Monday, 4 July 2016

Eating in Leeds | Northern Monk Scores Well On Small Plates

The Northern Monk has always been a place I've felt is worth wandering slightly out of the centre for in Leeds. Whether it's been to attend a foodie event (loved the MeiMei's Street Cart takeover back in Feb!), popping down for a Sunday roast or just casual weekend drinks - I love the Monk's rustic charm interior and it's general good atmosphere.

I was pretty chuffed then, when I got invited down for a supper club one evening to try their brand new menu, to celebrate the launch of their new kitchen & chefs. Having already being a big fan of Grub And Grog (who had previously been manning the kitchen), I was intrigued to see if this new team and menu could keep up to the good rep. 

Northern Monk: The low down

Before I get to the details of the all important new dishes, here's a quick low down of what Northern Monk's all about:
Who are they? As well as being an established brewery (with their cans now available in M&S - well done lads!) Northern Monk also have their upstairs refractory and kitchen for casual dining. They've also recently installed a beer garden so you can make use of the sporadic days on sunshine we'll get this summer!

Where is it? Jump off the train at Granary Wharf and head towards Holbeck urban village - it's basically just a 10 minute walk from Leeds city centre.

What kind of vibe? It's a very informal, relaxed atmosphere with rustic decorations and a communal vibe - expect to be seated on long benches like in the German beer halls.

Who will love it? Craft beer lovers will be in their element.. with each dish from the menu having a recommended beer pairing. Equally if you're a fan of earthy british cuisine - you'll also be a fan.

The New Menu: Roll Out The Dishes

Dish: Poached Cod with Pistachio Nut Butter, Grilled Spring Onion, Roasted Pistachios & Lemon
Beer pairing: 'Eternal' Session IPA

Dish: Venison Tartare with Dijon Mustard, Shallots, served with Quail Egg Yolk & Rye Bread Crisps
Beer Pairing: New World IPA

Dish: Pan Fried Duck Breast with Carrot Purée, Sautéed Carrots, Fennel & Jus.
Beer pairing: 'Heathen' IPA

Dish: Slow Baked Trout and Pickled Cucumber, dressed with Sea Herbs.
Beer pairing'Banh Mi' Thai Gose (a collab between Northern Monk and Banh Mi Booth for Leeds Indie Food 2016)

Dish: Broad Bean Waffles with Oak Smoked Goat's Cheese, Pea Purée & Nasturtiums
Beer Pairing: Northern Star' Mocha Porter (created with ground coffee beans from North Star Coffee).

Dish: Vanilla Yogurt with Strawberry and Black Pepper Ice Cream from Northern Bloc, Strawberry Compote, Macerated Strawberries & Elderflower Fritter.
Beer pairing: Neapolitan' Ice Cream Pale


The majority of the dishes had earthy flavours to them, such as the light and tasty broad been waffles and the poached cod with its buttery sauce (which had to be mopped up with bread as was too good to waste!). I'm not usually a huge fan of trout but ended up being pleasantly surprised by the dish (helped along by the sharp taste of the pickled cucumbers!).  Duck's not really my cup of tea since I find it quite a chewy meat - but other keen duck lovers at the table thought it was delicious. 

Dessert had to be my favourite dish (sugar addict over here!) - the flavours in the strawberry and black pepper ice cream mixed with the macerated strawberries were spot on! 

Overall I think the new menu keeps up to the good standard of food that we're all used to at the Monk, and I'm looking forward to trying more dishes from the menu in the future.

Gabby xo

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