Confidentials gives you the rundown of some of the city's new faces in food and drink
It’s been a turbulent time for the hospitality industry. But change is on the horizon, with more and more punters putting their money where their mouth is and supporting the local indies around them. We’ve rounded up a few go-to spots that are new to town, so get ready for some puffy pizza crusts, uber-fresh sushi, and bottomless baos in Leeds.
Ma-Hé Coastal is a passion project from a founding team with more than five decades of fine dining experience between them. Focussing on high quality service, exceptional ingredients and storytelling, an array of small plates reveals a menu from the breadth of India’s coastline. Inside, botanical plants are illuminated by the golden glow of rattan lighting, transporting you to a Southern peninsular sunset, where open flames lick a tandoor theatrically from the immersive kitchen. Expect spectacular seafood, crispy okra, and a unique selection of single-malts and artisanal Mezcals. This is soul-food at its finest: India’s hidden kitchen at the corner of the Merrion Centre.
Ma-Hé Coastal, 59 Wade Lan, Leeds, LS2 8NJ
IF East Parade
The latest instalment of the IF Up North empire has landed at Avenue Hq, the on-demand co-working and office space in Leeds’ thriving business quarter. Here, there’s no need for a laptop, with bottomless brunch served all day, and a bar stocked with Camden Hells and Sheepscar’s own North Brewing Co. The menu includes all of the grammable highlights from If’s original Call Lane café, plus, wait for it…. Breakfast Baos, stuffed with scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, hash browns, spring onions and salsa, or sesame sprinkled jackfruit for the vegans. It’s not a question of if, but when.
IF East Parade, 10-12 East Parade, Leeds, LS1 2AJ
When the weather’s a bit drizzly, dream of terracotta roof tiles, cobalt wooden shutters, and crystal Aegean seas. Stretch the imagination no further, as Woodhouse’s popular Greek takeaway opens its doors in Chapel Allerton. Yeeros and Souvlaki boards are piled high with chargrilled meats, tangy slaws, and twice cooked oregano chips. Plunge the fluffiest flatbreads into their creamy tzatzikis, smoky paprika sauce, and spicy feta dips, all washed down with an eponymous pint of beer.
Mythos, 5 Stainbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton
Harrogate’s much loved independent restaurant has finally landed on Lands Lane. Fittingly, Farmhouse are serving Union Hand Roasted Coffee, a roaster committed to improving farmers livelihoods through a range of environmental initiatives. Their Brazilian Bobolink blend is heady with nuts and spice, the perfect accompaniment to all your all-day brunch needs. Try the Mediterranean, slathered with smooth hummus, fried halloumi, and eggs how you like them. Or the Cinnamon Graham French toast, where roasted banana meets soft brioche, maple syrup and vanilla mascarpone.
Farmhouse, 20-22 Lands Lane, Leeds LS1 6LB
Pizza Loco at The Meanwood Tavern
It’s hard to believe that Doughmaster-Director Ollie Reynolds began Pizza Loco, stoking a wooden firebox at the back of a steam train up and down damp car parks at Yorkshire Festivals. Then it was a stint under the Victorian arches at Bradford’s Sunbridgewells. Now, with the Oakwood Restaurant still going strong, he’ll be taking over the kitchen at popular local haunt, The Meanwood Tavern. Using regenerative Wildfarmed flour, grown and milled in the UK, these Neapolitan style pizzas boast poofy thick crusts to die for.
Pizza Loco, 607 Meanwood Rd, Meanwood, Leeds LS6 4HQ
You’re probably now just as likely to pick up a packet of Sushi as you are a sarnie this lunchtime, such is our British penchant for brighter flavours, whatever the month of the year. Well, as luck would have it, a hidden gem situated in Leeds’ Temple district, offers all the sushi, bento and bao you could wish for. Described by regulars as a ‘hidden gem’, Suki is as authentic as it gets. The bare bones cafe lets the vibrant dishes do the talking, and with three courses for £20 throughout the week, it beats any cheese and pickle meal deal.
Suki Japanese, 111 Water Ln, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 5WD
Kirkstall residents will have seen the old furniture shop on Commercial Road change from rustic neutrals to neon orange within a matter of weeks. Now the up-and-coming area can add European café-bar to its list of creative neighbourhood hangouts. Melodie 71 brings games nights, pop-up street food residencies, and Wes Anderson style interiors against an eclectic soundtrack - from deep American soul through to new release electronics. This new venture is the brainchild of Leeds indie favourites Outlaws Yacht Club, Released Records, and the bar manager from Domino Club, so expect big things coming your way.
Melodie 71, Commercial Rd, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3AT
If you thought that Leeds didn’t have enough pizza, The Pilgrims have arrived. With the motto, ‘In crust, we trust’ - the concept was born, as all great things do, at a sticky pub table, before Brothers Thom and James took the trip of a lifetime, driving a Piaggio Ape Tuk-Tuk from Sicily to Shepherds Bush. Now rumour has it that they will be opening a site on Boar Lane, bang in the centre of town. Boasting staff perks such as frequent trips to Naples, ‘Happiness Days’ and huge ‘Ferragosto’ parties, everyone will want a slice of the action with this pizza mad family!
Pizza Pilgrims, Boar Lane, Leeds.
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