There are weekends when brunch is more of a necessity than a nicety. Days that demand proper coffee as well as fresh juice. Mornings that cry out for bold flavours and piles of colourful carbs and protein to recover from the pressure of the week.
This is the kind of weekend that Taste’s new brunch menu was made for. Offering up an array of sweet and savoury options from the conventional to the unexpected, the wholesome abundance of this café and sandwich shop makes it well worth a trip down to Holbeck’s Urban Village. Your Saturday stomach will thank you for it.
We arrive at midday to find Taste peacefully getting about its everyday business. Coffee machine humming, indie playlist drifting from the speakers and customers happily relaxing with various iterations of caffeine and carbohydrates.
Taste’s philosophy is all about making it quick and easy to eat well – an ethos that sees the joint combining the best local ingredients to make fresh, delicious food. A big part of the Taste story is its mission to serve the local area. The team understands the demands of busy lives, and (in their own words) ‘champions a warm welcome, speedy service and quality in absolutely everything we do’.
The aforementioned double whammy of coffee and juice comes to life with bottles of Frobisher’s apple and orange varieties, a chocolate-flake-sprinkled cappuccino and a silky flat white. Satisfyingly, the slate grey of our coffee cups matches the paint of the radiator next to us, fitting in with the chilled, modern aesthetic of the whole room. Reliable, unpretentious caffeine fixes in progress, we turn our attention to the menu.
Refreshingly, Taste’s brunch menu makes a valiant attempt to go a little further than the standard Smashed Avo on Toast and Eggs Benedict. Here, we find hash brown stacks – available with maple glazed bacon or halloumi. We have sweetcorn fitters with slow-cooked pork, sourdough toast with beetroot hummus, and dippy eggs with truffle oil, mushrooms and parmesan cheese.
We consider our options – plus today’s specials, which include a pancake stack with peanut butter sauce and candied cashews (tempting) – and opt for a Full Monty and a halloumi hash brown stack.
The Full Monty has everything you’d want from a sleepy weekend breakfast: plump sausages, juicy Portobello mushrooms, sweet vine tomatoes and a generous dollop of Taste’s homemade BBQ beans, which give Heinz quite a run for its money. The crowning glory, though, is the bacon – thick cut, maple-sweet yet satisfyingly salty, the perfect topping for the mound of sourdough toast that renders this plate a breakfast of champions.
My hash brown stack is an innovation that leaves me wondering why I’ve never seen anything like it on a brunch menu before. Doorsteps of golden halloumi sit between a series of fluffily light yet satisfyingly stodgy homemade hash browns, along with more of those yummy BBQ beans, and handfuls of freshly wilted spinach.
Despite heroic attempts to leave clean plates, Taste’s brunch defeats us, and we surrender our appetites to its deliciousness. This place is a brunch oasis in the age of average coffee and soggy sourdough. Come for tranquility, top quality food and a taste of something special.
Taste’s opening times:
Monday to Friday 0800 until 1600
Saturday and Sunday 1000 until 1600
To reserve a table: 0113 243 1268 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All photographs by Kate Ryrie.