As dining out in the UK has elevated over the years, it has brought with it new flavours and experiences. To enjoy these to the fullest, some of the finest restaurants introduced set menus of many courses, served as small plates to sample it all.
The idea of the tasting menu dates back centuries, and has been served in restaurants since the 1960s. However it only rose to prominence in the nineties when the world’s best chefs created experimental masterpieces at places such as El Bulli in Spain.
Since then, the tasting menu has reached Leeds, and there are now a selection of amazing places in the city who are serving experimental creations of their own. For your many courses of fine dining, here’s where to try experimental tasting menus in Leeds.
The Man Behind The Curtain
Officially the finest dining restaurant in Leeds as the only Michelin star in the city, The Man Behind The Curtain shows exactly why on their spectacular tasting menu. There are few more successfully inventive chefs than Michael O’Hare, whose visually vibrant and aesthetically artistic plates taste as theatrically thrilling as they look. Serving a 9 course £95 lunch or 14 course £145 dinner menu which crosses continents and combines classics into memorable modern flavour sensations unlike any you’ve had before. Rock & roll dining at its finest.
Having moved to their new home in the striking curved building by the river at Brewery Wharf, HOME has a setting to match their stunning food. Taking inspiration from natural surroundings and local produce, the ethos of HOME may indeed be homely, but the execution is elevated far beyond home cooking. Each dish on their £80 8 course or £110 10 course tasting menus tells a different story, using a poetic mix of tastes and colours. Chef patron Elizabeth Cottom has created an inviting space which transforms great British favourites into modern masterpieces.
By the creators of HOME, their second Leeds restaurant is slightly more recognisable but no less impressive. Situated in Leeds’ historic Kirkgate Market, The Owl offers a refined comfort in which chef patron Mark Owens showcases the best local produce in exceptional versions of British classics. Evolving menus with the seasons, try their weekend Kitchen Counter menu to sample 6 courses for £67 with optional drink pairings for a truly triumphant meal out.
On the fifth floor of Trinity shopping centre, Crafthouse has an enviable location looking out over the Leeds skyline from within the slick restaurant or out on the exclusive roof terrace. It’s a luxurious setting to indulge in their £55 5 course tasting menu, which reads as simple yet delicious ingredients and tastes like the best seasonal combinations expertly put together. With a vegetarian tasting menu too, and wine pairing available, everyone can enjoy everything at Crafthouse.
This handsome building of brick and beam creates a relaxed elegance which their food complements magically. As well as an a la carte menu of indulgent comfort and a fitting Sunday lunch, their £45 tasting menu is where it’s at to get the best of it all. There are meats and fish presented at their greatest, or a vegetarian menu which innovates deliciously throughout the seven courses.
Chef Jono at V&V
After displaying his ambition to the nation when becoming a Masterchef finalist, Jono Hawthorne has gone on to show Leeds his skills as an exceptionally innovative chef. His 10 course signature tasting menu at V&V is a modern masterclass that weaves wonderfully paired ingredients into dazzling dishes. Come to this stylish destination Wednesday to Saturday for £70 or for the £49 Sunday lunch special taster.
Images: Crafthouse Leeds, HOME, The Owl, Chef Jono at V&V