Box, Chapel Allerton, Leeds – Restaurant Review
Being able to get out for a meal and a drink again is great, isn’t it? We’re all able to venture out with some sort of normality getting back into our lives; and being able to dine out, and have drinks with friends and family again feels amazing.
And being able to head out to our favourite areas of Yorkshire again is an added bonus too. We’d arrived in Chapel Allerton to try out the new Box on a lovely, sunny Wednesday tea-time. And this vibrant haven of Leeds was starting to get the colour back in its cheeks again. People sat outside, smiles on their faces… how much did we take this feeling for granted 15+ months ago?
But enough of all that. We’d arrived, ready for some food. And as we did we were warmly greeted at the door by the friendly and upbeat Korie. He asked how we were, and asked if we could check in on the track and trace app. The new-normal and all that. He’d go on to perfectly take care of our every need whilst we were there.
“A different gravy”
We were shown to a table, at the side of the first section of Box, and we were handed our menus. Both food, and drink. We’d kind of expected a bit of a smaller scale menu, what with hospitality only just opening again – but we had a decent amount of meals to choose from. We took our time to look over tempting dishes. Burgers, Pizza, Sandwiches, Kebabs and Loaded Fries – those kind of plates. And they do some good finger food dishes for starters too. I’d eaten at the City Centre Box bar before, and know that you get substantial, street food style meals from Box.
This time though, I went for something new. The Burrows Burger (£10.25) sounded nice so that was for me. And after a little deliberation, my partner went for the Pepperoni Pizza (£9.25). And to go with the meal, I ordered a pint of Coors Light (I was driving! But the temptation of Budvar was trying to get me to go for something with a bit more bite). The G&T menu tickled my partner’s pallet, and a Tanqueray gin with Elderflower tonic took her fancy.
In this current social climate, ordering in a bar is a different gravy. At The Box, you have a QR code on your table to scan, input your table number and place your order online. Tonight, we did want to ask Korie about a couple of things on the menu, and he popped over happily to tell us about the offerings and the dishes we’d decided on. We loved this, it shows that this lengthy but temporary hiatus on traditional customer service is only slightly marginalised.
With our orders placed, we had time to chat and take in this new bar.
“A really nice diner-style environment”
Chapel Allerton’s Box is more compact than its Leeds city centre counterpart by some stretch, with a narrower entrance and bar area, which opens up as you wander around the back. But the layout is perfect; it’s spacious and they’ve utilised the space nicely. Booths down one side, high tables down the other, and larger tables and areas are you get to the rear of the building.
You also get a view of a TV from anywhere in the place, which is great for the sports fans (especially those taking advantage of the offerings they’ll have during the Euros). And every element of the interior comes with a high standard of finish. Tiling, wall panels, flooring, furniture, neons, tables… it’s a really nice diner-style environment.
But what about the food? Well, we weren’t waiting long and when our meals arrived, both dishes sat on their plates looking seriously good. My Burrows Burger was a crispy, spicy chicken burger, which came with pancetta, mayo, shredded lettuce and BBQ sauce. There were fries on the side with their skin on and a generous sprinkling of rock salt. I was ready for this!
And over the table, the Pepperoni pizza was a huge affair. It came with a knife, fork and pizza cutter and there was definitely a feast going to be had with that one.
We tucked in, and my burger was as pleasing in the mouth as it was on the eye. Very succulent chicken, and the coating only had a touch of spice about it. Nothing over-powering or anything that was trying too hard, it was just right. The combo of the mayo and bbq worked, and I’d declined to add cheese to the burger. In hindsight, I wish I’d had that too as I think it would have completely rounded the dish off perfectly, but I was more than happy with what I’d chosen. Absolutely delicious. What I also liked about it was the fact it’s named after Leeds rugby star Rob Burrow, and 25p from every one of these burgers sold is donated to Motor Neurone Disease Association. A very nice touch.
My partner’s pizza didn’t disappoint either. Korie asked her how it was, and the stonebaked delight had definitely hit the right buttons. A perfect base, with a nice balance of sauce and cheese was there, as was a generous amount of Pepperoni (pizza joints please take note!). Grease and oil-free too! She alternated between using the pizza cutter and the knife, so it was a bit of an edible adventure.
We both completely cleared our plates.
“More than satisfied”
Although classed as a sports bar, this one has a bit of a classier feel about it. You have the sport on the TV, the American style menu, and the casual staff uniform; but it’s a genuinely nice place to be. Modern, cool, spacious, and not the sort of place you’d associate with raucous beer swiggers with sticky tables and stinky toilets (the toilets are fantastic, by the way). They call this place the #gamechanger – perhaps that’s one of the reasons why.
It’s wheelchair accessible, and you get free wifi (important for when you want to tweet your frustrations when you’re watching the match!). We enjoyed Box a lot. We could have probably treated ourselves to a dessert each too, but our stomachs had been more than satisfied. And although we weren’t stuffed, we were comfortably full. And it was still a lovely evening outside so we decided to head out for a walk around this gorgeous area of Leeds, before driving home.
Box, 8 Stainbeck Lane, Leeds, England, LS7 3QZ
Mon – Weds – 4pm-12am
Thurs – 4pm-1am
Fri – Sat – 11am-1am
Sun – 11am-12am
Tel: 0113 269 8666