East Parade Social Club, Leeds – Restaurant Review
There’s a new, cool place to eat and drink in Leeds. It’s close to the merriment of Greek Street, but just slightly detached from it to be slightly off the party-track. And it’s well worth checking out.
The East Parade Social Club is part of the city’s new AvenueHQ facility, that offers a mash-up of work-space and social space. So, a friend and I wandered in one Friday tea-time for food and a couple of drinks to find out what it was all about.
As we wander up the steps and through the door, the place is busy but not rammed. It’s roomy, everyone’s got a seat, and there seems to be that laid back, non-pretentious but happy vibe going on. Your crowd is a mix of dressed down creative-looking types, and your guys and gals in suits. We’re slap bang in-between the trendy and the financial areas of the City, and you’ve got people from both worlds in here.
In the minimally spacious and cosy East Parade Social Club, I found the place to be intimate, and unobtrusive. A certain atmosphere that meant the ‘social’ aspect of the place was clear to see. Adding to the feel of the place were the friendly and well-presented staff. It was Aimee who took us to our table.
“Everything on the menu took our fancy”
Comfortably sat in a pod, we were pretty hungry, and the menu offered us a small array of options. Cheese, meat and vegan sharing boards meeting flatbreads, nachos and snacks. I’m not being a lazy writer when I say that everything on the menu took our fancy. It’s definitely a quality over quantity thing here at East Parade Social Club.
My mouth watered at the Meat Sharer at £15, and the Roadhouse Nachos (£9.50). Aimee, who’d taken fantastic care of us had already suggested we try one of the flatbreads, so at £6.90, we added the Chorizo offering.
East Parade Social Club prides itself on its selection of real ales. I get the impression that this is its focus for drinks, but it’s a shame they don’t have a bigger range of wines too. There is a small selection, but when you look at the food on offer an extensive wine list would complement it perfectly. We went for a couple of pints of Hop House 13 from the tap.
“A different edge”
We liked how the place had been done out. Soon enough our food came, and we realised we’d made a mistake. We didn’t ask Aimee how large each dish was, and as she brought two dishes our way that were huge enough, her colleague Callum popped out from behind her and handed us a third.
We had one of those speechless moments going on, with a look that said: “How we gonna eat this!?”
The Chorizo flatbread with mozerella, jalapenos and rocket looked delightful. First bite was even better, bringing powerful flavour with it.
The Roadhouse Nachos with pulled pork, cheddar, jalapenos, salsa, guac and sour cream was immense too. You often hear “Nachos are nachos” right? Well, the version loaded with pulled pork give the ‘snack’ a different edge. These were really good – I merrily chomped through these. And will be my go-to food next time I’m in.
The hands-down winner of the best dish and best-looking meal was the Meat sharer. In a fantastic selection, we got ham hock and pea terrine (which was amazing), parma ham, sliced bresola, Cumberland salami and spianata romana. An array of cheeses, and you get lots. We both took our time to nibble our way through this platter, and there was nothing on the board we didn’t like.
“A venue I instantly liked”
We spent at least two hours at East Parade Social Club, and if we didn’t have to move on we’d have stayed longer. It’s just a lovely place to be, matched with sumptuous food and a nice vibe. We couldn’t manage all the food, and when you come here make sure you ask about the size of each dish. You’re likely to be very surprised with what you get!
My only disappointment was that we didn’t have chance to visit the rooftop bar or the secret garden. But come spring I’ll be sure to check out the rest of East Parade Social Club – because it’s a venue I instantly liked.
If you’re looking for a social thing with your friends, or a drink and a well-presented bite after work, this is your place. East Parade Social Club have a brilliant balance of offering and venue. A chilled atmosphere, somewhere you could equally stay all night, or just begin your evening.
Either way, it gives you something different. And it’s location is perfect as well. East Parade Social Club is a brilliant and important addition to the Leeds social scene.
East Parade Social Club, 10-12 E Parade, Leeds LS1 2BH