Due to the amount of competition between businesses in a city like Leeds you are likely to find it harder to find a bad restaurant than a good one. This is a little self penned guide on some of my favourite dinner destinations in Leeds.
Chaophraya (pronounced Chow-pie-a) When I came back from a holiday in Thailand a friend introduced me to Chaophraya for the first time in an attempt to cure my post traveling blues. I loved the restaurant so much that I have been back countless times since. Chaophraya is an award winning (yes you guessed it) Thai restaurant that has been voted by none other than The Times as the best vegetarian restaurant in the UK and best restaurant in town by Harden’s Good Food Guide. Located in Leeds City centre it is a great location to eat if you are planning on going out to a bar afterwards, thus saving the money you would spend on a cab to sample as many dishes as possible! The ridiculously reasonably priced restaurant also offers tempting lunch specials in the daytime which I also thoroughly recommend.
Flying Pizza on Street Lane in Leeds used to be one of the only places to ‘see and be seen’ in. You will still frequently find polished Ferraris and Lamborghinis outside the glass front of the restaurant and might even be ‘lucky’ enough to spot a famous footballer or two. Well, that was when Leeds United was …good, now things may be a little different. Flying Pizza still has a die hard fan base though, and for good reason. The thin crispy bases of the pizzas are unlike any other pizzas I have tasted outside of Italy, and the beautifully stringy and inexplicably tasty mozzarella is to DIE for. They do an excellent steak and if it’s your birthday expect to be launched into standing position on your chair while the whole room is encouraged to sing Happy Birthday in typical exuberant Italian style.
Anthony’s is Located in the centre of Leeds in Trevelyan Square off Boar Lane. I admit that I have never actually been there but after hearing amazing things from family and friends and then reading this review by the badly tempered Giles Coren:
“If you only eat at one restaurant this year, for Christ’s sake don’t make it Anthony’s. It’ll scare the living crap out of you.”
I thought that if it could scare the living crap out of Giles Coren then I definitely wanted to go. Of course all the reviews of Anthony’s are good. The chef is purported to be a genius and the food served is the kind that is offered up to delighted bemusement in The Fat Duck, which surely everyone must have heard of by now so if you haven’t, look it up. The restaurant looks fabulous from the outside with its thick gleaming glass and classy signature sign and with deserts like pink pepper cinder toffee with apricot mouse…….you can count me in.
Wasabi Teppan-Yaki sits in Granary Wharf and is the best place for a first date meal. The names gives away that the food is Japenese, but this is no ordinary Japanese restaurant in Leeds. The menu has some excellent meat and fish options cooked with traditional Japenese panache and you can choose to watch the chef’s cook it right at your table. The Teppan-Yaki table is like a large table with a hole and a giant cooking platter. You sit around the table and watch the chef entertain you with your food before it melts deliciously in your mouth so you and your date definitely won’t be stuck for conversation between chews!