The highlight of the Leeds food calendar, the Indie Food Festival, kicked off as usual this May and with that the arrival of the eagerly awaited ‘specials’.
Until 28 May some of Leeds’ favourite bars, cafes and restaurants will be serving up a selection limited edition treats and this year it’s all about collaboration.
We take a look at some of the tasty goods on offer this year.
Leeds’ long crowned king of veggie Indian street food needs little in the way of introduction and their involvement in the Indie Food Festival. Their appetite to collaborate is almost guaranteed. This year they team up with one of the region’s most loved Indian restaurants, Prashad.
After the phenomenal success of last year’s Vada Pav collaborations, this year you’ll find:
The Hara Bara Kebab Sandwich: Two spiced pea and cauliflower patties served in a brioche bun with turmeric & dill pickled onions, cumin yoghurt and red and green chutney.
The Kopra Pethis: A favourite from sister restaurant Prashad that’s been on their menu since 1995. Fresh coconut, garlic & coriander balls wrapped in a soft potato crust, served with red pepper and tamarind chutney.
The Falooda: A rose flavoured milk drink with basil seeds, noodles and a scoop of Northern Bloc Hazelnut & Tonka Bean ice cream, topped with almonds and pistachios.
Ice cream for breakfast? Not the most common of choices, agreed, but when it’s earl grey and cardamom ice cream by the undisputed masters of flavour combinations, then it starts to make sense.
The friendly chaps on Great George Street have paired this latest offering from Northern Bloc with a Chai-spiced waffle, summer salsa and dandelion syrup.
Leeds’ oldest public house is known for two things, apart from the beer of course, and those are the steak pies and of course their Scotch eggs. The latter comes in three varieties for this year’s specials, each in partnership with other popular eateries in the City,
The Reliance has swapped the classic pork for a Confit Lamb Breast, perfectly paired with salsa verde.
Ox Club has gone fishing to create an Arbroath Smokie, together with homemade chip shop style curry sauce. We would say this is the finest of the three on offer but you need to try them all for yourself.
Finally, there are our old friends Bundobust once again; keeping the vegetarians happy with an Onion, Broccoli & Kale Bhaji variety served with tamarind ketchup.
The popular Boar Lane micro-brewery and purveyor of fine pizza, Tapped are also embracing the spirit of collaboration.
Once again the Bundobust guys are involved; they are everywhere this year! Their creation is topped with the new broccoli bhajis and a signature sauce with coriander, chillies and crispy onion.
Neighbours Friends of Ham have taken inspiration from their Spanish meat and cheese board. Expect a smoky, spicy and delicious selection of toppings.
The Tetley Bar & Kitchen pizza jumped on the vegan bandwagon this year with an unusual but delicious offering of North African spiced broccoli, baby corn, pomegranate and various seeds, topped with a yoghurt drizzle.
Fake meat and fish supremos Knaves Kitchen took over the kitchen at Oporto earlier this year and for those who prefer not to kill what they eat they are a welcome addition to the Leeds food scene.
You’ll find fish tacos, buffalo wings and the closest thing you’ll get to a donna kebab without any living creature being harmed in the process.
OK, they are not real substitutes you can obviously tell the difference but it’s damn close and some of the flavours on offer provide an interesting alternative, even for meat eaters.
Our local ice cream heroes are back for yet another collab. This time they are teaming up with Temple Coffee & Doughnuts to produce the Cosmic Cone: a scoop of Northern Bloc ice cream with a Temple doughnut plonked on top.
Leeds Indie favourites and the hosts of many a fine event have focused on beverages for 2018. You’ll find two speciality drinks on offer:
An iced Cascara and Peach Tonic. Cascara comes from the often discarded outer of coffee cherry and the protector of those delicious beans. Surprisingly it tastes nothing like coffee and is more in common with herbal tea.
For those who need their beverage to more closely resemble a dessert, there’s Affogato. Traditionally made from a vanilla gelato, drowned with a shot or two of espresso and occasionally something stronger, our bearded coffee masters have added a Chocolate and Orange to their creation.
The Leeds Indie Food specials have once again delivered but you only have until 28 May to enjoy these delights, so if you’ve not indulged yet, you have your work cut out. The sooner you get started the better!
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