Saturday, 22 January 2011

Arts Cafe, Leeds city centre

I have blogged the Arts Cafe before here when we went for Sunday lunch. On a Saturday, they serve a lunch menu and you can also choose from the a la carte. Having had a look at the menu online, I was keen to give it a try. The chef has been in place since last March and comes from Hazelwood Castle. The menu still contains some of old favourites such as the Fish Plate, the Yorkshire Plate and the Arts Burger. But there were quite a few new options on there too, and it took some time to make up my mind!

Some of the new starters looked promising and I was particularly taken with the description of the smoked salmon and crayfish sushi nori. When it arrived, it was a generous portion of three sushi rolls, with some thinly sliced cucumber and wasabi crème fraiche. A bit of a change to the pickled ginger and wasabi that you usually get with sushi but it worked well and the plate was nicely put together.

My dining companion, Psycho Psu, ordered the Smoked Haddock Chowder with leeks, potato and spinach. It probably had a thicker consistency than she expected but had good flavour.

For main, I ordered the Arts club sandwich. Made with thick granary bread and a good mix of chicken, mayo, pancetta and lettuce, it was served with fries on the side. It is nice to be able to mix and match from the a la carte and lunch menu.

We went a bit mad on the puddings. Fig and lime bakewell tart with blackberry crème fraiche was a nice traditional pudding with a bit of a twist.

Orange cream posset with mulled winter fruits came with a cinnamon and walnut cookie. A little too much fruit and not enough posset, was our opinion. The cookie was great.

A cheese plate rounded off the meal. A good selection including Wensleydale with cranberry and brie, the cheese was accompanied by a nice choice of crackers and tasty chutney.

There are a fair few other things on the menu I would like to try so another visit should be on the cards soon. Once again, the Arts Cafe remains one of my favourite places to eat in Leeds.

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