Tag Archives: scallop

Sunday lunch @ The Hungry Bear, Leeds

This Sunday we had lunch at The Hungry Bear, for one reason or another it’s taken me ages to get to Meanwood and try them out. The last time I ate here was months ago at Zucco, the independent Italian ‘small plate’ restaurant just across the road. They opened last year and have joined the rest of the Meanwood food scene, which is becoming a bit of a haven with some great bars, cafes and restaurants, such as East of Arcadia, Alfred bar and the aforementioned Zucco. On appearance the exterior of the place is quite unassuming, but as you walk closer the sight of The Hungry Bear becomes apparent. On entering it’s quite small and petite,  nicely decked out with large grey slate tiles, walls adorned tastefully with prints and a lovely selection of wooden tables and chairs which looked just right in their surroundings.  




imageOur server brought us some menus and immediately pointed us to their homemade ales, which are brewed on the premises upstairs, but we decided to opt for some wine which was reasonably priced. This was quickly brought over with some tap water, which was a really nice touch.

After a quick nosey at the menu, we both fancied two courses so two courses it was!! They had a good looking menu with quite a few dishes from both starters and main courses that would have suited me just fine!!! We were on paper spoilt for choice. Starters are priced between £4.50 – £7 and main courses £8.90 – £14.50.


We decided to start with scallops and smoked salmon, then for the main course I won the battle of the belly pork on this occasion, my other half had to settle for his second choice of the burger. While the starters were being prepared we were brought an amuse bouche, which was a lovely surprise. A white onion velouté to be exact which was delicious, light but creamy, well seasoned and full of flavour. A fantastic start, and definitely a good sign for the rest of the meal!


I must say we felt comfortable very quickly here and found the place homely, even though the restaurant is on a well known busy road, I know this all too well from running countless times up Stonegate and Meanwood Road while training for one of my silly races, you really wouldn’t think it from the inside at all.

Our starters arrived not long after with great anticipation and didn’t disappoint.



Both went down really well, my scallops were well cooked, no sign of these being rubbery little bullets, the chorizo added smokiness, and with the salty crispy pancetta it was a great combination. The other half also devoured his starter in a matter of minutes, the salmon accurately smoked was accompanied by a well flavoured, smooth puree. The crisps were good in flavour, the chive one could have been thinner and more crisp, but did deliver on taste.

Our main courses looked very appetising and after taking my compulsory snaps I dove right in. I was loving the look of my plate, regular readers may have read of my love of belly pork and this reaffirmed my affection for this cut of meat. Moist, juicy and flavourful, partnered by a lovely puree, iron rich greens and a hearty cassoulet, all of which really worked. I loved every mouthful. Oh, I can’t forget the crackling, one of the best I’ve had in a long time, cooked attached to the belly so it possessed a good mix of crispness while also having that sticky, chewy texture. A great crackling! I was a good girl though, sharing it with the other half who also showered it with equal amounts of praise. 






The other half’s burger looked great too, being gluten intolerant he left the bread, which I happily ate. His comments about the dish were that the burger was good, well cooked and was topped with good pulled pork. He wished there’d been more pulled pork though as it was rather tasty. The chips were excellent and were incredibly soft in the middle with a good crust on the outside. The burger patty on its own could have done with being a tad more flavourful, but when eaten with the pepper, relish and lettuce was a tasty mouthful.

So far so good, our Sunday lunch was going really well! We had a nosey at the desserts and by my surprise we both ordered one.

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The other half’s passion fruit brûlée was lacking in passion fruit, but this really suited him as he loves traditional creme brûlée, it being one of his favourite desserts. So even though the passion fruit was absent, he certainly wasn’t complaining and thought it was excellent!! I’m not one who would not normally order a sponge based dessert, but this was YUMMY and incredibly moist. The cake was really light, airy, had lots of poppy seeds throughout and came with a great taste of orange.

Overall we had a lovely meal in The Hungry Bear. It’s been a while since I ate in Meanwood last, but I’ll certainly be back a lot sooner, and probably at The Hungry Bear!! 

I definitely recommend it!!

Food: Nice size menu, enough choice for everyone from starters to desserts. Tastes great and very satisfying.

Service: Friendly service, staff unfussy but efficient and attentive when needed. Food arrived from the kitchen in good time and there were no overly long waiting times.

Atmosphere: Lovely and cosy atmosphere, nice ambience. Not pretentious in any way. 

The Hungry Bear
10 – 14 Stonegate Road
0113 2740241

The Hungry Bear on Urbanspoon

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.


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


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
(formerly at 18 Great George Street)
0113 3182274


Dish Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon

Shears Yard, Leeds

After months of eagerly awaiting news of their opening, Shears Yard opened on the 29th of August. For those of you who don’t know this is the new sister restaurant of the popular Art’s Cafe bar and Restaurant in Leeds City Centre. Over the past year there seems to have been a mini explosion regarding fine dining in Leeds, and I wasn’t sure if Leeds had a big enough appetite for another one.

The people at Shears Yard had organised a launch night on the 28th, and as a relatively new person to the blogging world I was delighted to get an invite to the event. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the original launch night, so was very pleased when I was allowed to defer my invitation to the following week. Even though I was going to be back in the throws of crazy school hours again, I snapped the opportunity up with both hands!

Shears Yard has been newly housed in the building which once was the home of seafood restaurant Livebait, on Wharf Street in the Calls. The ethos of the new kitchen is to deliver a fresh and seasonal menu using intriguing ingredient combinations, all sourced from local suppliers. The building dates back to the 1800s and was formerly owned by a rope and canvas manufacturer. As you walk towards the restaurant they have installed an imposing concrete structure in front of the main entrance, which could fit in very nicely at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It will soon carry its new signage and I’m sure it will do a good job at attracting lots of hungry diners.

IMG_4113On entering the building I could see they’ve gone for a very modern, sleek look, with polished grey concrete floors, stylish unfussy seating and lovely wooden tables, all which really suit the feel of the place. The dining room is very light, especially with the sky lights letting in tons of light. The natural brickwork has been retained, but I was pleased to see the old Livebait tiling had gone. I’d spent many an enjoyable evening at Livebait in the past, but times have changed and I definitely feel the new space looks wonderful. Yes, it may be the newly born sister of the much loved Arts Cafe, but you can sense immediately this place is going off in a different direction to its older sibling.

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On arrival we were warmly greeted and as we were a little early ordered drinks at the bar. My friend was really pleased to see local Yorkshire lager on tap, brewed in Huddersfield, standing shoulder to shoulder with other well known lagers.

IMG_4655A few minutes later we were seated, our lady quickly brought over some water for the table and a bread board with fresh granary bread and a black garlic and mushroom butter. The butter was smooth and packed with woody mushroomy goodness.

Granary bread and black garlic and mushroom butter
Granary bread and black garlic and mushroom butter

Their menu has lots of interesting sounding dishes and uses local ingredients, their aim is to use seasonal ingredients and regularly change the dishes in order to use the best ingredients available throughout the year. Starters range from £5.50 – £8.50, main courses were £10.95 – 21.95 and desserts £5.50 – £7.95. We chose confit sea trout and scallops to start with and fillet of beef and turbot for the main course.


Our starters arrived looking pretty as a picture, I had singled out the scallops on my first glance at the menu. Oh my these were good! Moist and cooked to perfection, scallopy sweet and I loved the whisky and orange glaze which could in the wrong hands have been overpowering, but instead was handled with a deft touch. The haggis was something of a revelation to me, I was a haggis virgin and it really complemented the scallop, providing the yummy meaty, savoury partnership a scallop needs to feel complete. The topping of toasted oats finished the dish with a little crunch.

Scallops 'old fashioned' - Bowmore whiskey and orange glazed King scallops,toasted oats and haggis boudin
Scallops ‘old fashioned’ – Bowmore whiskey and orange glazed King scallops,toasted oats and haggis boudin

My friends starter of confit sea trout was also well received, the fish was moist and flavourful with a trout crackling, as thin and crisp as you’d like giving a another texture, the aerated piccalilli sauce was creamy and had the right level of acidity for the dish. Both were tasty dishes to start with.

Confit sea trout, trout cracking, aerated piccalilli sauce, crab and new potato salad, cauliflower carpaccio and oyster leaf
Confit sea trout, trout cracking, aerated piccalilli sauce, crab and new potato salad, cauliflower carpaccio and oyster leaf

The restaurant soon started to fill up and the atmosphere definitely changed as the evening kicked in, where the really cool low hung lighting came into its own. Service was friendly and our main courses arrived, we’d waited patiently both anticipating great plates of food. We weren’t disappointed when they arrived.

Fillet of butchers farmers beef - bone marrow and oxtail croquettes, slow cooked shallots, oxtail jus and watercress emulsion
Fillet of butchers farmers beef – bone marrow and oxtail croquettes, slow cooked shallots, oxtail jus and watercress emulsion
Roast market turbot, fricassee of chicken and wild mushrooms, toasted bread sauce and young carrots
Roast market turbot, fricassee of chicken and wild mushrooms, toasted bread sauce and young carrots

Both dishes came out looking beautiful, in particular my dish of the fillet of beef. On first inspection the beef looked lovely and pink, the croquettes looked crispy with their golden brown exterior and the oxtail jus looked rich and glossy. Looking good so far, on first tasting it got even better….beef was so tender and was packed full of meaty goodness, the first words I uttered were ‘oh that is so good!!!’. I love deep fried goodies, especially those covered in breadcrumbs and these bone marrow and oxtail croquettes were REALLY yummy!!! Crunchy on the outside and the meat had enough give on the inside and plenty of distinctive oxtail flavour, I tried my best to be a good girl and savour them, when all I really wanted to do was pop them in my mouth one after another! The slow cooked shallots added another dimension to the dish with their sweetness, the watercress emulsion was silky smooth and gave a light refreshing pepperiness, this gave good balance to the dish overall. Oh I mustn’t forget the jus, it was fabulous. It came in its own pouring jug and there was plenty of it, I like that!! It had the perfect consistency, was rich in meaty flavour and glossy in appearance.

My friends turbot was lovely and soft, the fricassee was creamy and rich with moist chicken and earthy wild mushrooms, while the young carrots were well cooked and sweet. A very tasty dish by all accounts as it was eaten in probably half the time that mine was!!!

After being so impressed by our experience so far, we thought it would be frankly rude not to give the dessert menu a look and we found some little gems.

Grapefruit posset, pistachio coral, sherbet and mint ice cream
Grapefruit posset, pistachio coral, sherbet and mint ice cream
Dark chocolate and blackberry tart, banana choc ice and blackberry drops
Dark chocolate and blackberry tart, banana choc ice and blackberry drops

I’m not usually a dessert fan but I prefer something light if I do, so the grapefruit posset looked like a good choice after a meaty main course. It looked really pretty and summery. The posset was light, refreshing, silky smooth with the slight sharpness from the grapefruit, the ice cream was creamy, well made and a good partner to the fruit with its delicate minty freshness. The pistachio coral gave some crunch to the dessert and overall was well balanced in terms of flavour and texture. I would say it was just what the doctor ordered!!

My friends chocolate tart was really good, quite rich and glossy. Topped with a disc of blackberry jelly which had lots of fruit flavour and worked well with the dense chocolate. The banana choc ice was a delightful surprise, when broken into with a fork it revealed some sort of banana goodness that he couldn’t quite put his finger on which was able to make the dessert a little lighter.

At the end of our meal we both were full and we went home very satisfied indeed!! Our meal was complimentary but this did not influence our comments of the evening in any way.

Fine dining heavyweights, such as Crafthouse and Angelica in Trinity Leeds have opened in the last year, both of which I have had niggles with. I did wonder whether Leeds would have a big enough appetite for another fine dining establishment, after our experience it certainly looks like it has been welcomed with open arms. I for one will certainly be back and will be highly recommending it!!

Food: Looks and more importantly tastes great, well-sourced local produce.

Service: Friendly, attentive without being over fussy.

Atmosphere: Has a nice open and relaxed feel to the place.

Shears Yard 

11-15 Wharf St
The Calls
0113 2444144


 Shears Yard on Urbanspoon

100 Maneiras, Lisbon

While researching restaurants for our trip I found that Lisbon seems to be an ever changing city, lots of redevelopment, restoration and new restaurants are popping up all the time. Dinner for our second day in Lisbon was to be at 100 Maneiras (100 Ways in Lisbon), started in 2009 by Ljubomir Stanisic, a Bosnian chef in Barrio Alto. Research said it had started a new breed of restaurant in Lisbon, only having a fixed price tasting menu of 9 courses using lots of molecular gastronomy techniques.DSC_0799

I found that Lisbonites seem to eat quite late in the evening, the earliest I could book a table was for 7:30pm (much later than we’d normally eat at home), but hey, I went with it and after the great reviews had booked a table months ago.

When we arrived the door was locked, so I knocked on the front door and a lady opened it, a little surprised to see us at that time. We were nonetheless welcomed in and sat down in a lovely room, with very clean lines and minimal in its decor.

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The sommelier was obviously passionate about talking about wines, who wouldn’t be if you tasted wines everyday!!! He explained the concept of the wine choices, using the word ‘experience’ to explain our meal. We chose the classic flight of wine to go with our food, this consisted of 5 wines to complement the dishes. Diners don’t know what’s on the final menu beforehand, so we waited with great anticipation for our first course. Our first wine was introduced to us, a Foral de Melgaco Alvarinho 2001 from Minho, it was light and citrusy. Soon followed our first course, a Codfish clothes line, pieces of dehydrated cod pegged onto a clothes line with a red pepper and coriander dip.

Codfish clothesline
Codfish clothesline

The codfish had a dainty salty flavour and an unusual texture, reminiscent of day old prawn crackers, crunchy but with a bit of chewiness. On their own I could eat bags full of things, with the dips which were both excellent (packed with flavour, thick and unctuous) made an really good start to our evening. Shame it lasted about a minute!

The place had really start to fill up from 8pm onwards and the atmosphere really changed, still nice and cosy though. The waiting staff had noticed I was scribbling things down, so they said they would give me the menu with the wine flight to take with me!!! A nice touch and very much appreciated.

The second course was brought in what looked like a polished capsule, called Cauliflower, romanescu and truffle with scallop and peanuts.


Cauliflower, romanescu and truffle with scallop and peanuts
Cauliflower, romanescu and truffle with scallop and peanuts

It had a delicate cauliflower purée and a light drizzle of truffle oil. The perfectly cooked scallops were thinly sliced and lovely and soft, holding up well in terms of flavour to the potentially strong flavours from it’s partnering ingredients. The peanuts (which I normally hate with a passion) actually complemented the dish and gave it a different element of flavour and texture.

Our second wine, also white, a Casal Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 from Lisbon was brought over. This had more body to it, but was still very refreshing and was used to complement the next two dishes. Our third course was called Laminated octopus with sea shore flavours.

Laminated octopus, with sea shore flavours
Laminated octopus, with sea shore flavours

Our waitress informed us that the octopus carpaccio was sprinkled with cornbread crumbs, and the other accompaniments were a barnacle, cockle, and cuttlefish. A foam was used as the sauce and tasted of the sea. All the separate ingredients had distinct flavours, the cuttlefish had a taste reminiscent to the afterburn smell when a sparkler has burnt out, it was also slightly chewy, but maybe because it’s meatier than the related squid, which was it’s only fault really.

Our fourth course was a Smoked duck with topinamburg foam, Madeira wine jelly and foie gras, this was my favourite up to this point in the evening.

Smoked duck with topinamburg foam, Madeira wine jelly and foie gras
Smoked duck with topinamburg foam, Madeira wine jelly and foie gras

The duck was fantastic, the smoking was well judged and meat very soft, the foie gras added a lovely seasoning to the dish, just the right amount was added to the dish so it didn’t become overpowering. The artichoke purée smooth and the ham gave a saltiness to the whole dish. After some research much later, I found out that Topinambur is a Jerusalem artichoke, giving the foam a slightly sweet taste. Lots of combinations of flavour in one hit, making it an excellent dish.

So four dishes done, and our next wine was brought over, a Quinta de Cidro Chardonnay, 2011 from the Douro region. Our next dish was called Sesimbra’s pink swordfish with Caldeirada flavours.

Sesimbra's pink swordfish with Caldeirada flavours
Sesimbra’s pink swordfish with Caldeirada flavours

Another wonderful dish, fantastic meaty swordfish, just on the point of perfectly cooked, which sat on top of a disc of potato and herbs, red pepper sauce and topped with red onion, green pepper and a spiced cookie. The cookie reminded me of beef monster munch (I love beef monster munch so it was all good!), there was also a drizzle of coriander and thyme oil. The waitress did tell me the propr name but because I was scribbling as fast as I could and oohing and ahhing simultaneously I forgot to write it down!

A palette cleanser was brought next to our table, a Hendrick’s white tea with cucumber and rose raviolis and spearmint caviar.

Hendrick's white tea with cucumber and rose raviolis and spearmint caviar
Hendrick’s white tea with cucumber and rose raviolis and spearmint caviar


We were advised to drink it like a shot, then pop the spearmint caviar to get the desired effect. Of course, we followed these instructions, knocking them back as carefully as we could. It was so good, the rose ravioli giving a floral smell and flavour, the cucumber kept it fresh and with the spearmint caviar popping away in the mouth, it gave an extra dimension. The whole thing really did a fabulous job at cleansing the palette!!!

Our fourth wine and we were introduced to a red, Fita Preta, 2011 from Alenja. Our sommelier said this would cut through the risotto and provide acidity to the dish. They in my eyes they definitely saved the best till the end, a veal cheek with apple risotto.

Veal cheek and apple risotto
Veal cheek and apple risotto

Oh my, the veal was so tender it must have been cooked slowly for hours, the risotto al dente with sharp apple running through it was wonderful. Another dish that I didn’t want to end!!!

Next were the desserts, to accompany them a dessert wine called Aneto Colheita Tardia, 2007 from the Douro region. Not too sweet, but lovely and warming.


The kitchen had adapted the desserts so they would be gluten free for my fellow diner which was much appreciated.

Pear textures with puff pastry and foie gras, Chocolate brownie with red fruits, Pineapple carpaccio with coconut panna cora and coriander
Pear textures with puff pastry and foie gras, Chocolate brownie with red fruits, Pineapple carpaccio with coconut panna cora and coriander


My friends will tell you that I’m not a chocolate fan at all, but the bitesize chocolate brownie was extremely moist and very moreish (I never thought I’d ever say that about anything with chocolate!!) The pear and foie gras, an unusual combination but seemed to worked well and the pineapple carpaccio with coconut panna cota was lovely and refreshing.

Our final course was a lychee soup with tropical fruit, herbs and a vanilla macarron arrived a few moments later.

Lychee soup with tropical fruit, herbs and vanilla macarron
Lychee soup with tropical fruit, herbs and vanilla macarron

The lychee soup light and slightly sweet, the macarron had a sugary sweetness with a slight crunch and the olives in the soup giving that umami savoury flavour to the final course.

Overall a very enjoyable evening was had. Lots of interesting flavours, good informative service and technically very good cooking. Not the cheapest meal I’ve ever had, but it definitely was memorable!!

100 Maneiras
Rua do Teixeira 35
+351 910 307 575

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
0113 278 7255