Last weekend we headed over to Meanwood for a lazy Sunday lunch with some friends at The Hungry Bear. We’ve been meaning to go for a while, and I’m so glad we made the effort to visit this small but perfectly formed eatery that will surely help Meanwood make the leap from ‘up and coming’ to ‘trendy North Leeds suburb.’
After getting the important stuff out of the way (ordering Prosecco), I made my food choices, plumping for a smoked duck salad starter and a beef blade main. We also had a little surprise appetiser of a beautifully rich and smooth tomato and basil soup.
As a blue cheese hater – sorry – I requested that the smoked duck, pear and walnut salad come without that odorous addition, and had it with goat’s cheese instead. The duck was perfectly pink and flavourful, while the soft pears and crunchy walnuts added texture. I’m not sure the whole dish quite worked for me, but that’s very much my own fault for getting into the whole goat’s cheese situation. The individual ingredients were all fabulous.
The beef arrived swimming in gravy and with a Yorkshire pudding the size of my head (this is a good thing). The roast root vegetables were sweet with a touch of crunch, and the roast potatoes? Incredibly moreish. The beef itself was so tender it fell apart at the touch of my fork and had an intense flavour after 24 hours of cooking low and slow.
I still decided to squeeze in a dessert – might as well do it properly – and opted for the pistachio sponge with a lime crème fraiche. I love pistachio and I wasn’t disappointed by this light, tasty sponge. The lime crème fraiche had quite a zing and made a lovely alternative to heavy cream or ice cream, leaving a freshness on the palate.
The service was efficient and attentive throughout. It’s a small place but spread over two floors, so I did feel a bit sorry for the poor serving staff trooping up and down the steps with heavy plates! Other than that, though, the atmosphere is quite cosy, and we barely noticed that we were just a few feet from the main road through Meanwood.
We made quite an expensive do of this, with three courses and wine coming to £125 for 4. But, there are mains between £8 and £15 with starters and desserts at £6-7, so I wouldn’t rule it out for a good value lunch.
We make a point of trying a new restaurant at least every month or so (when funds allow!) and The Hungry Bear is the best we’ve tried in ages. It was the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon, with cosy, relaxed service and a stylish neighbourhood restaurant feel but top notch food and drink. Can’t wait to go back.
In other news…
This Leeds Inspired round up of gigs in Leeds throughout February and March is a cracker.
Since neither of us work in town, the market isn’t that accessible to us, so lately we’ve been getting our fruit and veg via Market Delivered. Full post to follow, but I’m a fan.
Claire’s review of the pizzas at Sela Bar has left me dying to try them for myself!