If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know how much I love food. My insta stories are normally teaming with homemade delights or gorgeous meals out that are just too good not to share with you wonderful lot, and last night was no exception! Tom Sheard and I (my date for the night) were invited by the lovely lads at Pink Gorilla Hairy Lemon to visit Stockdales of Yorkshire; a modern British steakhouse in the heart of Leeds city centre.
I genuinely thought I was the man in the know when it came to the restaurant and bar scene in Leeds, but I’m still constantly wowed by the little gems which have managed to escape my grasp (and my belly) and Stockdales of Yorkshire are definitely one them.
The restaurant itself is situated on South Parade (LS1) with its eye-catching signage and huge windows which look straight into the beautifully lit interior exuding a certain chic that is right up my street, so in we went. We were shown to our tables by a lovely waitress, who promptly brought us a lovely looking bread board with beef dripping- cutting carbs in January was put on hold whilst I devoured my slice & it was simply delicious, the presentation and simplicity had me excited for the rest of the courses to come.
When I looked through the menu, I was drawn to the Black Treacle Cured Salmon, with Avocado, Pink Grapefruit & Coriander, I tend to always go for a safe option, but I was seduced by treacle and the mixture of ingredients, so I easily made my choice. When my first course arrived, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the dish, it was quite honestly a sight to behold. Now I know ‘instagraming’ food is a widely debated topic, with furious partners claiming they wait an age for their other half to eat their dinner after manically filling up their camera roll with thousands of different angles of crispy spinach, but us humans do eat with our eyes, so we can’t help but show the world our first impressions of the food we see before us. Professor Charles Spence, an Oxford University gastrophysicist made waves in the food industry a few years ago and proved that without a doubt making food look lovely effectively made it taste better, so with a mouth salivating like the waterfalls of Niagara, I took a few snaps to show you how beautiful the dish looked. There were edible flowers which danced around the plate and swirled salmon that sat around juicy cubes of grapefruit & cubes of copper jelly that mingled effortlessly together. It looked like someone had tipped a little bag of gemstones onto my plate, everything just glistened and glowed and tasted like nothing on earth. I had to try a little of everything in each mouthful, just to experience the flavours together and it truly was a beautiful taste experience. The sharpness of the grapefruit was cut by the sweet treacle salmon and brought to life by the fresh coriander, it was just a perfect concoction of flavour and aesthetics. The dish was light, fresh & made my taste buds’ spasm with delight. Everything was going perfectly until disaster truck, I realised that I’d been using the big fork instead of the small one…DEVESTATION! Like Jack from Titanic I’m constantly flummoxed by what cutlery to use, but I cleaned up the big fork, placed it back on my napkin and used the small fork to eat the final salmon swirl (I managed to get away with looking like an uncouth reptile!) after my moment of panic I relaxed again and took a long sip of my crisp glass of chardonnay, then chatted to Tom about our shared appreciation of the food we ate, whilst the light music played in the background and the small hum of chatter came from our fellow diners around us.
For my main, again, I decided to move away from my predictable choices and neglected the sirloin steak to choose the famous Yorkshire Wagyu Beef, described as ‘Featherblade’, with Raspberry onions, Bone Marrow & Almond Croquette. Although feeling confident about my decision, I had to google ‘featherblade’ since it was a cut of beef that I’d never heard of before, google of course pulled through and explained that; “feather blade of beef is one of those cuts of beef that you have to seek out. It’s sourced from the shoulder blade of the cow and its name is derived from the feather like tissue that runs through the meat. A blade steak tends to be quite small and offers a sweet flavour”- I was sold and happily made my choice when the smiley waitress took our order.
When the main dish arrived, it was another moment or pure aesthetic delight, the cut of beef sat in the middle of the bowl, with raspberry onions glistening like sapphires and golden crispy balls placed within the marrow and topped by crispy kale, it looked like shear perfection. The taste exceeded my expectations and being a new comer to the featherblade cut, I wasn’t disappointed at all! It was cooked to perfection, tender and melt in the mouth with a distinct sweet flavour that mingled beautifully with the bone marrow. It was so delightful I had to force myself to put my knife and fork down between each mouthful in a bid to prolong the meal for as long as I could. Savouring each mouthful, I think my vocabulary was limited to just “mmmh’s” and “oh lord”.
We finished our experience with a slate of mini desserts, which includes a sloe gin jelly, lemon meringue pie, raspberry white chocolate and a lemon sponge, again, I couldn’t get over the flavours which complement each other gorgeously, I was also amazed that my taste buds were still in overdrive (I thought I would have worn them out by now) however, they tingled with every mouthful right up to the final nibble. The food was just stunning, from start to finish.
Stockdales of Yorkshire isn’t a ‘buzzy’ loud restaurant environment, I would describe it as a calmer and quieter atmosphere (which could be because we experienced the restaurant on a week night) but although I do enjoy a loud bustling atmosphere when I’m feasting with friends, the calming and relaxed vibe at Stockdales, complimented by the lovely service and exquisite food was just about perfect for me. The warm serene atmosphere enabled me to take in the experience at a lovely pace and as we said goodbye to the staff and headed back into the cold crisp Leeds night, I licked my lips and smiled whispering to Tom, “we’re coming back” as we glided up the street on a ‘food high’. #foodheaven
You must check these guys out if you are around Leeds, you honestly will not be disappointed! Check out the menu & get yourself booked in pronto (also follow @Pgpromoleeds on Instagram who offer 2 courses for just £15 – thank me later beauts!)