When the opportunity arises to try out a new menu at a local restaurant it’s very hard for me to say no. I mean come on guys, food. ALL THE FOOD. As a keen bean I’m always intrigued to see what different eateries have to offer. The older I get, the more I enjoy the slightly finer things in life (but hey, that doesn’t mean I’m not adverse to boshing a foot-long steak & cheese subbers every once in a while. Ya with me?) So, when the invitation to see what the Firelake Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Leeds dropped in, I was pretty interested. After I did a little research online, it seemed that this was much further away from being “any old hotel restaurant.”
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Situated on the main headrow, near the Town Hall, the hotel & restaurant sit inside The Light, a small shopping and eateries complex right in the heart of Leeds. We were greeted by warm tones, industrial-chic interiors and Mixologists doing their thang at the bar. We cut through the throws of people enjoying Saturday night cocktails and made our way to the back of the bar where the Firelake Restaurant sits comfortably. It’s a very warm & inviting place to be. We were lucky enough to be placed in one of the super cute booths by an incredibly helpful hostess who went through the menu in great detail, offering her advice on her favourite dishes. I ordered a glass of prosecco (and boy, they serve it properly here!) and James had a Moretti beer (his new fave) and we set too it, deciding what we were going to feast on.
Okay, I’m NGL, this place is just super cool. If you read my Jamie Oliver’s post, sometimes I’m more taken by the venue rather than the actual food that is served to me. But, on this occasion, the Firelake served up on both this time. From the low lights, the Victorian tiles and cute place settings it delivered on every level. The atmosphere was just cosy and every bit of a winter hideaway that you’d want at this time of year.
First of all, we were brought the customary bread and oil. Which on an empty stomach was a treat. Upon the recommendation we ordered the Firelake Board for two. This was a sharing platter that included little snippets of a few of the starters. A great option for if you are undecided (and also want a heck of a lot of food for a fraction of the price.) Complete with a combo of Firelake’s favourites, it included the Lake it – a trout terrine with orange and fennel salad, the Croquettes – Crab, smoked ricotta, tomato and wild garlic chutney (my favourite from the towering shelves we were brought), the Mushroom – from their famous forager with rarebit toasty, some pickled veg (super tasty!) and finally the Yorkshire board with chunky torched bread with cured meats. And heck, was it a lot of food. But so very tasty. We both agreed that the Crab Croquettes were undoubtedly the star prize in this starter. We also agreed that the Lake It could have had more flavour to it though. It came in at £16, which for two, I thought was pretty good value for the amount you were presented with.
Aw man, I do love a restaurant that has a kitchen that you can see in to. It’s fascinating to watch the chef’s at work, creating perfect dishes for us all. As I’m partial to a steak, and with the promise of indoor barbecue charcoal cooking, I knew I’d be making a good choice if I headed to the meat section on the menu. Firelake’s promise is simple; that all the beef comes from grass-fed, British-reared cattle, using prime cuts and a minimum of 28 days ageing (which in Farm world is the very least they should be hung to get a really good cut of beef.) Mr C was definitely spurred on to order the same as me. Maybe I just have the gift of the gab, but we both ended up ordering the fillet steaks, with peppercorn sauce, hand cut chips and bloody Mary tomatoes (FYI, them little balls of red are fiery!) We both stipulated them rare and true to our request they were served no more than that (possibly a little on the blue side if I had to pick up on that) but it was such a lovely cut of beef that it didn’t Matt we to us. It really was worth the £28 price tag. Not least because I enjoyed the hand cut chips (because restaurants can really, really, really get them wrong.) If I’m totally honest, I was stuffed at this point but I really wanted to go whole hog and see if I needed to be screaming from the rooftops about the deserts on offer.
I wasn’t overly enthralled with the choices, so I decided on a fail safe favourite of Pana Cotta, finished with poached pear and honeycomb. The poached pear really made the desert for me as the Pana Cotta was quite dense and slightly lacked in flavour but paired with the pear (aw man, no pun intended) it washed down quite nicely. Mr C just has an Americano (as per) but managed to fit some of my leftovers in. To be honest, I was in love with the dishes and spent most of the course trying to work out where they were from. I want some for home.
We worked out our bill would have been round the £100 mark for two. At that price, I’d say it would be somewhere we would go on a special occasion as it’s a little bit more than what we would usually spend – but, the quality of the food is most definitely worth it. The Firelake seemed to tick many boxes, from the decor, to the drinks and the scrummy food we both ate. A real good all rounder. I’d give it a high 8.5 to 9 out of 10. There’s not much I’d change about our experience, but there is always room for improvement like in most areas of life!
*Our meal was provided to us free of charge but all words are true to the amazing experience we both had at this Pinterest -worthy restaurant!
I'm Bee. 27 year old who is finally starting to understand herself. A Scorpio that's too nice to use that sting in her tail, regularly found searching for holidays or online shopping. Happiest when being fed, travelling & spending time with Mr C.