Brasserie Blanc in Leeds has been the home and heart of classic French food for 12 years now, a city centre venue somewhat unobvious to the eye yet a dining experience that would be felonious to miss.
Having lived in Leeds for nine years, I’ve heard of the brasserie before, yet never visited. Only recently having been invited to an art night which was being hosted in this venue, was I immersed into its finesse and quaint décor and atmosphere.
Having decided to eat there ahead of our artistry, it was almost an epiphany moment, a realisation – how have we never eaten here before?The food was spectacular and was also given strong compliments from my lovely French companion.
Having been invited back for a complimentary review of their à la carte menu, knowing what was in store for us, I was hugely excited.
The evening mystery showcase was explained by their delightful and hospitable assistant manager Danny, with dishes selected by Brasserie Blanc which would applaud local cuisine and seasonal produce.
Throughout the night we were well looked after by Simon who kept us well fed and hydrated. A genuine and kind service.
Having decided on white wine, Danny recommended Picpoul de Pinet to accompany the evening dishes. A southern-French wine, where the Picpoul grape has been grown around the village of Pinet.Set to be great with seafood, in general, the light and refreshing wine was recommended to go well with a variety of food pairings.
To start, we were served baguette with dips. Hugely recommendable as a snack before the meal purely for the enjoyment of their brilliant take on dips. We were served three different types – saffron mayo, spiced aubergine and mushroom, followed by spicy citrus and coriander.
Whilst all three were tasty, the mushroom dip for me was the highlight, whilst Nathan was impressed by the zingy citrus one.
With two emerging starters coming our way, Simon placed a cheese souffle before us and a chicken liver parfait.
Known as the ‘BB’ cheese souffle, it was everything you would want from a cheese souffle. Cheesy, light, fluffy and moreish. This dish came with a Wyke Farm cheddar sauce, all for the extra cheese delight.
As someone who was yet to be convinced that chicken liver pate is enjoyable, Brasserie Blanc gave me that opportunity to surprise myself and enjoy the taste of it for the first time.Not wanting to push my luck, Nathan was more than happy to finish off the parfait which was served with brioche, truffle butter and onion marmalade.
We both agreed it was the best we’d ever had.
On my first visit to BB, I had ordered the duck leg confit and spent days raving on to Nathan about it.
So, when Simon brought out our mains, I was so excited for it to be served. Now Nathan was able to go through those food emotions I did just a few weeks back.The dish is truly something special. The duck is delicate and soft, with a crispy coat and served with a citrus sauce.
Dotted around the plate is a pea purée with fresh vegetables and a creamy dauphinoise potato.As for my main, I was served a beautiful Malabar fish curry, which is a recipe that stemmed back from the French colonial empire.
Within the curry was a soft hake which was perfectly complemented by the coconut and spices from the curry.
To garnish, a grilled king prawn which was spot on and a shallot crisp. All elements of the curry came together to create one grandiose dish.
Although already having been very well fed, we had our arms twisted and somehow made space for a dessert. Not much twisting was needed though.
Sharing both, we indulged in a sweet pastry, a cherry amandine, which was filled with frangipane and cherries, crème anglaise with toasted almonds and pistachios. Our personal favourite.The second to taste test was the pistachio souffle, a BB classic served with a scoop of choco ice cream. Also a faultless dessert but one that quite possibly had more of an acquired taste and texture.
For the finale, a generous espresso martini serve.Brasserie Blanc is a hidden treasure, mightily worth exploring. If you’re looking for brilliant service, top-notch food and a cosy atmosphere, then you have found what you are looking for.
See you there,
And before you go, throughout the week, BB also run several promotions including: