The Heat – A West Park Cafe, Grill and Bar

I’d been thinking as I walked past this newly opened eatery in West Park that it looks well designed and offers ample outdoor seating, and wondered what else it has to offer.

One night last week I came home to an empty ‘fridge, so I thought I would find out. I thought I’d have a takeaway meal, and so checked out the menu on The Heat’s website. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The menu was large, and although predominantly offered mezze and grill style dishes, there were also several other dishes offered, including pasta, pizza and a range of sandwiches. Their website told me that the restaurant aims to cater to a range of tastes, and with their extensive menu, they certainly do that. However, I was a little disheartened to see the range of dishes on the menu, as it never gives me a great first impression, suggesting that the restaurant hasn’t specialised and that the food is unlikely to have been freshly prepared. Despite this, I pressed on, and decided to order dishes from their mezze section.

I chose a few dishes to share and the ordering process was easy, online via the restaurant’s website. I liked that I was given a countdown timer for when the food was ready as this gave me an indication of when to leave home to collect my order, without having to wait too long. There is also a delivery service and via a range of providers, including Just Eat and Uber Eats.

I ordered a couple of starters, including a bowl of hummus and some falafel. The hummus was creamy, packed with flavour and the portion was generous. There was certainly enough to dip a couple of pitta breads into. I also liked that the hummus had been topped with sumac and olive oil – helping to lift the dish. The portion of the falafel was again generous and the falafel were served on yet more hummus. Although the falafel were tasty, with herbs running through them, they were overcooked and that made them a little dry. The two starters were served with pitta breads, which was good as they were helpful scoops for the hummus. However, as they’d been toasted, when we came to eat them after collecting them from the restaurant, they had become dry and cold, which was not ideal.

In addition to the starters, we ordered the mixed grill. The dish included chicken and lamb kebabs with roast peppers, tomatoes and onions. The dish was served with salad and we opted for a side of naan bread. The lamb in the dish was moist and had been seasoned, but it lacked depth of flavour and could have done with a bit of a spice kick. The chicken was cooked well, but unfortunately also lacked flavour. The portion of the main course was not huge, but it was large enough for one and worked well as a mezze meal for two when combined with the starters. The naan that came with the dish was not as expected. In fact, it was a flat bread. Although it was tasty and worked well with the mixed grill, it was not as described on the menu.

Overall, the meal was good, especially when the individual items were all eaten together. The food was also affordable, with the price starting at £3 and the mains starting at £8, which is always a draw. I would recommend giving The Heat a try if you live close and fancy something tasty, affordable and a bit different, but from my visit, I won’t be rushing back on a weekly basis. I am, however, keen to head back to the restaurant to try out some more of their dishes as they also offer breakfast, brunch, cake and lunch options, which look good and may also be worth trying.

Dr Gemma Bridge

Gemma, is a freelance writer and independent researcher. She has been writing for over 10 years and loves to share what's going on in and around Leeds. She is also an international athlete, the Running Mayor of Leeds and the creator of Leeds Food Guide. You can find her on Instagram at @GLB_racewalk or @Leeds_FoodGuide, or on Twitter at @glbridge1 or @RunMayor_Leeds

Further reading BY

Do you have a story to tell?
We want to hear your stories and help you share them.