It’s a mid-week evening in Leeds and the city’s restaurants are all very quiet except for one which is exceptionally busy. You only have to sample the food  here and its easy to understand why?

George’s Great British Kitchen is  one of the city’s best – if not the very best eating houses opened over the last year.

George’s is all about the traditional British taste with unique twist. There’s  a plethora of dishes that taste just like mum used to cook on its unpretentious menu.

The décor tastefully reflects our region with beach hut style booths at one end named after seaside destination names such as Filey, Scarborough, Bridlington and Cayton and Robin Hood’s Bay. In fact there’s a rather seaside feel to the whole restaurant.

Our  Scarborough Beach Hut was cosy and comfortable and as we ordered one of their rather decadent cocktails, the seaside spirit soon kicked in.

My colleague chose one from the George’s Sweet Shop Cocktail menu named Lemon Sherbet. A vodka cocktail, based on the lemony favourite sweetie of her childhood,  she declared it very refreshing and although infused with candy floss  not overly sugary.

My choice was Candy Annie and was I surprised when it arrived! Served in a highball glass this vodka, gin, passion fruit, lemon, rhubarb and custard had an enormous crown of candy floss on top that really reminded me of the sea-side I knew as a child. What’s more it tasted good and was exceptionally tangy the passion fruit coming through the other flavours.

Starters gave us a problem there were so many tempting dishes. Homemade ham hock and mushy pea fritters took my fancy. They were covered in a very crisp seaweed crumble and the combination was flavoursome and quite filling. Be warned starters are really hearty at George’s.

My colleague went for the garlic and chilli prawns. They came on a grilled flatbread with mango salsa, salad, hot chilli and garlic prawns finished with a coronation mayo. Although the dish was very tasty the prawns were very small and the quantity was sparse.

Main course for me had to be the charcoal grilled Scottish haddock fillet served with the best twice cooked chips I have tasted in any restaurant ever – and I’ve tasted a lot. The fish was succulent and cooked expertly to enhance the fresh taste.

There’s base options with all  charcoal grilled dishes and I chose the superfood salad to accompany my fish. It had bread and butter pickles, pickled raisins, toasted almonds, and beetroot chutney to name but a few goodies which combined beautifully with my fish.

My colleague ordered the lemon, tarragon and garlic grilled chicken. The butterflied chicken breast was well marinated in tarragon, lemon and garlic and served on a bed of baby leaves with green beans. The chicken was flavoursome, tender and enhanced by the fusion of flavours which included a dressing of mushroom, charcoal grilled cauliflower and other ingredients.

For her base option she chose the bubble and squeak mash with chestnut mushroom, white wine and tarragon sauce, which was the ideal partner for the chicken.

When it came to dessert I had my eye on George’s Yorkshire Curd tart but you have to get up early to secure a portion of that particular dish as it sells out very quickly. So I went for the safe option of the Apple and Caramac Higgledy Piggledy Crumble Pie. I was secretly dreading it been a sickly sweet concoction but nothing could have been further from the truth. The pastry was bliss, there were chunks of real apple in it, the crumble top served with a salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream made it a real heaven on a plate.

George’s very own lemon meringue pie is a vision of delight and just so different, it more than delighted my colleague. It had home made lemon curd blended with broken crunchy meringue, topped with lemon meringue ice cream and served on a pool of raspberry sauce. It’s one of those dishes she declared that has to be seen and tasted to be believed.

George’s complete with its newspaper style menus, its sophisticated beach hut seating, candy floss on its cocktails plus the best chips around can be what you want it to be – a fun night out with friends, a business or family meal or the perfect place for dining with that someone special.  It’s blessed with friendly, knowledgeable and efficient staff, a great menu, wine and drinks list reasonably priced – this place just has everything – except a view of Scarborough Bay!

Monday-Thursday 12 – 9.30 (Last orders)

Friday 12-10.30 (Last orders)

Saturday 11.30-12.30 (Last Orders)

Sunday 11- 9.30 (Last Orders)

George’s Great British Kitchen, 52 The Headrow, Leeds 1

Tel: 0113 244 6959

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