Walking fast and with a craving desperate to satisfy, I first spot Eastern Foods. Whilst not strictly a takeaway, I can’t help but feel it gives the impression of a shop as old as the city itself. Its character and charm, like so many others down here, is summed up in a shop front which casually sprawls onto the pavement, displaying an action packed assortment of curry leaves, exotic fruits and hard to find delicious vegetables.
Venturing a little further, I pass the intersection with Harehills, which deserves a chapter in fast food all to itself. Captivated by the bright lights and mango lassis that illuminate Shai Nan Kebab, and passing halal fast food favourites like Chicken Hut, I make my way towards a place called, simply, Charcoal Chicken. It’s not long until I am presented with a plate of pakora as good as any I’ve tasted before, followed by a serving of BBQ, salad, and freshly made breads. This is fast food at its best.
Stepping back onto Roundhay Road, the evening light was beginning to disappear content, like my hunger had done only moments earlier. As I headed back towards the city centre, I passed another hidden foodie gem, Maureens – a Caribbean take away restaurant serving daily home cooked specials, from saltfish fritters to jerk chicken, and honest servings of sweet delights like pineapple cake and jam sponge.
My train pulled out of the station, and for a second time this evening the busy and bright lights of Leeds city centre were behind me. This had been a small but successful bite into the delicious taste of Leeds’ independent fast food scene. As the train rolled on, I couldn’t help but think about all those hidden parts of the city; those areas which are tucked away and off the beaten track. I started to wonder a little more about these places and exactly what else Leeds might have to offer in terms of champion fast food and delicious eats still left to be discovered.
It’s hard to imagine a time when a night out with friends or following a busy week at work has not descended into a scramble for the takeaway. In fact, fast food, as its names suggests, is an excellent excuse to celebrate convenience. From sweet and sour chicken to lamb filled kebabs, it’s fair to say our streets have become filled with the good, the bad, and downright tasty!
I set out on an adventure to locate some of the best fast food across Leeds, and with my appetite two steps ahead, was recently led away from the train platform and out of the city centre. My hunger marched on before I arrived at the brilliantly busy and foodie packed Roundhay Road.
It’s unusual to find a city without a road like the Roundhay Road. Manchester has Wilmshaw Road (host to the so called curry mile) whilst the other side of the M62 hails a celebration of Kursdish and Polish cuisine down Hull’s Springbank. Liverpool, Sheffield, London, and every city in between has the same – these are places which serve up a delicacy in fast food; a celebration of a city’s culture brought together around tandoor ovens, charcoal firepits and flaming woks.