The Grill On The Square, Leeds: Or, Pretty Gangsta for Fish and Chips

The Grill on The Square in Leeds markets itself as serving "solid, honest and simple proper food" and ends this statement with "job done": a statement that we'd tend to agree with. The week before our trip to China and Hong Kong, we popped up to Leeds for another fantastic weekend with A's brother K and his girlfriend J, and dashed out on Saturday night for a bite to eat in this place.

Parent company Blackhouse have a few "Grills" around the UK: six branches place "the Grill" anywhere from on the corner in Glasgow to nervously on the edge in Cheshire. There's one in London, too: the Grill on the Market by Smithfield meat market in the City. Given our experience in the Leeds branch, it has gone onto our list of places to try. A small warning to any vegetarians: while the Grills do have a couple of vegetable options, this place loves its meat, with a particular focus on beef. There are burgers galore and a huge steak selection, which we have on good authority from K & J are very good, and served exactly as requested (rare, in their case).

In this case, however, we all bucked the trend and went for what perhaps seems an unusual choice for a town a good 50 miles from the sea: fish and chips (£13.50). Served with pickled onions, tartare sauce, the cod fell apart in chunky, tasty flakes, and the chips were what we dubbed 'proper chips' and were more akin to potato wedges than the junk you get in fast food restaurants. Safe to say, it produced four happy customers.

For a starter, C couldn't resist the look of the Baked Camembert (£6.00): it was certainly a generous starter, even though it was billed as 'mini', and came with crusty bread to dip in. If she had just one complaint, it would have been that she'd have preferred a few more pieces of bread, but she was very happy with the quality of the oozing cheese. 

A, instead, opted for a Mixed Heritage Tomato Side Salad (£4.50). It came beautifully presented, and A found it a delightful way to sample different types of tomato at the same time. It's certainly unusual to get a salad which is comprised of one type of fruit in various incarnations, but A enjoyed its freshness and flavour. He made quick work of it, but nonetheless assisted C with the cheese.

C had been eyeing up the Rhubarb Fool for dessert (£5.50), but when it came to it found that she was almost too full to actually contemplate eating any more (cue the old line about eyes and stomachs). She went for her old favourite, the Lemon Sorbet (£3.75), which was lovely and light, and ever so sour which is right up her street. 

A finished off his meal with a Disaronno Amaretto Coffee, a dessert made up of a shot of amaretto, a shot of espresso and a blob of ice cream. You put the dessert together at your table by adding the three ingredients together, leading to a boozy hot and cold ice cream float. It's rich, creamy and shot through with complementary flavours of coffee, almond and vanilla. In short, it was absolutely great.

All in all, The Grill on the Square made for a solid, reliable, enjoyable and comforting meal out in Leeds. An ideal place to go for a relaxing evening in the city.


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