The first lunch of my ‘extended period with no fixed job of work’ was spent in The Reliance in Leeds. And I can think of no finer place to spend it. It was an off-the-cuff affair (always the best, of course) and I met Mr Street for a quick pint and a bite.
I think Reliance is one of Leeds’ hidden gems. Situated just on the edge of the city on North Street, it has an unassuming frontage next door but one to one of Leeds’ legendary curry houses – Hansa’s. The atmosphere is chilled and laid back, with a bohemiam chic that is conducive to a relaxed approach to eating and drinking.
On this occasion, a pint of their own brew – ‘Reliance Bitter’ of course – and beer battered fish and chips were juts the ticket for a cold winter afternoon. The chips were advertised as twice fried and they were crisp on the outsided and fluffy inside. the mushy peas combined traditional mushed green marrowfat with garden peas and the accompanying tartare sauce was homemade, caper filled and zingy. On to the fish – a small but perfectly cooked piece of haddock was a joy. The batter was perfection, made with one of the bitters on offer (can’t quite remember which). Mr Street has a ciabatta chip butty which he declared spot-hittingly good.
Next time you’re around the top of Leeds, I would recommend at least a beer or two in Reliance and if you have the appetite and the time, stop by for some lunch. You’ll discover one of Leeds’ little treasures.