Dish, Leeds – Restaurant Review
by Rebecca Tredget
Dish is located at the Great George Street side of the Electric Press in Leeds, in the building that previously housed Aglassto, and before that Si Sushi. If you ever visited Aglassto, the inside is pretty much the same – dark woods, deep greys and greens, candles in the fireplace. This is the sort of place where you just know that some part of your meal will arrive on a slate or wooden board. The restaurant is small (I’d hazard a guess it seats around 25) with a small open kitchen at the back.
We had a lovely, crisp glass of Pleno Viura to begin (the Pre-Theatre menu includes a glass of wine) then, for our starters, I went for the Saffron Macaroni & Telagio Cheese Gratin with Aged Parmesan and Crispy Fried Breadcrumbs. It was a little, steaming bowl of comfort. Deliciously cheesy and creamy with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs to give it some crunch.
Depth of flavour came from the aged cheese and it was the perfect antidote to a wet and frosty evening in Leeds and just large enough to satisfy a rumbling belly. Perfect comfort food. My date went for the Duck Liver Pâté with Ruby Beetroot Chutney, Cornichons, Herb Salad & Sourdough Croutons. The pâté was rich and smooth with a hint of iron and, once it was paired with the beetroot chutney, received a welcome boost and ended up as a rather lovely starter.
After some umming-and-ahhing over mains I finally settled on the Cool Salad of Marinated Artichokes, Smoked Olives, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Heritage Potatoes, Duck Egg & Yorkshire Blue Cheese Sauce. The artichokes were a rather stingy portion – just two meagre slices – and I was missing the green beans and was especially disappointed that the duck egg was hard boiled rather than runny. And the potatoes were a real low point – impossibly dry and the worst we had ever tasted.
The dressing was very nice though, giving the dish some much needed moisture and although the smoked olives were rather odd they provided a nice conversational piece and added a bit of character to an otherwise below average salad. Although we were eating the Pre-Theatre Menu the salad also appears on the Dinner Menu at a hefty £9. Even more disappointingly it is the only vegetarian option for mains, assuming the Parmesan in the Saffron Macaroni contains calf rennet.
“Nice chewy texture”
The date went for fish of the day, which was gurnard. It arrived in a fish broth which also contained chunks of salmon, potatoes and mussels. There was some toasted bread on the side. Dish say on their menu that they use sustainable, seasonal, British fish. It is always a nice bonus when a new restaurant has morals. The gurnard was nicely cooked and well seasoned with crispy skin. The broth was thick and creamy with generous amounts of salmon chunks. The mussels were especially good.
For dessert I had the Hazelnut Praline Semi-fredo with Dark Chocolate Sauce. Prettily presented with some raspberries, it wasn’t overly sweet or stodgy. In fact I could have had another piece. But then, I am a sweet fiend. The hazelnuts broke up the creamy richness and added a nice chewy texture. My date went for the Yorkshire Blue Cheese, Poppy Seed Crackers & Chutney. The cheese was lovely and deep, with a proper twang and the crackers looked home-made.
“Cosy and comfortable”
After a 3 course meal I’m usually ready for a nap, ideally curled up by any fire/radiator I happen upon. I liked the fact that after eating three courses at Dish I didn’t feel sluggish/out for the count/in need of a crash diet. A testament that they’ve got their portion size spot on. And if there’s something we’ve all learnt from Masterchef, it is that portion is key.
I really wanted to love Dish. The menus are really interesting and the restaurant is cosy and comfortable. It’s a nice place to spend the evening. But the food didn’t deliver for us. I appreciate that the restaurant is newly opened and is probably still finding its feet. But basics like cooking potatoes well should be a given, regardless of how long a place has been serving.
At £19.50 for three courses and a glass of wine it probably undercuts a few of its early bird rivals. But it has some seriously stiff competition to contend with out there. I’ll be trying Dish again in six months time, when there really are no room for excuses. Like I say, I really do want to love Dish.
Dish, The Electric Press, 18 Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3DW
Open Tues-Sat 12.00-23.00 Sundays 12.00-17.00 Mondays Closed.
Three Course Pre-Theatre Menu (including 1 glass of wine) £19.50
Editor’s Update: Dish in the Electric Press has now closed down.