A serendipitously meat free round up good things to eat and drink in Leeds in August
The way we eat is changing. It's noticeable in our monthly round-ups of the best things to eat and drink in Manchester and Leeds. The balance is shifting and meat and fish are appearing less frequently. Make of that what you will but this month's Leeds dishes are all meat-free and include a wonderful breakfast from Laynes, a special kind of toast from Bundo and a great pint in Hebden.
Read on for the best things to eat and drink in Leeds in August.
Wild mushroom and blue cheese on brioche, Laynes Espresso (£8)
Wild mushrooms done badly can be a right slimy, soulless mess. Done well, however, gently sautéed with butter and garlic til golden, tossed with creamy blue cheese and topped with a poached egg? Well, they’re one of life's great foraged pleasures, aren't they? Throw a bit of wilted spinach, lemon and chilli into the mix and drape the lot over some buttery, toasted brioche and you’ve got a stellar addition to Laynes' breakfast menu. Laynes has been going strong for over a decade as a top-tier coffee shop, ideal to stumble into straight off the train, it’s easy to see why the longevity. The coffee, of course, is great too - the only issue is getting a table. Kelly Bishop @keliseating
Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station St, Leeds LS1 5DL
Lulla, Beak Brewery – Drink, Hebden Bridge (£5.40)
There are plenty of reasons to pop over to Hebden, but top of my list for the atmosphere, the clientele, and the staff is Drink – a bottle shop-cum-bar with a vibe that reminds me a bit of Beer Temple in Amsterdam. I’ll typically run or walk the 10-ish miles over the fells, turning up with some sort of half-eaten sandwich that owner Liz will pair with something from the fridge (a great way to take advantage of her enormous beer knowledge). But this week’s highlight was an absolute beaut of a table beer from Beak – a brewery whose excellent beers don’t wind up on taps round my neck of the woods often enough. Lulla is comfortably under 4% but absolutely bursting with citrus fruit from the mix of Simcoe and Citra, with the London Fog yeast balancing out the tart hop profile with a bit of lingering sweetness. And look at that colour. Absolutely delicious.
Drink, 15 Market Street, Hebden Bridge HX7 6EU
Gobi toast, Bundobust (£5.25)
Bundobust recently launched its Indo-Chinese specials and I have been mainlining gobi toast ever since. It's like prawn toast but no prawns were harmed in the making, making this dish veggie-friendly. Thick bread soldiers are topped with spicy potato mix, a sprinkling of garlic and ginger cauliflower, and mixed sesame seeds. And then, gentle reader, it is deep fried to golden perfection and served alongside a creamy, fragrant, coconut korma dipping sauce. It's crispy and gooey in one glorious mouthful. While you're there, you should grab the salt and pepper okra fries. In fact, you should order all of the Indo-Chinese specials because they're just excellent, such a fun balance between sweet, sour, and warming spice. Bravo, team Bundo.
The specials are available until August 29, though Bundobust should consider my dish of the month nomination as an official petition to list gobi toast on the menu permanently. Feel free to support this motion with relentless tweets/Instagram DMs directed toward Bundobust, maybe we need a hashtag? #PermaGobiToast?
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds LS1 5DQ
Lemon verbena panna cotta, The Moorcock Inn (£7)
It could, of course, have been the crispy smoked potatoes with roasted yeast mayo. Or maybe the tangy, dark-crusted sourdough with cultured butter. The BBQ beef sirloin was pretty damn fine too, actually. This is, after all, the Moorcock, where there are always good things to be had.
But my dish of the month this time around is jelly and ice cream for grown-ups. A panna cotta, just set, had been delicately dosed up with mild lemon verbena. Rose jelly, all wibble, was a throwback to childhood birthday parties. A mound of fleshy baked cherries added fruity, brambly heft. You can keep your strawberries and cream, here’s a proper summer slammer.
The Moorcock, Moor Bottom Ln, Norland, Sowerby Bridge HX6 3R
Read next: Restaurant deals, discounts and offers in Leeds: August 2022
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