BRASSERIE BLANC ON THE WATERFRONT
Brasserie Blanc has grown to be the jewel in the restaurant crown of Leeds.
Situated on the waterfront, as they now refer to the banks of the once grimy River Aire that originally littered with dark satanic mills and bonded warehouses, Brasserie Blanc has risen from the ashes of the area’s regeneration and become a dining force to be reckoned with.
It was a walm balmy night when we visited and the outside large flagged terrace was full of customers enjoying the last rays of sunshine over a glass of vino and some sumptuous tasty treats.
The restaurant is housed in a old Victorian Mill and so many of its original features remain and have been incorporated into the décor to give it atmosphere – the iron posts, pillars and rafters, the exposed brick walls, tiles and wooden flooring. Although its Victorian design the restaurant is very light and airy with lots of sparkling glass on the tables, large windows and of course candles that really do twinkle and some very comfortable seating.
The staff at Brasserie Blanc are very friendly and helpful. They have the ability to make you feel welcome and will go that extra mile to make your evening really special.
The menu here is classically French and devised by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc but at the same time it is designed to appeal to every taste – even little ones who have their own special menu.
My partner opted to start with the Chicken Liver Parfait that came with a Truffle Butter, and Caramelised Red Onion Marmalade with toasted Brioche.
He gave it ten out of ten for its ultra-smoothness and taste and when mixed with the marmalade it gave it a real exclusive taste.
There was only one choice for me for starters that was the Cheese Souffle. I love this dish but so often I am disappointed when it arrives. Disappointed no elated yes when my souffle arrived this time. It was just as it should be hot, light, fluffy and full of flavour and the Wyke Farm Cheddar Sauce gave it an extra flavour dimension.
I had no reservations about what my choice of main would be Halibut. This was a favourite of my grandmother, who introduced me to it at an early age but sadly it has now become a rarity on menus and even at the fishmongers.
This was Halibut personified a thick roasted steak on the bone – as it should be served – with a Champagne Sauce and topped with Keta Caviar. The fish was cooked to perfection remaining succulent and juicy it just peeled away from the centre bone.
My Halibut was served with prawn potatoes with spring onion, spinach and chives – the ultimate accompaniment for what I often call the King of Fishes.
My partner chose the Smoked Pork Belly with Apple and Crackling. This was a slow roasted pork with crispy crackling and roasted apple. It was soft and tender and the apple mingled with the pork very well. The braised cabbage, a traditional accompaniment to pork and the Dauphinoise potato made a worthy paring with the meat.
After a short spell catching the last rays of the setting sun over a glass of vino we returned back inside for dessert.
The Rhubarb Crumble caught my eye. I love rhubarb especially when its grown in our own fair county. This was poached Yorkshire rhubarb at its best with a citrus crumble. It was served with ice cream but I wanted to savour the tangy rhubarb taste and the heavenly crumble without any additions.
The crumble was my heaven on a plate with large chunks of the tangy pink fruit in my dish covered with a citrus crumble that paired so well with the rhubarb.
My partner decided to forgo the sweet, thinking of his waistline – but I was so glad I had gone for gold and sampled the rhubarb.
It’s not very often that a restaurant reviewer gets all their favourites so well prepared, presented and cooked in one night – but I did perhaps the first time it has happened for quite a while.
Brasserie Blanc runs many special events and evenings so its worth checking their website brasserieblanc.com
Open: Monday to Saturday from 12.00 noon to 11.00pm. Sundays 12.00 noon to 10.00pm.
Brasserie Blanc is situated at 4 Victoria Mill, The Embankment, Sovereign Street, Leeds 1. Tel: 0113 220 6060