Wednesday 23 September 2015

The Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds.

I'm starting to write this on Monday 14th September, just before our holiday and four days before the new Michelin Guide comes out. (You'll have to take my word for it). I'm predicting that chef Michael O'Hare will get a new star as I heavily hinted in my last review and that I've being saying for some time. In fact I've already congratulated the chef perhaps prematurely and he thought tempting fate. But I think it's already in the bag. We actually sat opposite the Michelin inspector last time. (The mysterious lone diner from the last review). He caught Mrs B as she was licking the plate which she thinks swung the vote in the restaurants favour. * As I'm sure you now know they did get the star, coincidentally I happened to pick up my phone on holiday just as it was announced earlier than scheduled, amazing news, we were so chuffed for them.
Our recent and third trip last Friday of mainly the new taster menu was as brilliant as previous meals. I won't waffle on, if you've been you know if you've not then you really need to. But you'll be lucky as reservations already hard to get following his winning TV performance on GBM, will now be as rare as hen's teeth following the star.
We never know what's coming, we take it as it comes.
Scottish Langoustine. Mussel consommé, parsley oil. We had a similar dish on our first visit last year, but this was so much better with that flavour hit of the sea that we're looking for.
Spider Crab (txangurro) baked in shell, Fried quails egg, bilberry
Hake Cheek Pil pil, squid Ink.
Apple soufflé. At this point we saying to each other, 'is this it, is this the pudding?' But with Michael being as he is, he never likes to do things the obvious way. This dessert comes in the middle as a refresher!

Black Cod.Dashi of toasted skin, crispy potato, Ink and vinegar. I'm sure he'll hate this but this dish is I think a kind of signature dish. It always gets a ten from us.
Iberian Pork. Pressa and secretos cooked over coal, Smoked Arlington White, boquerone anchovies, cinders.
This is not a dish that they would normally send out as one but a combined selection, our favourites of the day. Scallop Ceviche ~ lamb pancakes ~ veal sweetbreads.
Octopus & XO. (Hand massaged for 20 minutes). Fantastic and so striking.
Milk Chocolate. Olive oil, pork rinds, crispy white chocolate.
Tiramisu. An explosion of liquid tiramisu on your tongue, the best cupcake yet.
Txakoli Zudugarai 2014, Bodegas Txakoli Zudugarai, Getraia, Spain.
Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2012/13, Alsace, France.
Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2009, Rioja, Spain.
Cuesto de Oro Verdejo 2008, Bodegas Lurton, Rueda.

Agusti Torello Mata Gran Reserva Barrica 2008, Penedes, Spain. 
We were talking about the food here whilst on holiday. People often describe it as 'crazy' but for me it's wonderfully creative food that I just love to eat again and again. Maybe it's because we share similar tastes (high end Spanish food) that it always makes perfect sense to me. The beautiful artful presentation is never at the expense of the most important flavour hit.
In my humble opinion there's no reason why chef Michael O' Hare can't get a second star. For us it's the most exciting restaurant in the UK right now. It's also worth noting that it's still cheaper than many taster menus out there and that's including the rail fare. We've already made our next booking for December.
More photos here.
The Man Behind the Curtain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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