Umami aubergine, bacon bedecking and perfectly pert eggs
Ey up. Our team have travelled around the world via their mouths this month, sampling the best that Leeds and Bradford have to offer. And they're bringing you along for the ride. We've pulled up a pew at Kirkgate Market, revisited old haunts and are even making bold claims about Bradford's best bhuna.
The question is, can your tastebuds handle all the Confidentials writing crew has to offer? Chilli kicks and fiery oomphs await you in the best things to eat in (and around) Leeds this November.
Spicy Tofu Rice Bowl, House Of Fu (£11 full price, £8.95 if purchased as part of their lunch set meal, which also includes a side of gyoza)
I can’t get enough of the House Of Fu lunch offer, it ticks every box for me. Nutrient-dense, flavourful, excellent value for money, and hearty. This bowl is a firm favourite, with vegan mince as well as tofu for that extra textural variety. Spring onion brings a little crisp, and aubergine dials up the umami. The dish boasts a hearty kick of chilli, and is served atop a sizeable portion of perfectly cooked rice. If you’re wise, you’ll also order the pickles on the side. Those are some truly magical mushrooms. Anja Madhvani @anja_madhvani
House of Fu 15-19 The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU
Galette Complete, Le Chalet (£8.95)
Someone’s already on the champers by the time we rock up for breakfast at Le Chalet. Fair play to ‘em, I say. You can stick your avo on toast, what you really want for brekkie is a dash of cream here, a wodge of cheese there and free coffee re-fills throughout. Let your arteries live a little and go French.
From a menu that warrants further investigation, this crispy galette, nuttily distinctive in its own right, had been souped up with the addition of old-school carvery ham, just-melting Emmental cheese and a pert fried egg. It’s a substantial thing that also allows you to maintain the pretence that you’re a little bit sophisticated. Richard Miller @eatingthenorth
Le Chalet 31-32 Park Row, Leeds LS1 5JD
Suppli, Stuzzi (£8)
Like the great Italian osterias, where local specialities are prepared fresh from the markets, at Stuzzi, menus are printed daily. The only whiff of your dinner can be detected from their Instagram page, which is like scrolling through an indecent catalogue of all you ever wanted and more. One image in, and you’ll be drooling onto your collar. Well, grab a napkin and get on down to the Grand Arcade for two giant golden rice balls stuffed with buttery mozzarella, basil and Sicilian caponata. This Roman street food staple is definitely one to look out for. Sarah Cotterill @scottnodot
Stuzzi 7 Merrion Street, Leeds LS1 6PQ
Annie Mac hotdog, Fat Annie's (£6)
A while back, Fat Annie’s (based in Kirkgate Market) surprised us all with the announcement that they would no longer be selling meat. Business owner James stopped eating meat in 2019 and began to feel uncomfortable about operating a business that didn’t align with his personal values. So in December 2020, he took the bold decision to take Fat Annie’s meat-free. And I still love it just as much as I did before. My go-to option is the Annie Mac hotdog, topped with cheese, crispy onions, pickles, and secret sauce. It’s a nostalgic classic, perfect for a grab n go lunch, and every bit as tasty as it always has been. I recommend also grabbing a side of jackfruit chilli cheese fries to share, every bit as succulent and flavourful as pulled pork. Anja Madhvani @anja_madhvani
Fat Annie's Leeds Kirkgate Market, 28-34 George St, Leeds LS2 7HY
Eh By Gum Halloumi in a Bun, The Yorkshire Cheese Grill (£6.50)
Whether you find it in their regular lunchtime slot at Leeds Dock or on one of its various jaunts around Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Cheese Grill is the perfect antidote to the creeping chill of winter. This halloumi burger came slathered in sriracha and bedecked with a generous helping of bacon – all wrapped up neatly in a fluffy golden bun. No regrets, it was banging. Kate Ryrie @kateryrie
The Yorkshire Cheese Grill pop-up events across the county
Chicken Bhuna, Omar Khan’s (£7.95)
Getting amongst a decent feed in Bradford can be a challenge. But what the city lacks in neighbourhood bistros and fancy-pants dining it makes up for, ten-fold, with its plethora of restaurants banging out the finest curry in the north. A bold claim, sure, but one I stand resolutely by. Your purists tend to side-step Omar Khan’s, opting instead for the more rugged environs of other long-established outfits in the vicinity. They should give it a spin. This vibrant chicken bhuna was as old-school as they come, its thick, chilli-flecked sauce providing just enough fiery oomph to bring on a mildly moistened brow. Richard Miller @eatingthenorth
Omar Khan’s 30 Little Horton Ln, Bradford BD5 0AL
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