity Leeds
Albion Street
Leeds
0113 246 9707