We seem to be becoming regulars in this part of Leeds! A loves the Midnight Bell, as he is a fan of Leeds Best beer, and we have enjoyed the Sunday lunch at the Cross Keys. So last night we decided to try one of the restaurants round the back of these two pubs. Looking at the menus online, it was a choice between The Foundry and The Engine House Cafe. After much deliberation, the Engine House won. This was partly owing to it being a bit cheaper (and we are getting to the end of the month) and partly because I wanted to try their burger!
So we booked a table for 7.30 but set off a bit earlier so we could have a drink on the patio round the back of the Midnight Bell (and A could have a couple of pints of his favourite beer). We turned up at the Engine House promptly at 7.30 and we were shown to our table.
I was a bit concerned about the lack of Pinot Grigio by the glass on the online menu, but the wine list at the restaurant was slightly different so my wine choice was available (although served in a bowl-like glass which I would argue was more for red wine than for white!)
We decided to share a starter of deep fried king prawns with garlic mayonnaise. Four large king prawns were served with some lettuce leaves. We both noticed what good quality prawns they were – very meaty and covered in a crispy batter.
For main, A ordered the rib eye steak which came with chips and a peppercorn sauce. This got the thumbs up from A, particularly the sauce which contained whole peppercorns and was great for dipping the chips in, as well as eating with the steak.
I got to sample the burger. This was made of 80% steak mince and 20% pork belly. There was a choice of toppings and I went for bacon, mushroom and cheese. I asked for the bacon to be trimmed of fat as my heart always sinks when I order bacon and it has loads of rubbery rind on it – a Leeds Food Leeds pet peeve! My friend, the GemBear, refers to it as “twangy bacon” – a very good description, I think.
Anyway, there was no twangy bacon on this burger. It was a large burger patty with just the right amount of topping. My only criticism was the bun – it was a bit “Morrisons – six bread rolls for the price of four”. Which is great for sausage sandwiches at home, but I expect a better quality for a burger bun in a restaurant! It was a shame because the burger itself was outstanding.
The burger was served with home-cooked chips, salad and a salsa for dipping – all excellent.
A considered a pudding. There isn’t a pudding menu and instead the waitress just reeled off the options (she must have an excellent memory). The pudding options change regularly and sadly there was no crème brulee on last night, which is A’s favourite, so we decided to give it a miss, although the options did sound lovely, and I would have ordered one if I had had room!
The service in general is great – the people who work there are really friendly and the customer service is top-notch.
I would definitely recommend the Engine House Cafe. I would like to try their breakfasts which were listed on a chalkboard on the wall. The restaurant itself is fairly small with exposed brick and a slightly industrial feel, which fits in well with the theme of the area. They have a small outdoor area where it would be lovely to sit out on a sunny day.