Sufficiently inspired by my outrageously successful breakfast visit to Harvey Nichols, G dcided to join me for the latest instalment of my relentless search for the very best breakfast experience Leeds (and its environs) can offer.
This week: City Bar and Grill.
Occupying a great location in city square and if the weather is fine, there’s not many better places to dine alfresco in the city centre. Alas, this Sunday’s drizzle forced us indoors which to be honest is no bad thing as I think it’s one of the most handsome dining rooms in Leeds. When it’s packed with people, the big, clattery space delivers lots of atmosphere. On a Sunday though, there was chilled out ambience with a scattering of diners – by no means empty.
We settled into a table for two and both ordered full english breakfasts, tea, coffee, water and bloody marys. Service was slick and friendly and soon the food and beverages were arriving. The bloody marys seemed to have the bar staff flummoxed though and we saw them consulting a manual to see how to make them! We assume that their normally excellent mixologist was off duty and as a result the cocktails weren’t bad – but they just weren’t a patch on the HN version.
As the breakfasts arrived it was immediately clear that the kitchen had made the schoolboy error of overcooking the poached eggs – they were rock hard. I think is always a good measure of a kitchen if it can deliver perfectly wobbly, runny poached eggs time after time – then they know what they’re doing. All else was pretty good to honest. The bacon had been griddled and we decided it would have been better fried, but the sausage and black pudding was good quality and we thought the sauces brought to the table without asking was a nice touch.
(Apologies for the half eaten food pic – I forgot to take a shot such was my enthusiasm to get stuck in!!)
Coffee was Illy and was excellent and G’s twinings breakfast tea was declared on the money. Including tip it came to £40 for two of us and although this definitely wasn’t a budget excursion, we concluded that we’ve eaten a lot worse but equally eaten a lot better for the price.
So, although the breakfast at City Bar and Grill is at a similar price point to Harvey Nichols the overall quality at HN is better. The portions at CB&G were substantially larger and we certainly felt like we’d been fed and had relatively good value. I would certainly recommend on this basis, but if you’re thinking of pushing the boat out a little, then HN or Anthony’s still take some beating.
Next breakfast review will feature a more modest outlay – any suggestions where we might find a ‘proper’ working mans breakfast in or around the city?