Faced with customers’ tightening their financial belts, it would seem there’s two ways a restaurant can go. Some come up with a gimmick – two for ones, all you eat, happy hours, even pay what you like while others get back to basics and serve up the sort of food people actually can be bothered to go out to eat.
Blackhouse Grill is definitely in the latter camp.
It essentially does steak and it does seafood. And it does them in a straightforward, but quality way. The seafood is sourced from sustainable stocks and the steak is “grass fed hormone free beasts sourced from farms who use traditional husbandry methods allowing the animals to mature naturally under stress free conditions.”
Calling in on an unexceptional weekday night we found this stylish city centre venue had a bustling atmosphere with its live pianist and plenty of diners seemingly prepared to splash some cash.
We started with the house platter (£13.95) – a substantial shared plate of chicken which had been skewered on lemongrass so was fragrantly quite strongly infused, fishcakes which were fired up with a chili sauce and lamb kofta’s which had been cooked slightly rare to bring out the flavour.
In the spirit of keeping it simple, I headed into a generous helping of sweet queenie scallops (£11.95) just tossed in garlic butter and parsley with linguine. Pasta as is should be – just a few ingredients to bring up the flavours.
His steak (£13.50) was also what was wanted – well cooked, succulent it even inspiring the description of “melting” to be uttered.
Taken together with some rustic, crispy on the outside chips (which can only serve to remind a person what a chip, as opposed to a fry, really is) this was a the sort of steak and chips that must be in the minds of so many condemned men when they order their last meals.
After such a blow out, dessert wasn’t really at the forefront of our minds so we shared a white and dark chocolate torte which, while it looks very pretty, didn’t completely match up to the simple but well seasoned other courses, there not being much contrast between the two chocolate entities.
But that’s a minor point. What the Blackhouse Grill provided was good food at a reasonable price in an airy and stylish environment.
Blackhouse Grill is at 31-33 East Parade, Leeds, LS1 5PS.
Disclosure: We were invited to sample the menu as guests of the Leeds Loves Food festival, so this review was, unusually for this blog, carried out with the restaurateurs knowledge.