Tag Archives: vegetarian

World Meat Free Day!!!

It’s World Meat Free Day – who knew, not me until half an hour ago!! I’m a little late posting this now, certainly for breakfast or lunch, however there’s plenty of time to think of dinner, and anyway what about tomorrow and every day after, it’s a handy list to use whenever I reckon. 

Leeds has lots of fantastic spots whether they are full on vegetarian, vegan or places that have a knack of creating menus which great meat free dishes. 

Here are some of Leeds’ best –

The Greedy Pig – their veggie breakfast has almost reached folklore status around Leeds, in particular their cornbread. Don’t get me wrong this duo are meat lovers, but when it comes to veg options they treat it just as seriously! Look out for their supper club The Swine That Dines and their next Roots to Shoots night.

The Grub & Grog Shop – with the use of local, organic local ingredients wherever possible, their menu is more weighted towards meat-free dishes. Go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and don’t expect anything less than really tasty food that’s reasonably priced and pretty easy on the eyes too.

Humpit – this Corn Exchange spot is famed for its falafel in pita and the humpit classic, a bargain too. Perfect for brunch or lunch!

Prashad – this Drighlington based Gujarati restaurant is popular for good reason, as a little trip out will reward you with top notch vegetarian Indian food! There’s a lot to love here, I love the dahi puri, chaat and massala dosa.

Bundobust – the love-child of Bradford pub the Sparrow and above mentioned Prashad, this place needs no talking up! It’s a serious challenge settling on a few dishes here, but if i’m pushed my faves would be the egg bhurji, massala dosa, bundo chaat, veg rice dry fry and okra fries….told you I couldn’t stick to a few!  Oh, don’t forget the mango lassi to go with it!

Tharavadu – this award-winning Keralan restaurant has friendly knowledgeable staff and serves beautifully spiced dishes.

Sandinista – not normally talked about for its food, but their kitchen serves up a decent selection of meat free tapas style dishes, ideal for sharing and reasonably priced.

The Reliance – I’ve never been disappointed with The Reliance, you’ll get dishes created with ingredients treated simply and cooked well. Their meat-free dishes are made with just as much care and attention as everything else here.

Friends of Ham – yes I now, who’d have thought it?! Obviously their wide choice of meat isn’t an option, but they do offer a nice selection of meat-free salads and some vegetarian cheeses too.

Ephesus – this Turkish restaurant based in Rodley may have a menu full of meat based dishes, however I could graze on the hot and cold mezze alone, that along with their flatbread and I’d leave more than happy. In addition, there are another handful of veggie options such as their vegetarian pide and roasted veg with rice.

Zucco – one of Leeds’ best at the moment – food here is pretty awesome across the board. Their near legendary deep fried zucchini is a must.

Mill Kitchen – this lovely cafe found in Farsley uses local sustainable ingredients as much as possible to produce a good selection of freshly made veg and vegan options. The menu’s full of choices be it breakfast or lunch, also open Friday and Saturday evenings.

Cielo Blanco – this Mexican spot in Trinity Leeds has a much expanded menu compared to its Neon Cactus sibling, with options across the board; from their tacos, quesadillas to their burritos and sides.

Bilbao Bar – whether you go for the tapas or their pintxos (Saturday), there’s always enough to get your teeth into. Their tortilla alone is worth a visit, in my opinion it’s the best in the city.

Where would recommend for great meat-free food?

Bundobust!

Bundobust is OPEN! I know, it officially opened on the 11th July, but I’ve waited to say it for so long, so I’m gonna. It finally happened, with hoards of Leeds folk waiting for this moment for ages, from the looks of it on social media they were RAVENOUS!

Oh….are there some of you unaware of Bundobust? Well, I like to think of Bundobust as a meeting of minds from Prashad – locally and nationally renowned Gujarati restaurant originally from Bradford, now based in Drighlington, and The Sparrow – well known watering hole in Bradford. Serving up Indian vegetarian street food with style and drinks to match.

The team who came up with this gem are Mayur Patel (Prashad) and Mark Husak (The Sparrow), who’ve teased us with their pop-ups at different venues and events. So much so that when they planted the seed of a permanent venture in Leeds city centre, I’m certain a cry of joy could be heard across Leeds, that’s what I like to imagine happened anyway! 

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Following a couple of preview evenings a continuous stream of teasers on social media quickly ensued, and with early reviews praising both food and venue to the hilt, things looked promising and my expectations were high. By the time of the official opening, word had spread like wildfire demonstrated by a street-long queue waiting to get in!! 

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The place is very laid back – walking through the entrance you’re soon surrounded by a jigsaw puzzle of recycled doors, cushions made from sacks once containing rice and dhal, chip board, naked brick walls and also comes with a dose of quirky minimalism combined with a slice of charm.

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The place is a bit tardis-like, as from the street I didn’t expect the amount of square footage it actually has, and comes with an inspired inside/outside space.

The location could possibly be a stroke of genius; in the centre of town, but far enough from the hustle and bustle of Boar Lane. Maybe like the Northern Quarter, Bundobust’s presence, along with nearby neighbours Friends of Ham and Laynes Espresso will spark the resurgence of this end of town too!

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One thing I immediately noticed walking up to the bar is the signage, I LOVE it!!! This place sets its stall out immediately, with the phrase ‘no beef’ predominately positioned at the bar. 

They seem to have struck a harmonious chord, with the philosophy of combining craft beers and Indian street food at the heart of Bundobust. Not far off a match made in heaven, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t drink a lot of the stuff!! With this in mind they have a grand selection of handpicked beverages, chosen to pair well with Indian food such as IPA’s and Pilsners. Also great news for those with a gluten intolerance (other half included) Bundobust stock Mongozo, this means they don’t need to miss out either. 

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Being the innovators that they are the team like to experiment, on the bar was a piece of apparatus I hadn’t seen before. Marko informed me it was a Hop Randall which infuses other flavours into beer, such as pineapple and apricot. Even though I’m not the greatest beer or ale drinker by any stretch of the imagination, I may have to sample this at some point!

For those without a penchant for ale, their wine and cocktail list may tempt you, including the Bhang Lassi which I remember fondly from their Belgrave residential. Nestled amongst the choice of soft drinks is the Indian staple Mango Lassi for non-alcohol drinkers. One thing I was gutted about just because I only spotted it as I was leaving – lovely soothing and warm House Chai, having been introduced to this by a mate, I need to remember to get some next time. A fantastic addition to the drinks menu, these guys really have thought of virtually everything!

So what about the food? The food menu or ‘munch’ as they’ve named it is short and concise, 12 items at present, but it’s also well planned as it consists of items which are ideal depending on how hungry you are, whether it be a few snacks to have with their beers, or something more substantial. Marko suggested one small snack with a drink or two, e.g. the Okra fries, for something to accompany it either a samosa-based dish (Bundo Chaat and Bhel Puri) or Bhaji, and for a more filling dish the Dosa, Pethis or Idli Sambhar.

I’d been preparing myself all day for this three courses it was! First the Okra Fries (their memory still echoes from their guest residential at the Belgrave), the Bhaji and Massala Dosa, and to drink a Mango Lassi. The Lassi was perfect for what had been a reasonably warm day, sweet and thick enough to make it incredibly moreish. The addition of the fennel seed and aniseed just makes it come alive and gives it vibrancy.

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Turn over from ordering to table was pretty reasonable; good news for my rumbling belly.

The Okra Fries are a great snack, perfect for dipping into while sipping on of their specially selected beverages. They are exactly as described on the menu – crisp and spiced.

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The bhaji were pretty much perfect – accurately spiced, fried perfectly so they arrived crisp. To complement the bhaji was a tangy sauce, which didn’t play second fiddle and definitely came through nicely. Gotta love fried stuff, in moderation of course!

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I love a Massala Dosa, I remember my first at Prashad and this is a smaller version of that. With a crisp, wafer thin rice flour and lentil crepes, the perfect vehicle for the curry it accompanies. A well balanced, all rounder of a dish – lightly spiced curry, the potato and onion are evident and haven’t just disintegrated, the lentil soup brings a little oomph and the coconut chutney does what it’s supposed to and cools it down when required.

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After all the pop-ups and the hard work, everything has come to fruition and I for one am a HUGE fan. Looking at the response they’ve had it’s obvious I’m one of many!! Bundobust does pose a problem for me though, just the fact that I literally walk up Mill Hill, passed Bundobust every time I come into Leeds may prove lethal, 100% in a good way that is!!

I suppose the saying ‘good things come to those who wait’, would ring true here as the team have delivered big time. If you haven’t been yet, you should go.
The cost of my meal was £15.50. 

I’d definitely recommend Bundobust!!!

Food: Great Indian street food, perfect for sharing or for having all too yourself!!

Service: Staff are lovely and friendly, good at helping with menu choices and food waiting times were very reasonable.

Atmosphere: Good atmosphere, the place had a real buzz even when it was just half full (got there before the after work crowd arrived).

Bundobust
6 Mill Hill  
Leeds
LS1 5DQ
http://www.bundobust.com

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!

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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.

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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! 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
Leeds
LS2 7EQ
07523307089

Pho Restaurant launch night @ Trinity Kitchen

Thursday night was the Pho Vietnamese Restaurant Launch Night at Trinity Kitchen in Leeds. After reviewing them on the opening day a few weeks ago, I was invited by Libby Andrews their Head of Marketing to the event. Initially I’d thought I couldn’t make it, because I’d bought tickets for the Leeds film festival, but I didn’t think twice once I realised I could fit it in, so invited a foodie friend to join me. It’s obvious that the idea of a launch evening is to promote what Pho do best – produce food with tasty, fresh flavours. We were amongst a number of other Leeds based bloggers with drinks and food in plentiful supply. After a long day at school my friend and I were both tired, with the need to relax after a pretty full on day being paramount. While we put the world to rights we were treated to a selection of dishes from the sides and snacks on the menu.

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Gỏi cuốn: summer rolls (prawn and chicken) with herbs, vermicelli & pickle
Gỏi cuốn: summer rolls (prawn and chicken) with herbs, vermicelli & pickle

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Chả giò: spring rolls (pork) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (pork) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (veggie) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (veggie) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Nem nướng: pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Nem nướng: pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip

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Mực chiên giòn: tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip
Mực chiên giòn: tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip

I must say that it all tasted great, with their typical fresh vibrant flavours coming to the fore, a great use of herbs, dips and heat from chilli where required. The greedy person that I am thought it was shame we didn’t sample their noodle or rice dishes, it would have given us a better overview of their menu. They are really tasty too, but saying that I was pretty full after all the snacks and sides they treated us to!! My favourites from the evening were the pork spring rolls which were crisp with a good filling and the pork and lemongrass meatball wraps. I’d love to try to make the meatballs at home, they were very moreish, juicy and had great flavour from the aromatic lemongrass.

Once again it showed me how tasty their food is, it’s quick, fresh, healthy, good value and best of all really yummy!!

With this being the only purely Vietnamese place in Leeds City Centre to my knowledge, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been a huge success so far. Asian food always seems to be a winner and be extremely popular. As far other restaurants in Leeds if you want a Vietnamese fix you can get some at Viet-Thai in Stanningley and at Tong Palace on Vicar Lane which serves both Chinese and Vietnamese food.

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen,
401 Trinity Leeds,
Albion Street,
Leeds
LS1 5AY
0113 245 6926