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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Sukothai, Chapel Allerton Review

I have a confession to make. Here goes: I’m not like, really into Thai food. *gasps*

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fully dislike it, it’s just if we’re talking Asian cuisines I’d rather go for Vietnamese, Chinese or Japanese. I just think I’ve just had quite bad experiences with Thai restaurants. It’s so touch and go out there. Bad Thai curries, only-ok pad thais… I’ve been burned before, and would usually just choose to go somewhere else. 

Until now *dramatic music*. 

I recently went to Sukothai in Chapel Allerton and it has to be the best Thai meal I’ve had in my life. I’m a convert. Now I can be that person that suggests going out for Thai and have a failsafe restaurant to back it up. Sukothai to the rescue.

I was so curious to try here as it’s reputation really does precede it. It’s won countless awards and I often hear great word of mouth reviews. It’s a fairly big restaurant, but it gets REALLY busy. We booked a table on a Friday night and good job we did. People were queuing out of the door (you know it’s going to be good if people are queuing out of a door). 

The service on drinks was a little bit slow but it was very busy – all the tables were full so they were clearly at capacity. We ordered a mixed satay platter to start with which arrived fairly quickly. 

Sadly though we ordered it for three people and there was only two kebabs of each meat. We pointed it out and at the end they only charged us for two people, but hey we would have liked more meat. Anyway after awkwardly cutting the kebabs into thirds, they were absolutely delicious.


There was chicken, beef and pork and a choice of dipping sauces – spicy peanut or sticky soy. The chicken and peanut went together beautifully and the soy was excellent with the other two. The star of the show was the pork – it had a soft melting texture and was so juicy and full of flavour. 


Next up I ordered the Chicken Pad Khing – chicken stir fried with ginger, spring onion and mushrooms. The chicken was soft and tender, in a sweet and salty sauce that just tasted beautifully oriental. The veg was perfectly cooked, not overly done, with a nice crisp to it still. It all had a very clean taste to it too, not greasy at all. My only niggle was the ginger was in huge chunks which wasn’t that pleasant to eat, but that’s more just personal taste. 

My friends ordered the Phed Mamuang Himmaparn (duck with cashew nuts) and the Khao Pad (fried rice) with beef. Both were generous portions and the duck was incredibly tender.


The food was really reasonably priced too, including wine it was less than £30 each. The menu is incredibly big, I feel like I definitely need to go back to try all the different things! All in all I’d really recommend Sukothai, I’m sad I didn’t discover it when I actually lived in Chapel Allerton. If you’re looking for something a bit different, it’s really worth a try.

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