With the Christmas rush now well and truly behind us time has suddenly allowed for Paul to get back into Leeds with the family and try out another great example of independent food that opened in 2014.
Seth is now 6.5 months old and is starting to eat proper food. With a full tummy he seems more settled and even treats us to a few minutes peace whilst he naps a little in the morning and afternoon – long may this continue. We decided that rather than drive to Leeds we’d take the train, another first ticked off for the boy, and the ability to have an alcoholic beverage should this be required.
There were a few chores to do first so the family split up. Katie nipped off to return some stuff to the shops whilst me and Seth had a little walkabout, and by that I mean we headed straight for Trinity Kitchen. I had the thought I might grab a little bit of a snack and a drink but at 11.30am pretty much all the street traders were closed. I understand that it’s a long stint at Trinity Kitchen for the operators who are often one or two man/woman bands and opening til 8pm daily must make it a long day, but from a customer point of view it’d be great if someone was offering some kind of morning option. I can only assume that it’s generally very quiet in the morning and not worth opening – a shame though. I sneaked Seth out to Mrs Atha’s and grabbed a flat white to go.
We are closing Baltzersen’s for 5 days towards the end of January (19th-23rd Jan 15) to make some improvements/repairs so my mind at the minute is distracted by some ideas I have for changing our interior. One thing I did notice is that ‘distressed’ wooden planking/panelling seems to have become one of the go-to options for interiors and I saw it in a number of chain/franchise outlet’s design schemes along with lots of industrial styling. I am aware that many places were full of those features long before we fitted out Baltzersen’s, but I didn’t quite realise how ubiquitous it had become. I can’t help that it makes me want to rip stuff off our walls. More to come on that soon I suppose.
Still whiling away a bit of time we decided to drop in to a new craft beer bottle shop Talboys Beer Market in Thorntons Arcade – it’s not all just about independent food, the drink is important too. The shelves were looking a little depleted after what must have been a busy Christmas and New Year period, but I was assured a big delivery was inbound on Friday. I managed to dig out a nice bottle of barley wine from Buxton/Evil Twin breweries. We’d save that for later.
And then to lunch………
A short walk from the station, on Mill Hill, Bundobust is a collaboration from the family behind Prashad indian restaurant originally from Bradford and The Sparrow Bier Cafe. I am not going to go into huge detail about the place because I am way too late to that party. You can check out a 1001 blogs about it by doing a google search or check out Diane’s in-depth review from A Tale of Two Sittings‘. She covers independent food openings a hell of a lot quicker, in more detail and with better photography!
The food menu is short but interesting and well priced between £3-£6. The beer menu is long with local ales, collaborations with Northern Monk Brew Co. over the river and also some world ales, i.e. Mikkeller, on tap and by the bottle. My favourite dish was the onion bhajis whilst Katie enjoyed the samosas. We ate 5 dishes for a total of £20 and were sufficiently full for lunch.
For me the menu is better suited to eating some snacks whilst having a few beers rather than the other way around but a full meal can be created. Bundobust say as much in their about page:
‘Bundobust is not a restaurant, it is a bar that sells Indian street food with an extensive selection of the world’s best craft beer.’
On this occasion it was a bit early so we opted for the chai. A subtly spiced sweet black tea.
Liz Ellory gives a good account of the place and briefly compares to her experience in Mumbai on her blog Lizzie’s Tasty Journey.
In my new-ish role as a Dad I will throw a few bits in for parents. Bundobust doesn’t have a baby change (as far as I could see- let me know if I’m wrong) so it was a slightly awkward change sat on the toilet with Seth on the floor of a very clean disabled cubicle. I’m not sure about highchairs, we didn’t ask and one wasn’t offered. We took our own food for Seth but I’m sure adventurous older kids would be able to eat something. Now that I think about it I’m not even sure if they allow children?! Maybe they don’t, Seth can give it another go in 18 years time.
After dinner it was time to go for a coffee and with the buggy this can be a bit of a challenge in some of the smaller places around town so we walked over to see Alex, Stu and the team at La Bottega Milanese, Bond Court. If you haven’t visited La Bottega’s bigger store then you should, it’s a lovely spacious light filled corner unit with a large central communal table and plenty of perching space around the windows. Rob and Paul H visited for a cupping with Darkwoods coffee recently.
All in all a solid day of food and drink. It’s always a pleasure getting into Leeds and we look forward to many more days trekking around independent food suppliers in 2015. One event to keep your eye on is Leeds Independent Food Festival (#LIF15) which is due to take place in May 2015. It’s a collection of events happening all over the city and should offer some great opportunities for fun and interesting collaboration as well as lots of chances to fill up on the best and most exciting independent food that Leeds and it’s surrounds have to offer.