Simple sweet treats, hot new spicy dishes and sushi heaven just some of our favourite dishes

BIG flavours on prawns, big ideas on sushi – the seafood box is ticked in this month’s roundup of our food and drink team’s best dishes. We’re also loving a good lunch, with a wrap, a sandwich and an empanada making it onto the list. Here’s what we recommend you get your hands on - and your teeth into - this October.

2019 10 01 Best Leeds Kanassa Kitchen Empanada

Smoked Aubergine Empanada - Kanassa Kitchen (£5)

I went to Kirkgate Market to get my hands on some food from Kanassa after reading Jenessa’s review of their Brunswick event back in May. They’ve been teasing us with pop-ups over the past few months, and have finally become permanent residents of Kirkgate Market’s food hall. Crispy maize flour offers a satisfyingly audible crunch as you bite into it, giving way to a hearty filling of potato, aubergine and mama Kanassa’s chipotle paste. It’s gentle in its smokiness, and the parsley chimichurri and pickled radish provide freshness and keep things light. Perfect for lunch on the go, or if you have more time, order everything else on the menu (it’s all brilliant) and take someone to share it with you. A welcome addition to my list of lunchtime go-tos. Anja Madhvani

Kanassa Kitchen, Kirkgate Market, George Street, LS2 7HY

2019 10 01 Best Leeds Hanamatsuri Sushi

Sushi - Hanamatsuri (prices vary)

It’s impossible to pick on just one of the things I ate at Hanamatsuri this month as The Best, but as ever, the whole experience was flawless. The menu is smaller and even more focused than before, with them having returned from a summer eating around some of Japan’s most revered traditional sushi restaurants with fresh inspiration. The biggest difference between this visit and my last (read more here) is that Chef Kaoru has gone all environmentally conscious on us, sourcing all of the seafood from British shores now, rather than relying on imports from Japanese fishmarkets. Thom Archer

Hanamatsuri, 580 Meanwood Road, LS6 4AZ

2019 10 01 Best Leeds Elsworth Kitchen Figs

Figs Poached in Mulled Wine with Mascarpone - The Elsworth Kitchen (£6.50)

Sometimes the simplest desserts are the best ones. A crumble, a sponge… ice cream. After a decadent meal, you don’t always want a blowtorched bavarois with mango and sea buckthorn, or a melt-in-the-middle salted caramel banoffee cheesecake over chocolate gravel, freeze-dried tonka beans strewn everywhere. The Elsworth Kitchen in Skipton does simple food incredibly well. The beautiful figs with homemade honeycomb were unreal. Braised in mulled wine syrup, they sat like puckered ombre bean bags next to the creamiest white mascarpone you could wish for. Hop on the train for their Friday-evening bistro-style set menu, and you won’t be disappointed. Sarah Cotterill

The Elsworth Kitchen, 18-20 Coach Street, Skipton, BD23 1LH

2019 10 01 Best Leeds Sesame Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich – Sesame (£4.40)

Tucked away within Leeds Legal Quarter, if you know Sesame, you know it well. No frills sarnies and salads delivered with cheery service, it’s the go-to for the suited workforce on a tight schedule. Luckily they also let freelance arty oiks like me in, and I happened to pop at exactly the right time for Chicken Schnitzel. The highlight of their lunchtime service, it’s their sell-out flagship dish for a reason, and they ain’t shy about showing it. A light white roll rammed deep with tender chicken cuts, it’s topped off with just the right amount of salad and spicy sauce – think Sriracha mayo blended with sweet chilli. I resolved to eat half and save the rest for later, but my self-control didn’t last long – five minutes later and it was nothing more than a mere saucy smudge on a napkin. City dwellers, your Boots Meal Deal is quaking in its, er.. boots… Jenessa Williams

Sesame, 18 St Paul’s Street, LS1 2LE

2019 10 01 Best Leeds Manjits Kitchen Chilli Paneer Wrap

Chilli Paneer Wrap - Manjit’s Kitchen (£6)

If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ll be excited as I am about the upcoming permanent home for Manjit’s Kitchen on Kirkstall Road. It’s been a pleasure to watch the business develop from the horsebox street food unit right through to the market location, and the new venture, which was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, will be another step up that has been well deserved. The one menu item that has me going back over and over is the chilli paneer wrap. The pleasing texture of the paneer along with crunchy salad and a decent spicy kick is, quite simply, excellent. Add to the fact that it’s so large you could probably bludgeon a man to death with it, and you have a superb lunch. Take the trip next time you’re in town – and watch out for the new restaurant. Simon Richardson

Manjit’s Kitchen, Kirkgate Market, 34 Great George Street, LS2 7HY

2019 10 01 Best Leeds Grand Cru Beef Tournedos

Beef Tournedos - Grand Cru (£29)

I usually try to stick something pleasing on both palate and bank balance in this monthly roundup of good things, but it’s with no apology that my recommendation this time around comes in at a few quid more than the norm. Opened recently in the bright lights of Birkenshaw, there’s substance to Grand Cru’s glitz and glam, and ye olde classic Tournedos of Beef Fillet is a belter. The heady Madeira glaze hits you first, its booze and stock heavily reduced to a consistency akin to Marmite varnish, and the sultry lump of beef sitting within it – evenly pink, seasoned by somebody not afraid to go in liberally – has been treated with equal finesse. For added gout-inducing richness, there’s a topping of wild mushroom duxelle and crispy shallots to hoover up. Richard Miller

Grand Cru Restaurant, 559-565 Bradford Road, Birkenshaw, BD11 2AQ

2019 10 01 Best Leeds De Baga Balchão King Prawns

Balchão King Prawns - De Baga (£6.50)

The latest member of Headingley’s ever-vibrant culinary line-up, De Baga is already making waves and turning heads with its smörgasbord of Goan-inspired flavours and sparkling service. With a fiery Portuguese-inspired red chilli, cider vinegar and peppercorn marinade, these Balchão King Prawns hit a balance of sweetness, spiciness and smokiness – all topped off with the signature succulence of a perfectly cooked prawn. Get yours from the starter section of the restaurant’s eclectic menu, and prepare for some serious taste. Kate Ryrie

De Baga, 9 Otley Road, LS6 3AA 

Like that? Here’s the best dishes roundup from last month.