A few weeks back I had the opportunity to try out City Square’s newest addition of restaurants, Banyan Bar & Kitchen. Replacing Loch Fyne, directly opposite the train station, is the latest opening of Arc Inspiration’s exciting new prime city centre restaurant serving food and drinks from 10AM until late. City Square is the perfect venue for a new bar and restaurant. With the footfall from business folk, happy shoppers and tourists, Banyan stands grand in its fabulous building and swanky interior. Welcomed by friendly faces, we were taken upstairs to join Martin Wolstencroft, owner and managing director of Arc Inspirations, on a round table to learn more about Banyan and the company itself. With a ‘Pea & Mint Bellini’ in hand (dare I say I have a new favourite Prosecco cocktail), we were excited to try the menu and taste Banyan’s recommended cocktails.The next cocktail that came out was the Cucumber Cooler, an extremely refreshing and fruity cocktail. This drink was extremely delicious and made me think of the summer, and now on reflection, Banyan had a strong theme going here as both initial cocktails included Germain elderflower liqueur and Prosecco. For me, it’s becoming more apparent that these two ingredients are my winning combination. Next up, was the first plate of food which had an oriental theme to it: Teriyaki belly pork with sesame seeds, crispy duck spring rolls, plus crushed avocado and pea toasts.with wasabi sour cream. All delicious, but the pork and duck were particularly stunning and equally as more-ish as they look. Next up on our very enjoyable tasting session is one for you if it’s a sweet tooth you have when it comes to drinking cocktails. And if rum is your preferred spirit, I’d suggest trying out their Rum & Raisin Mai Tai- but be warned, a sweet tooth is necessary. As the food was brought out, the seafood theme became quite clear and we had the pleasure to try a variation of Banyan’s Japanese interpretations. The crab crostini was beautifully presented, to the point where I don’t think I’ve ever seen seafood so colourfully garnished. The deep fried brie wedges were tasty and by this point I had completely zoned into my very happy food mode.The highlight for me was without a doubt the crispy calamari (sorry too greedy to get a photo) and tempura king prawns with pak choi; I indulged in every little bite I took. Even though it was so full up, I made sure not one bit was left over. And then… yes we had a very greedy night… out came the desserts, which at this point I was struggling to find space (even after shamefully opening up my trouser button). Presented before us with amazing attention to detail again was the vanilla cheesecake and salted caramel and chocolate torte. Need I say more? To finish the night off, we had an espresso martini which I also adore, and can always find enough room to finish it off. I particularly loved the pistachio twist it had by adding it into the martini as a syrup plus the rim coating on the glass. As you might know from my cocktail masterclass experience, a coffee based cocktail always goes down well with me. So there we have it, having tried the food for you (what a shame!), I can definitely confirm that Banyan isn’t just a grand standing, swanky looking venue, but it’s a new addition to Leeds that serves deliciously great food and cocktails you should really try. Whether you’re looking for a lovely place to eat in town or just needing a excuse to try out the cocktail menu, Banyan is the perfect contender, especially during the summer with it outside seating. With Banyan having been open for a few weeks now, please do feel free to let me know if you’ve been and what your experience was, or even if you’re looking to pop in.