Tag Archives: turbot

Dinner @ Dish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tonka bean espresso martini
Tonka bean espresso martini

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

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

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

Service: Excellent, friendly and attentive staff.

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

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

dishdining.co.uk

Dish Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon

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.

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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
Leeds
LS2 7EH
0113 2444144
http://www.shearsyard.com

 

 Shears Yard on Urbanspoon

Lunch to bring me back to life…oh yes please!

It’s been over a week since my last post and I basically haven’t had time to eat or sleep since Wednesday. For those of you who don’t know, I may be a regular eater outer in my free time, but I am a high school teacher during the week. Wednesday we got the dreaded call from OFSTED and since then I have literally worked non-stop, surviving on 4/5 hours sleep in 2 days.

During the last few days I have missed my regular yummy food mid-week session and have been hankering (as usual) for somewhere good to go. I’m a person who loves to research stuff, e.g. holidays – I make a detailed itinerary from weeks of preparation so I can see absolutely everything and a similar thing happens with going out for food. I am always looking at new restaurants, reviews etc. I can’t even remember what day it was last week because I’m still in a state of being a zombie (having lost hours of my life I will never get back from working nearly non-stop for 2 days. Well I’m going off the point now, I was once again looking at restaurants and I saw one called Dish, and I thought I’d recognised some of the interior from a place I had loved and really missed when it closed down last year. This place was called Aglassto which I had frequented many times and had longed for something else to open in it’s place. Well the day I had seen it, just by complete coincidence was the day before it was awarded Best Newcomer at the Oliver Awards (a yearly ceremony which awards the best in the regions culinary talent). This definitely made up my mind that I had to try this place out.

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Now the proprietor and head chef  Eddy Nuttall comes from good stock, having worked at Heathcotes and was part of the team at Jamie’s Italian so I was certainly hoping for good things. They say they offer modern British food using local produce and ingredients from sustainable methods. They are open for lunch and dinner and also have a pre-theatre menu and cocktail bar. We had arrived just before opening at 12pm as I wanted to get there before it got busy. I’d read it had been popular since it opened, and especially after winning best newcomer award, I assumed other people would be doing the same as me and wanted to see what the fuss was about. The man who served us was very friendly and helpful, my friend had a baby’s pushchair and they immediately offered her a high chair and put the pushchair out of the way. He also pointed out that they have a child and baby menu too. They also have a gluten free menu with a good range of starters and main courses. I think the chef has thought carefully about the menu and what could be done to cater for gluten free diners which is excellent. After a perusal over their menu we decided on starters of wild boar and venison salami, rocket salad and extra virgin olive oil, east coast crab bruschetta with scotch bonnet chilli, horseradish and preserved lemon and smoked haddock salad with smoked olive tapenade. Our main courses were a pot roasted chicken with sweet potato and purple sprouting broccoli, turbot en papillote with fennel, pearl barley and a salad and finally a salt cured corned beef burger (gluten free ciabatta bun) served with beetroot relish, pickled chillies and thyme baked potato wedges.

In terms of drinks we ordered a bottle of chilean sauvignon blanc which was a decent price at £17.50. The wine was lovely, crisp and very quaffable. It didn’t take long and we were on the 2nd bottle.

The east coast crab bruschetta was nice, the crab was lovely and creamy with a good proportion of white and brown crab meat.  I couldn’t really taste any scotch bonnet chilli or horseradish though which would have made it come alive more. The bread that it sat on was quite difficult to cut and I was a little afraid that if I tried too hard it would spill off the plate. The preserved lemon was a good addition as it cut through the richness of the crab.

East coast crab bruschetta, with scotch bonnet chilli, horseradish and preserved lemon.
East coast crab bruschetta, with scotch bonnet chilli, horseradish and preserved lemon.

The wild boar and venison salami was lovely and had a real depth of meaty flavour, it came already seasoned with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. I was told it was so delicious they could have eaten it twice over.

Wild boar and venison salami with a rocket salad and extra virgin olive oil.
Wild boar and venison salami with a rocket salad and extra virgin olive oil.

The last starter of smoked haddock salad with a smoked tapenade was excellent, the fish perfectly cooked and seasoned. The tapenade in particular was a real winner, it had a punch of olive but in a mild way because it had been smoked.

Smoked haddock salad with smoked olive tapenade.
Smoked haddock salad with smoked olive tapenade.

The restaurant had mostly filled up by the time we had finished our starters, so I was definitely glad we had arrived when the restaurant had opened.

The main courses arrived and all looked great, my turbot en papillote was very yummy. The fish was perfectly cooked, the clams were nice and soft, fennel gave a slight aniseed flavour. The pearl barley was al dente and was a great addition to the dish , I hadn’t had barley with fish before so it was something new for me. The side salad was nice and fresh, but I would have quite happily eaten the dish without the salad and I’m not sure if it actually needed it.

Turbot en papillote with fennel, pearl barley and lemon juice.
Turbot en papillote with fennel, pearl barley and lemon juice.

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The burger was tasty, the actual salt cured corned beef burger was served in strips and was very nice. It came with a whole green chilli and gherkin. The bread was gluten free, as requested, it was very moist (surprising because all the gluten free bread products have been very dry unless they had lots of fruit in them). We think it was kept moist by the fact it was fresh and heavily buttered.

Salt cured corn beef burger in a gluten free ciabatta bun, beetroot relish, pickled chillies and thyme baked potato wedges.
Salt cured corn beef burger in a gluten free ciabatta bun, beetroot relish, pickled chillies and thyme baked potato wedges.

The pot roasted chicken breast with sweet potato mash and purple sprouting broccoli was nice but a little on the bland side. After cutting into the thickest part of the chicken my friend had noticed that a blood vessel was still very red and not cooked enough for her liking so she notified the waiter and the chicken was sent back. After approximately five minutes it came back and thankfully was still moist. The vegetables were cooked well and accurately. The waiter was very efficient and had it sorted without any fuss whatsoever.

Pot roasted chicken breast with sweet potato and
Pot roasted chicken breast with sweet potato and purple sprouting broccoli

Once again we weren’t planning on having desserts, but they looked so yummy on the menu. I ordered the apple crumble with tonka bean custard, one fellow diner ordered the lemon tart with goji berry compote and the other ordered one of their digestif cocktails called the Monkey mule (Monkey shoulder triple distilled whiskey, lime, syrup, ginger beer and angostura bitters).

Apple crumble with tonka bean custard.
Apple crumble with tonka bean custard.
Lemon tart with goji berry compote.
Lemon tart with goji berry compote.

The apple crumble was excellent, the apples were soft with a bit of sharpness and the tonka bean custard was creamy, giving a very mild vanilla flavour to the custard. The lemon tart was delicious, it had a thin golden sugar top giving a crunch, a soft zingy lemon filling and thin base. The goji berry compote was fantastic and had a sort of sweet but sour flavour to it. The meal in total was £103 for 3 people, considering we had 2 bottles of wine, 3 starters and main courses, 2 desserts and a cocktail I think that’s not bad really. The quality of the food was good but there’s definitely room for improvement, the service was great and it’s definitely a welcome addition to the restaurant scene in Leeds. I’m hoping this place will last longer than it’s predecessor because I’d like to come back and taste some of the other dishes on their menu. 

18 Great George Street
Leeds
LS1 3DW
0113 8276875