Situated in a remarkable Grade II listed building on Great George Street, occupying the lower ground space is a little bit of everything you could possibly want in order to quench thirst or sate the appetite, morning, noon or night, 7 days a week. It’s no secret – these guys mean business.
Ladies and gents, Assembly Underground has landed, and I popped in on their launch night after work to have a nosey and try out some much-anticipated grub.
Deceptively spacious, with a vault-like feel thanks to exposed brick arches, and a lovely grab ‘n’ share vibe thanks to the long canteen-like benches, Assembly is perfect for those who want to bypass the la-de-dah, in favour of some down to earth eats and treats.
There’s a little something delicious for all here, whether you’re big or small, meat eater or Vegan. Melt in your mouth burgers? perhaps a side of loaded fries to go with?
James and Zoe at Slap & Pickle have you covered and they were my first port of call during my visit. I was suitably impressed with their naughty offering.
Fancy a kick-ass curry instead? Ranie has your back with his Punjabi creations, all set to spice up your life at Jah Jyot.
What about making some tahini dreams come true or stuffing your face with chicken, halloumi and hummus? The brothers behind the Falafel Guys will sort you right out.
Maybe, when push comes to shove, you’re more of a Brazilian BBQ kinda person, in which case Bread & Butter are there with their rotisserie at the ready.
I’m not even kidding when I say… there is So. Much. Glorious. Choice.
With all that food on offer, you’re going to need a drink, too, right? Right! Grab a cuppa from Underground Coffee & Chocolate on your morning stroll to work and if that’s too tame, or your visit is much later in the day or night, then simply say hello to all that Vocation Brewery has to offer: 50 taps of beer (that is not a typo! There are fifty lines of beer at your fingertips) and a little refined corner of the underground dedicated to chandeliers, a smooth jazz playlist, and all the wine and cocktails you’d really need to enjoy your stay, speakeasy style.
There was a definite buzz of quiet chaos mixed with intrigue and excitement whilst I was in there and I began my night enjoying my burger and beer amongst the foodies and their families, who sampled and shared all kinds of worldly cuisine. Curiosity had me snaking my way amongst the arches, just to see all those Vocation Brewery beer taps in action, but ultimately I tucked myself away from the crowd to round off my visit, watching bartenders mix cocktails in the speakeasy with a large glass of my favourite Sauvignon Blanc in hand.
In summary, there’s A LOT going on down at Assembly Underground, but ultimately it’s home to some of Leeds’ finest independent street food vendors, the UK’s largest number of ale taps and some truly remarkable people. They’ve pulled it all together in record timing to bring you something a bit special.
Read Terri’s conversation with James Tabor, General Manager of Assembly and partner in Slap & Pickle here.
Photography by Mark Wheelwright (markwheelwright.co.uk)