IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY
From the moment you climb the marble steps of The Dakota Leeds with its seriously stylish glossy black and pearly white exterior you feel really special.
Enter through the glass doors and its easy to see why The Dakota has become the City’s smartest boutique hotel. You enter a Narnia of sophisticated contemporary design. The low lighting levels, tinted windows, pictures of Hollywood stars past and present and beautiful gilded mirrors all add to the exclusive luxurious ambience that The Dakota enjoys.
Making our way across the deep pile carpet of the foyer to the lift was the beginning of a delightful gastronomic journey we wouldn’t forget in the Dakota’s Bar & Grill.
As if by magic the moment we stepped out of the lift and went through the restaurant doors a member of staff was there to meet and greet and show us to our table – a rarity these days as often a wait to be seated can take up to 5 or 10 minutes or even longer in most establishments.
The windowless restaurant is well designed and reflects a contemporary elegance. The lighting is moody and most of the light comes from candles placed in brass canopied candle vases that give an extra glow to the room. The walls are decorated with tasteful art work whilst the tables are thoughtfully spaced to give that bit of privacy and although they seat four were only set for two.
We literally sank into our curved type booth seating upholstered with the softest leather and within minutes a welcome glass of Prosecco manifested itself whilst we perused the menu.
The Grill’s staff have a quality to appear when needed almost as if by magic and are clearly there to cater for your every need.
The menu was a small one but afforded a great choice. Grill Executive Head Chef, Craig Rogan is noted for his love of using the Best of British products and fresh seasonal ingredients which were in abundance on the menu.
Craig has brought a wealth of culinary experience with him to The Dakota having worked at some of the UK’s most prestigious hotels some of them holding Michelin Stars.
We decided on a cheese themed start with two very different dishes. My Yorkshire Blue and Grilled Romaine ‘Waldorf’ was a first for me and truly delightful. The warm wedges of Romaine lettuce were drizzled with a Yorkshire Blue Cheese with walnuts and grapes bringing out the flavour.
My partners Ribblesdale Goats Cheese with Heritage Beetroots & Walnuts was equally as delicious. The tang of the Beetroot diffused the strong taste of the Goat’s Cheese which was melted and presented like a work of art.
We had heard so much from friends about how good the steak was at The Dakota that my partner just had to order one from the Chargrill menu. Declaring that his Ribeye was one of the best he’d tasted for a very long time – and he travels the world in his day job – it was tender, succulent and juicy and cooked exactly as requested. As sides he chose French Fries and Peas with Mint and Smoked Pancetta, which blended admirably giving a flavour to the peas.
Grilled Cod with King Prawns, Peas and Yorkshire Chorizo was my choice. I decided to forgo the Chorizo and the kitchen came up with an equally tasty alternative in the sauce with Mange Tout which was an admirable pairing with the Cod and my chosen side of New Potatoes with Herb Butter.
Our desserts that followed must have been made in the angel’s kitchen.
My partner opted for a hot sweet and was not disappointed with his choice of Peach Melba Crumble. The topping was light, crispy and oaty with tangy braised peaches underneath. For a “I am not a dessert person” to eat the whole lot” and enjoy was a triumph for the kitchen.
But my heaven on a plate of Strawberry, Elderflower & White Chocolate was I can honestly say the best dessert I have tasted for years. It was a pure voyage of culinary discovery.
The case was artistically made of filo pastry. On top was a slim wafer of solid white chocolate. Then followed the strawberries and meringue with a tasty confectioners custard at the bottom. This creation was more than heaven on a plate.
This restaurant has such a relaxing ambience that it took us a while to tear ourselves away – but I know where I want to celebrate my birthday next year now and in the words of Arnie – ‘we will be back’
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 6.00pm to 10.00pm. Sunday 6.00pm to 9.00pm.
The Dakota, Greek Street, Leeds LS1 5RU. Tel: 0113 322 6261.