Tag Archives: The Grub & Grog Shop

Leeds Food Tour

With the whole leaving Leeds and moving down south thing going on, I planned a mini food tour to visit some of my favourites in and around the city. The massive choice I had at my disposal made whittling choices down a difficult one, but don’t me wrong, it’s a ‘hardship’ I was happy to take on!! An all day feed calls for a little restraint and careful pacing, especially when you eat as much as I do, the last thing I wanted was to be full to bursting after lunch!

So Friday I dragged a friend round with me to kill two birds with one stone; firstly it gave me a great excuse (not that I really need one) to go visit my faves, secondly I could introduce her to a few spots I constantly talk about.


For breakfast it was a toss up between The Grub and Grog Shop at Northern Monk Refectory and The Greedy Pig; the Pig’s full English is my go-to breakfast (over their pancakes which are also top notch) when I visit, but knowing what the day entailed pushed me towards something smaller. I’d been banging on to the point of exhaustion to my friend about Grub and Grog, so put my money where my mouth was. Their breakfast menu definitely spoils with every dish – my homemade crumpets were made even better by beautiful fermented wild honey and they soon won over my friend with buckwheat blinis with all the trimmings and North Star coffee. I think they’ve won a new fan and she’s vowed to be back.


Buckwheat blinis with cinnamon, fruit compote and yoghurt

Homemade crumpets with fermented wild honey

My love for Leeds independent coffee scene has been well documented on the blog, so it was inevitable there’d be a mid-morning caffeine stop, the last few years has seen the rise of independents above the many chains scattered across the city and with local roasters, such as North Star and Maude it continues to grow from strength to strength. Of the big four (Laynes Espresso, La Bottega Milanese, Mrs Atha’s and OppositeLaynes is my absolute fave and I’m gonna miss ordering my regular; a piccolo and relaxing even for a short time in the tranquility of the shop, all whilst people watching; whether it be the beautifully attired baristas do their thing or Leeds folk go about their daily business outside.


Lunch called for great food in relaxed surroundings, so for me The Reliance fitted the bill! This indie’s been a fave since the early days of my life in Leeds, some 14 years ago and we’ve celebrated many events here – birthdays, Christmases and reunions, it’s always drawn me back basically because they do a great job full stop! Its laid back, relaxed atmosphere and friendly service puts you at ease, they understand the use of local, seasonal ingredients and produce great dishes. It doesn’t cost the earth either! 

It surprised us both that we’d unwittingly gone for a veggie lunch and absolutely beautiful it was too – chargrilled courgettes with fettle cheese, chilli and mint, alongside some greens with a knock out hazelnut butter laced with a touch of chilli. I could’ve eaten a double portion of my herb tabbouleh with aubergine, brought it to life with pomegranate seeds – it was pretty damn awesome! An obligatory side of fries was no surprise choice as far as I was concerned, as they’re always good. 



Chargrilled courgettes, fettle, mint and chilli

Herb tabbouleh with grilled aubergines, Harissa yoghurt and pomegranate

Dinner wasn’t booked till after 7pm, so we had a few leisurely hours to kill – what better way than spending them with cocktails and a mini feed to keep us going?! I wanted to pop into Roland’s for one of their fancy cocktails, but we’d got there before opening time, damn shame, so went back up the street to Neon Cactus for a caipirinha and a lagerita. For the mini feed I suggested Red Chilli, even though their originally from the other side of the Pennines it was the ideal place as I’d developed a hankering for dumplings. Of course one portion of dumplings is never enough, so we also shared salt and pepper chicken wings and sesame pan fried dumplings because lets face it, it had to be done!  Of the few Chinese restaurants my parents have tried in Leeds, even they liked it so that can only be a good thing, especially with their exacting standards. 

Caipirinha and Sammy’s Lagerita

Guotie – shallow fried Beijing dumplings with minced pork

Salt and pepper chicken wings

Pan fried minced pork dumplings with sesame, ginger and spring onion

For dinner my first choice was to revisit Zucco, this Meanwood Italian has established itself amongst the best restaurants in the city. I’m so glad I booked as it got busy quickly and for good reason too – glorious food and friendly service. We settled for two plates each, I predictably went for dishes I’d enjoyed before – beef pappardelle and zucchini, my friend thought her choices in particular the smoked haddock and scallops were beautifully cooked. It was probably a good thing we weren’t really sharing as perhaps that dish didn’t really lend itself to it unlike the others. Regardless, the dishes were cooked faultlessly and it was another place my friend would definitely be keeping in mind for the future. 


Smoked haddock and scallops

Deep fried zucchini

Braised beef pappardelle

Flash fried verdura

Originally the plan was to make Bundobust my last stop for a spot of old school supper and join in their 1st birthday celebrations, but however tempting the idea was I just couldn’t manage anything else!!

If you had a day to eat your way through Leeds or anywhere else that matter, where would you go?








The Grub & Grog Shop @ NMBCo

I’d been dying to try out The Grub & Grog Shop’s food at their new residence, serving in Northern Monk Brewery‘s refectory, having not had chance to visit properly until now. I’ll happily admit from the off that I’ve been a fan of the Grub & Grog team for a while now, having enjoyed their food at different events in and around Leeds, whether it be Veg Out, Amazing Graze, Belgrave Feast and more recently Cornucopia at the Corn Exchange.

Serving throughout the day means if you’re fortunate to be in town you can drop in whenever you are hungry for a quick feed and a drink. It’s times like these I really wish I worked in the city centre!! With its location in Holbeck, on the Marshall Mills site, it could be a bit of an unusual spot for many to take the trouble to go to, but it’s great for me as I tend to park this end of the town anyway! Lucky me!

One of the main reasons why I was there, apart from having a spot of dinner, was because there was a gathering of other like minded Leeds food folk, arranged by Banh Mi Booth’s Emily Boothroyd to have a meeting of minds about food and stuff. 


On the dinner menu, available 12pm -10pm are lots of interesting, well thought dishes that sound comforting and perfect for the colder, darker evenings that have kicked in. Dishes like pan fried river trout, with roasted celeriac and ox tongue hash with cauliflower mash amongst others.

My eyes saw ox tongue and that was it really, even after looking down the rest of the menu my was decision made, to accompany it a side of their Yorkshire fries. When choosing something to wash it down I was definitely in need of help though, as I have virtually no clue when it comes to ale! Wanting something light and easy drinking I was pointed in the direction of Northern Monks Blue Habit, a blueberry Saison, which was lovely and was exactly was I was after. All of which can be served as pints, halves or thirds, I loved the glasses and would love even more to buy some for the house!!

Ox tongue hash with cauliflower mash

The hash had good flavour and the ox tongue wasn’t scrimped on, it was quite a soft hash and had lots of give in it, for me personally I would’ve loved more of a crust on the top to give it a tad more texture. It sat on a smooth cauliflower mash and was topped with pickled veg, which did its job providing acidity and a shot of colour to the dish. Crisp metallic kale and a light gravy made it a well-rounded dish. The Yorkshire fries were different types of root veg including potato, carrot with an unctuous mayo dip on the side. A lovely side. It’s something I could eat again without question.


I’d definitely recommend The Grub & Grog Shop, next time I’ll be giving the breakfast or lunch a go. Don’t let the slightly off the beaten track location put you off, because its great! 

The total cost for my meal came to £10.30.

Food: tastes good, the menu caters well for vegetarians as well as meat eaters. 

Service: food is ordered at the bar and brought in good time. Staff are knowledge on the drinks and thoughtful when it came to pairing with food. 

Atmosphere: the place has a relaxed ambience, easy to feel comfortable.

Northern Monk Brewery & The Refectory Tap Room
The Old Flax Store
Holbeck Urban Village
LS11 9YJ.

Cornucopia Underground photoblog @ Corn Exchange, Leeds


Last Saturday Leeds’ Corn Exchange was the venue for a celebration of the local areas finest food and drink – Cornucopia Underground, organised by Leeds Food & Drink Association. Showing off their skills with their wares were a number of stalls, including George and Joseph, The Harrogate Preserves Company, The Marvellous Tea Room and Sweet Sensations showing off their baking prowess. Sela Bar were in attendance with their tasty pizzas and Market Delivered were also there promoting their home delivery service with a nifty spinning wheel, a bit of fun like being a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune! The Corn Exchange was used to good effect with its hidden alcoves being the stage for different ticketed events.


Here’s a selection of photos from some of the independents at the event:

Sweet Sensations
Market Delivered
George & Joseph
Harrogate Preserves
The Marvellous Tea Room


Jim and Dan from The Grub & Grog Shop had their make-shift monastery with Northern Monk Brew Company’s ale’s on tap and delicious smells emanating from pans and hot plates. They were showcasing ‘a taste of things to come’ when they start working with Northern Monk Brew Company at the old flax mill in Holbeck, the lads will be serving their food from The Refectory. I was happy to try any of them, as they all sounded great, so closed my eyes and picked at random the Lamb Bacon, it didn’t disappoint. I’m not the greatest lover of lamb normally, but if lamb tasted like this I’d eat it more often….meaty and salty from the curing process, accompanied by soft barley and roasted carrots; it was delicious! I’m anticipating great things at their new venture in Holbeck.


The Grub & Grog Shop’s Lamb Bacon!

I’d pre-booked a ticket for Spoons and Booze, an event devised by Dough Bistro’s Luke Downing. Here we were served a tasting menu where each mouthful was made using Yorkshire ingredients and paired with a complementary drink.

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Dough Bistro's Spoons & Booze
Dough Bistro’s Spoons & Booze

Our veritable mini feast included Whitby scallop, Swillington Farm chicken, Grassington ham, Leventhorpe wine, beef from Barnsley and Fountain’s Gold cheese. I can only speak for myself, but I loved the event! Being up so close watching Luke do his stuff, listen to him speak passionately about his food. Out of all the things we ate, my favourites were the Swillington chicken nugget with mushroom mousse and Grassington ham crisp, the black pudding bon bon with rhubarb brown sauce and smoked oyster foam and finally the lavender & lemon posset with ginger cake. 

We need more of these types of events, where local independents can show off. I’m hoping to see a lot more of this type of event in the future!


Manjit’s Kitchen Yellow Horsebox Launch Party!

Manjit’s Kitchen had their official launch party today (31st August), to celebrate their successful crowdfunder campaign. The reasons for the campaign have been spoken about on many occasions, but if you are unaware of why click here to read what Manjit and Michael have been through.

Having seen their yellow horse box being used at a number of events the last month or so, it was truly a fantastic sight seeing it in all its glory, basking in glorious sunshine on the last day of August. From what was an horrendous act of vandalism to Manjit and Michael’s property, they’ve managed with the support of family and friends to convert a horse box into an Indian style chaat station.


The venue for the celebration was Wharf Chambers, I’d arrived whilst the sun was blazing, the horse box looked great, and to keep Manjit’s Kitchen company were two well-known fellows The Grub and Grog Shop and That Old Chestnut. Therefore plenty to get your teeth into! 

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My friend Alice and I were gonna try and get a bit of everything from everyone if possible, so with a 3 for £10 combo from Manjit’s, it was a no brainer. We’d be fools not to indulge, going for the Watermelon chaat, Samosa Chaat and Avocado Pani Puri.

The thing with Manjit’s food for me is it combines great elements together, without making me crave meat, and that’s saying something considering I’m such a hungry carnivore. The mix of textures, heat, sharpness and fresh flavours in Manjit’s food always brings people, including me  back for more without fail!


The Grub and Grog Shop had two corkers on the menu with Beetroot in stout, and Courgette & chilli fritters. Bloody gorgeous the pair of them.  The beetroot lovely and sticky from the stout, whilst its sweetness was still apparent, the carrot brought the acidity and I loved the malt oil, a new one on me. When I think of malt I think Horlicks, like my dad used to drink every evening. The fritters were lovely with a good kick of chilli and more malt sprinkled on top, and the herb sauce brightened up each mouthful. So good!


That Old Chestnut were on hand for pudding, with their selection of scrumptious cakes and my favourite of theirs – Tiffin bars! I couldn’t leave without taking the last of their Chocolate and Peanut tiffin bars. 


What a great afternoon spent seeing one of the original trailblazers in Leeds’ street food scene still showing the way!!




Veg Out @ Wharf Chambers, Leeds

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

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


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





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




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




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


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



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

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

Veg Out
Wharf Chambers
23-25 Wharf Street