THE DEER PARK REINVENTED
Over the years The Deer Park on Street Lane has enjoyed a great reputation as a pub and restaurant.
But now after a major refurbishment, rebranding and the exciting re-creation of its bar and menu The Deer Park has become a major force on the Leeds pub dining scene to be reckoned with.
Spacious is the only word to describe its exceptionally well planned interior. Yet its so expertly designed with nooks, corners and small intimate areas that you never feel you are in a large and soulless area.
Each area has its own character and its own eclectic mix of furnishings. Leather antique style chairs mix with contemporary fabrics on the sofas. There’s lots of brass and glass but created in a modern style to give light and space. The dark wood gleams alongside cream almost art-deco furnishings
The Deer Park now has a conservatory area complete with fluffy covers and there’s a large area to dine alfresco in the warmer weather. The bar area integrates well with the dining area it’s a seamless arrangement. And a big plus is that it’s a dog friendly pub in the bar area.
The menu is far from typical pub dining. It wouldn’t look out of place in a top restaurant and as for the presentation of the food – they win with top marks – some well known restaurants with stars could take a lesson from The Deer Park’s presentation.
The Deer Park has a large wine and drinks list with a very good selection of cocktails which need to be tried.
As I dislike sweet cocktails I opted for the Blood Orange and Passion Fruit Collins. This was certainly for me it was tangy and refreshing, was not overdosed with ice and the flavour of the gin came through the passion fruit and the lime with the soda giving it a sparkle and a lightness.
My colleague opted for the Sailor’s Heavy Punch. This too was not overly iced and well presented. The rum was softened with a splash of red wine which took away and harshness of the rum. The pineapple and the lime juice enhanced the flavour but the taste of the rum really did come through the drink.
Whilst we savoured our cocktails and studied the large menu we indulged ourselves in a bar nibble choosing the Artisan Rustic Breads with oil and balsamic vinegar, Nocellara olives and flavoured butter. A vegetarian dish it was more than ample for two people.
For starters I opted for the Truffled Goat’s Cheese. It came on a sweet chilli bed of beetroot, with diced pear, orange and honey dressing and a rice paper cracker. What an artistic presentation this was with a prawn cracker like a fan and flowers in the dish. Unfortunately it was a little bland and tasteless and the dressing had solidified in the bottom of the dish resembling toffee.
My partners starter however was perfect. The oven-baked king prawns and lobster came hot and steaming with a hot garlic butter to enhance their flavour. Both the prawns and lobster were cooked to perfection and the warm rustic bread perfect for dipping into the butter.
The menu at the Deer Park is excellent with a wonderful choice for all dietary requirements and even includes a Plant-Based Burger.
My colleague chose the 10oz rib eye steak. It was superbly tender with a smooth texture and very succulent and the recommendation on the menu, for how it should be cooked was helpful and perfectly right! .
I decided on the seared Sea Bass Fillets. This is a difficult fish to cook as it needs to have a crispy skin on the outside yet must not be over cooked as the fish becomes dry. These two large fillets were cooked to perfection and just melted in my mouth. The fish was flavoursome and moist and the skin dry and crispy.
The fish came amazingly presented on ribbons of courgettes marinated in lemon. My dish vegetable wise was like a voyage of discovery with several different vegetables as well as baby potatoes and asparagus. I asked for my vermouth velouté on the side and this was presented in a mini saucepan. It was tasty and hot and complimented the dish.
When it came to the desserts I had just about enough room for the trio of ice cream with a home baked triple chocolate cookie – so much nicer than a wafer.
But my colleague’s Rhubarb and Apple Crumble served with hot custard was he declared even better than his gran used to make. It was tangy yet not sour, the crumble was crispy and the custard was thick and creamy.
The Deer Park has certainly re-invented itself and can be anything you want it to be. Ideal for a girlie, business or family lunch, a romantic or celebration dinner for two or just the ideal place for an I don’t want to cook night out. There’s even some spacious areas upstairs for functions from receptions to kids parties.
It’s a friendly place and the staff are very knowledgeable about what is behind their bar and on the menu but the main thing is they make you feel special.
The Deer Park has got a wonderful bar ethos with just about every drink on offer and lots of comfortable seating, quiet areas and of course it welcomes Fido!!!
The Deer Park, Street Lane, Leeds. Tel: 0113 246 3211
Open: Mon to Thurs. 11.00am-11.00pm; Sat 11.00am-12.00pm; Sun 11.30am-10.30pm.