THE PERFECT SUMMER DINING OPTION
There’s not a more peaceful and tranquil place for enjoying the delights of summer dining than Brasserie Blanc.
Although it may be hot outside – inside there’s a wonderful cool ambience in this restaurant a former Victorian nill with its exposed brickwork, metal beams, tiled décor and shimmering crystal that lights up every table.
Brasserie Blanc really goes that extra mile in tempting seasonal dishes that look as gorgeous as they taste. As well as its cuisine the restaurant is blessed with knowledgeable, friendly and well versed staff.
We were taken to our table and seated and given our menus and some friendly and informative advice about various dishes, but the nicest thing was when our server said: “There’s no rush take your time in choosing”.
We indulged in some nibbles whilst we looked at the menu. The baguette and dips is really a delicious combination with a crispy artisan baguette accompanied by saffron mayo, spiced aubergine and mushroom and spicy citrus and coriander dips. The dips were so smooth and the bread warm and crispy a perfect fusion of flavours
For starters my partner and I chose totally different tastes and textures. I went for the BB Cheese Souffle with Wyke Farm Cheddar Sauce. Souffles are not the easiest dish to get right even in the most reputable restaurants but this was a work of art. It was served in a pan and the server cut a hole in the top and poured in my sauce – as a bit of a cheese addict this was simply amazing. It was light, smooth and the cheddar sauce gave it a definite kick. But be warned this is a filling dish and a large portion for a starter.
My partner went for the Indian Spiced Samosas. These temping little parcels were filled with spiced potatoes, cashew nuts, sultanas, peas and coriander and came with a tamarind dipping sauce. The pastry was crispy and light and the coconut cashew cream that accompanied them was a delicious addition to what otherwise could have been a bland dish.
Although he’s a Southerner, I am trying to educate my partner into the culinary joys of Yorkshire and Rhubarb is one of them. So he went for the Smoked Pork Belly with Pink Champagne Rhubarb.
Pork Belly was once the poor relation of pork. Years ago it was regarded as a meat for poor people with little money to spend on food. Then a few years ago it catapulted to the best restaurants in town and is a top class menu favourite now – just like good old Yorkshire rhubarb.
It had to be served with cabbage – what else could pork be served with, sautéed potatoes and a very palatable rhubarb and ginger chutney. The pork was not overcooked and succulent with delicious crackling to add to the tradition.
I decided on the Grilled Loch Fyne Salmon Fillet with Tomato Hollandaise. Not a sauce lover I asked for the sauce to be served on the side. Salmon is not an easy dish to cook. This was perfect not dry and not slimy as it can often be. What with the souffle and then the salmon I bet the chef thought I was really testing his skills.
When it came to desserts – all printed on a cute little pink menu card there was only one dish for me – Pink Champagne Rhubarb and Custard with Cinder Toffee. This was certainly my heaven on a plate plus! The poached rhubarb was served with ginger, vanilla creme anglaise and honeycomb crunch – it could have been especially designed for me as it contained all my absolute favourites. This was a great and imaginative combination as the sweetness on top was so compatible with the tartness of the rhubarb.
My partner’s Jude’s Ice Cream and Sorbets looked and I am told tasted equally delicious and the generous portion came with a crispy Gavotte biscuit.
As the sun went down on the embankment we sat with our coffee in the outside seating area and we could have been a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the city. Pleasant perfection.
Brasserie Blanc, Victoria Mills, Sovereign Street, Leeds 1
Tel: 0113 220 6060
Open: Monday to Friday 10.00am – 10.00pm. Saturday 9.00am-10.30pm and Sunday 9.00am-9.00am.