FOR A CULINARY JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME…
Situated in the oldest street in Leeds you could be forgiven for walking straight passed Home’s discreet entrance. In a building that was once a snooker hall and then an Indian restaurant, these premises now house what is surely the jewel in the city’s culinary crown.
There’s no fussy signage just a large wooden door that says Home on it. Venture through the door and ascend the candlelit stairs of this listed building and your culinary journey will begin.
It’s a journey choreographed by MasterChef semi-finalist Liz Cottam and the former head chef of a Michelin star restaurant Mark Owens, who between them have created an culinary masterpiece that is like no other.
They have redefined classic British flavours and present them by way of a carefully curated taster menu. Each month the menu is changed so that seasonal products are given their own chance to shine and make a statement.
The starting point for your journey is the bar at the top of the stairs with a relaxing ambience, comfortable seating, stylish décor and a highly polished wooden floor with lots of natural light spilling in through the large windows.
Home’s staff are both attentive, knowledgeable and very efficient and will guide you through the menu answering any questions you may have about either the food or the wine.
The restaurant serves a 10 course taster menu, (a five course one on Sundays) which takes around three hours and this can be accompanied by a Wine Flight. This flies you through different types of wine which are expertly paired – so the wine changes profile in conjunction with the food. The wines vary in their country of origin from France, Chile, Italy and two English Wines and choosing the Wine Flight is an excellent option. Not only does it allow you to sample wines you have perhaps not tasted before, but also to experience some rather unusual but highly palatable pairings.
Home prides itself on its ethos which is based around re-imagining British flavours using local produce. This even extended itself to our pre-dinner gin aperitifs with Leeds Gin, bottled in the heart of the city and an Apple and Blackberry Gin benefiting the Jane Tomlinson appeal.
The beginning of our journey was quite dramatic. “The Chef is ready for you now” our server declared and the double doors to the dining room were flung open revealing a large and spacious dining room.
The décor is rather 1950’s meets modern cool chic with tables expertly spaced, comfortable chairs and a very relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere.
As an overture to our tasting menu we experienced a selection of snacks. These included a Beetroot Meringue, a Carrot jelly that melted in your mouth, and a smooth chicken and game mousse with truffle and hazelnut. A great selection of imaginative flavours to get the taste buds tingling.
Our first course was Bone Marrow Choux Bun comprising of oxtail, wild mushroom and sherry broth. The choux pastry was light but the broth was a little too pungent for me, however for lovers of broth this would be a dream.
Next up was Ham and Egg comprising of tasty, crispy York Ham with a hen’s egg and burnt butter. The ham provided a very crispy topping and was served with potted shrimps, not a combination I would have thought of but one that really worked well with the egg and butter caramelised at the bottom of the dish.
But it was the next course that really found favour with us. Spring Garden Salad was a mixture of young shoots which were totally amazing especially the sweet corn shoots plus some very tasty heritage vegetables that were tender and full of natural flavour especially the young succulent peas.
I loved the French Onion soup served next and this ranks amongst the best I have tasted for a long time. The caramelised onion made it smooth and flavoursome but it was the Tunworth cheese, that has a hint of Brie, that really gave this dish a kick and an unforgettable taste.
We did wonder what our next course The Table Picnic would comprise of – it was a celebration everything that is good about salad, pate, cheese and fruit – and a basket of hearty delicious home made bread.
The Mackerel and Horseradish dish of the next course had something I had not tasted before – Horseradish ice cream. An ingenious addition to the dish it was smooth and creamy and its flavour blended subtly with the mackerel taste.
The meat course was Venison and as both myself and my colleague cannot eat venison we opted for the vegetarian option. It was Artichoke Wellington with a vegetarian black pudding. This course was the crème de la crème of vegetarian dishes. The black pudding was so tasty and just melted in your mouth and added a flavour to the dish.
Decadent temptation on a plate is what Home desserts are all about and we experienced two of them
The rice pudding was creamy and just like granny used to make, served with a rhubarb jam – in celebration of local produce, and given the modern twist of doughnuts this was an all out favourite pudding with a vintage feel.
English Apples consisting of an elder flower soup and vanilla cream parfait was my heaven on a plate though decadent as far as sweets go I could well have been an Oliver Twist and asked for more of this.
After visiting Home its not hard to understand why the restaurant is fast gaining a great reputation. I would be very surprised if Home doesn’t achieve a Michelin star in the very near future. It is the perfect place for a very special occasion – I say that because it is quite an expensive restaurant – but for such a gastronomic journey of excellence it’s worth every penny.
Home 16/17 Kirkgate, Leeds LS1 6BY. Phone 0113 430 0161 www.homeleeds.co.uk.