The Deer Park, Roundhay Review

A couple of weeks ago we decided to venture through the snow to try out The Deer Park’s new menu. We’re regular visitors as it’s our local, and the food has always been really nice, I especially recommend their Sunday roasts! They recently added a handful of new dishes to expand their menu and we couldn’t resist going to try.

I started with the kiln-smoked salmon tacos. The portion was just right with two tacos served in those handy taco holders. They looked great, with sour cream, pickled beetroot and peppers, but they were unfortunately fridge-cold. This really affected the taste as you couldn’t really get any of the flavours, except the beetroot which was sweet and delicious. I think these could have been really nice if they were served room temperature or even slightly warm.

Gary had the lobster and king prawn pot which was really good! Served as a mousse, it a lovely texture accompanied with gorgeous crunchy ciabatta toast. Yum. I definitely had food envy!

For mains, they didn’t have the chicken pie I’d ordered (though they explained the snow had affected their deliveries) which I was really sad about because who doesn’t want pie when it’s snowing outside?? I opted instead for the chargrilled lamb and balsamic kebabs, with chips instead of the couscous salad. The lamb kebabs were really well seasoned with a slight hint of spice, though they were a little bit on the oily side.

Gary went for the roasted pork belly which came with scallops and dauphinoise potatoes, and a rich jus . I’m not a fan of pork belly, but did try a little bit in the interests of the review. It was really tender and the jus was full of flavour.

Pudding was the real star of the show, we chose to share the the Dulce de Leche lava fondant served with peanut butter brittle and praline ice cream. The fondant oozed beautiful Dulce de Leche, we found ourselves spoon battling for the last bite. It was one of the best puddings I’ve ever had!

Overall the new Deer Park menu is good and service was excellent as always. There’s a lot more to choose from now and some really nice sounding dishes that we didn’t try such as the buttermilk chicken and a pan fried seabass, and of course the pie that my heart was set on! I’m sure we’ll be back again to sample some more dishes soon.

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Fanoosh The Indian, Street Lane, Leeds Review

This place used to be an only ok Turkish restaurant called Istanbul Mezze, which shut down in the summer and has now reopened as Fanoosh. I’m pretty excited about it as Street Lane has a severe lacking in Indian restaurants, and it’s great to be able to go out for one rather than order in.

We visited one busy Saturday night and were glad that we’d called ahead to book, at one point all the tables were full! The decor is pretty nice, a bit extravagant but matches the name as we learnt ‘fanoosh’ means chandelier or lantern in Urdu.

We went for poppadoms first with dips, which were pretty standard and tasty. Then we had the Chicken Tikki Kebab which was minced, spiced chicken shaped into little patties. They were REALLY nice, sort of crispy with soft juicy centre, though two between us felt a bit mean portion wise and we wished we’d ordered more.

 

For mains we shared the Lamb Karahi and the Chicken Haandi, plus rice and garlic naan. The chicken was described as the ultimate ‘comfort dish’ and it really was the star of the show. It was served on the bone and covered in a gorgeous thick ‘spicy shorba’ sauce. The lamb was falling apart into a blend of tomato, curry, garlic and coriander. Both dishes were really good but again the portions weren’t huge, and we were glad we’d gone for double carb. I could also have maybe done with some raita or yoghurt as they were pretty spicy, so be warned if you prefer it mild!

All in all it was a really good meal and the restaurant itself seems warm and friendly and welcoming. Service was a bit slow but the food was so good we forgave them, it was a very busy night and you can expect teething problems with any new restaurant.

If you’re on the fence definitely give Fanoosh a visit, I really hope they stick around!

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The Olive Branch, Roundhay review

One of the things I love about living in North Leeds is the amount of bars and restaurants right on our doorstep. It’s so easy to step out for food if we can’t be bothered to cook (yes that does happen sometimes!) and a lot of the choices are quite healthy too.

We usually go to Banyan but felt like going further afield this weekend, so decided to go to The Olive Branch. Having been there once maybe 18 months or so ago for lunch, we wanted to see what their dinner offering was like and we weren’t disappointed! 

The Olive Branch is on Street Lane and is relatively small, seating maybe 8 tables or so, so do book if you want to go! It serves Turkish food with a great range of vegetarian options as well as ‘pides’ or Turkish pizzas.

We started with the garlic sausage, or ‘Sacuk’ and the babaganus dip. 

The garlic sausage was a really savoury, slightly spicy beef sausage served with mushrooms in a tomatoey ‘juice’. This was absolutely delicious and a really nice change from the usual chorizo I feel like I order and eat all the time in Mediterranean restaurants. The babaganus dip had a beautiful smokiness from the aubergine and tasted really fresh.

Next up for the mains, we both went for lamb kebabs. I ordered the Adana and Gary went for the Shish. Mine was minced seasoned lamb, formed around the skewer, whereas Gary’s was cubes of meat that had been marinated.


Both dishes were fantastic and served with rice, salad, wonderful cacik (a tzatsiki-like sauce) and salsa. The Adana was the perfect texture, not dried out at all, and expertly seasoned. The Shish was cooked to perfection, still slightly pink in the middle and a lovely cut of lamb, not chewy at all. 

My only complaint would be that the salsa could have been a lot hotter as this would have really brought some more life so the plate, but that’s just me I like a bit of spice! 

For around £40 we enjoyed a reasonably healthy, authentic Turkish meal with a glass of wine and a sparkling water. If you’re looking for something different in Roundhay that’s set away from the usual hustle and bustle this is a great place to try!”

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