Chris Worfolk, and his partner Elina, have spent the past few years eating their way round every restaurant in Leeds city centre. The conclusion of their research has now been published and in this guest post, he tells us what they learned from the experience.
Appearances can be deceiving
A year ago, I and my partner set ourselves a challenge. We were going to eat at every restaurant in Leeds city centre. I didn’t realise what a challenge that would be at the time.
I started by listing the thirty or so restaurants I hadn’t been to yet. Six months later, we had eaten at twice that many restaurants and my list had become even longer! Clearly my original estimates had been a little short.
Luckily, eating at nice restaurants is hardly an arduous task. We ate, and we ate and we ate, until finally we had been round every restaurant. As a result, we published the Leeds Restaurant Guide.
The biggest lesson we learned from writing it? Appearances usually aren’t deceiving. Normally, if a restaurant doesn’t look too good, it probably isn’t. However, there are a few that, while looking shabby on the outside, offer a wondrous evening within.
At the top of my list would be Curry Leaf. A humble doorway on Eastgate, the sorry looking staircase opens up to an enchanting interior of Sri Lankan décor. The large window into the kitchen allows you to see the flames roar up in the pan and for under £10 you can get a thali with more food on than two people could eat.
My next favourite is Café Italia. Restaurants located so close to the train station sometimes rely on unwarily travellers to fuel their business, rather than great food. Not Café Italia. It is the closest thing to authentic-tasting Italian food I have had in Leeds. Do not miss their homemade tiramisu.
Finally, I would also recommend Hansas. Located on North Briggate, they offer Gujarati vegetarian cuisine. Even if you’re a meat-lover this one is worth a visit and again, the thali comes in at amazing value.
* You can order your copy of the Leeds Restaurant Guide from Amazon here.