Whisky washed butter, buttery baps, burata and chip butties

Considering we’re on the cusp of summer, which brings with it the threat of having to roll up your sleeves (and your trouser legs) exposing slightly more flesh than you’d be tempted to do in colder month, our team seem to still be in comfort food mode. As they do every month, they’ve picked the dishes that they seriously recommend you all eat, but there seems to be a recurring theme. Look closely and you’ll see certain words like ‘salt and stodge’, ‘indulgent’, ‘doorstop bread’ and ‘mashed spud’ – we knew there was a reason we loved these guys.

2019 06 03 Waremark Crumpets

Crumpets – The Watermark (£4.95)

There’s no doubt that Dariush and Filippos have nailed their intended homely atmosphere at The Watermark. It’s a perfect mix of chilled-out comfort and lively party, with excellent drinks and plenty of enthusiasm to boot. And what better way to relax than to indulge in the kind of snack you’d have on your lap at home, feet in slippers, something crap on the telly? I love crumpets – except, these have been suitably pimped to ‘cocktail bar standard.’ Ok, the cheese and marmite are pretty regulation, but you also get a delicious chutney and the pièce de resistance, whisky washed butter that gives an incredible smoky flavour to accompany a proper lounge cocktail – in my case, a negroni with the gin swapped out for mezcal. Take it upstairs, munch and sip away, and it’ll be 4am before you know it. Heaven. Simon Richardson

The Watermark, 3 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds LS2 8JP

2019 06 03 Bunswick Chicken Burger

Chicken Burger – The Brunswick (£8.00)

The Brunswick is now serving burgers, which heralds my slow decline into a life of full blown gluttony. They have beef and vegan options, but my personal favourite has to be the chicken. Succulent chicken is encased in crispy batter and coated in sticky chipotle glaze. Pickles provide a little tang and a crunchy celeriac slaw brings some acidity. Special mention for the potato brioche bun, which is hands down the most buttery bap to ever touch these lips. On Wednesday’s you can grab a burger with chips and a pint for a tenner. Mmm, delicious affordable indulgence, my favourite. Struggling not to make a daily habit of these. Anja Madhvani

The Brunswick, 82 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

2019 06 03 Taste Hash Brown Halloumi Stack

Homemade hash browns with BBQ beans, wilted spinach and halloumi – Taste (£7.50)

It’s always exciting when a brunch menu makes an effort to go beyond the realms of smashed avocado and dream some more inventive dishes. Tucked away in Holbeck’s Urban Village, Taste doesn’t get the footfall it deserves – but if this plate of deliciousness from its new weekend brunch menu isn’t enough to change that, I don’t know what is. Fluffy hash browns meet crispy chunks of halloumi in a satisfying combination of salt and stodge, with perfectly done spinach and a pile of rich homemade beans to add flavour and texture. Will sort you right out. Kate Ryrie

Taste, 3 Butcher Street, Yard, Leeds LS11 5WH

2019 06 03 Vada Pav Manjits Kitchen

Vada Pav - Manjit’s Kitchen (£5.00)

You’re made of sterner stuff than I am if you can read the words ‘basically a chip butty’ scrawled on a blackboard menu and not be lured in. While the Vada Pav at Manjit’s Kitchen isn’t something I expect to find on offer at my local chippy any time soon - more’s the pity - it does deliver the familiar hit of carb-in-carb goodness but with plenty more going on besides. There’s a liberally spiced ball of mashed spud, fried and bunged in a teacake, to provide stodgy sustenance, with zip and zing coming from splodges of tamarind and coconut chutneys. Its slow-burning green chilli heat call for an extra napkin and a cold beer. Richard Miller

Manjit’s Kitchen, Leeds Kirkgate Market, LS2 7HY

2019 06 03 Insalata Stuzzi

Insalata from the sharing plate - Stuzzi (£8)

When May’s daylight hangs above, turning pinkish and ombre by the hour, anything that transports you to an Italian trattoria will do. A bitter orange espresso, a ceiling fan circa 1925… cheese. I could have chosen anything from my recent trip to Stuzzi, but the Insalata from their signature sharing plates was accolade worthy. Wafer thin pane carasau (£8.00) is layered with generous blobs of cold burata, a tangy wild garlic salsa verde caught in the cracks. One tap, and it splinters into the envious green oil pool below. The menu changes daily, so you’ll be lucky to catch this. Sarah Cotterill

Stuzzi7 Merrion St, Leeds LS1 6PQ

2019 05 29 Tetley Pressed Ham Hock

Pressed Ham Hock - The Tetley (£6.50)

As hearty pub lunch season beckons, we break into the inevitable debate of excess barbecue meat consumption and lavish picnic spreads full of dubiously-farmed produce. Still, if you’re going to cook an animal, you should at least make use of the whole thing, and you should enjoy it at an establishment that you can trust for sustainable, locally-farmed produce. The Tetley’s pressed ham hock certainly fits both bills. Balancing the perfect salt levels against a sweet apple chutney, it spreads deliciously over a side of the Tetley’s trademark doorstop bread, holding its texture while being creamy enough to feel indulgent. Enjoy as a starter or light lunch, best washed down with a pint of their namesake.  Jenessa Williams

The Tetley, Hunslet Rd, Leeds LS10 1JQ