If you haven’t already tried out the Basque-inspired Pintura in town, you are truly missing out (as we explain here). With some fantastic booze and, more importantly, at least from our perspective, outstanding food, it’s a restaurant that Leeds can be proud of.
We were invited down recently to try out the new summer menu, created by head chef Greg Lewis. Here are our thoughts on the dishes we sampled.
Pastel De Carne
Melt in the mouth beef, creamy mash, and truffle – this dish is incredibly moreish. Foam can be superfluous to the enjoyment of a dish, but here it provided a nice contrast to the heavier meat element. Several people at the event branded this the dish of the evening.
Mejillones En Cerveza
Head chef Greg has once again shown that Leeds being a land-locked city doesn’t hold it back when it comes to seafood. His twist of using Mahou as the beer element of this dish helps to elevate it. The mussels burst with flavour and the garlic bread provided the necessary accompaniment to mop up the juices.
Ensalada De Coliflor
Cauliflower salad may not sound very exciting, but this dish is ideal for vegetarians. It had a real freshness and variety in texture to it, making it interesting and appealing for meat-eaters as well. I was impressed by the subtle use of goat’s cheese, which didn’t overpower any of the other elements.
Crispy salmon skin, anyone? I didn’t think it would work either, but this element to the dish elevated it from a standard gin-cured salmon to a multi-textured and full of flavour plate of food. The freshness of the peas helped provide some colour, and this dish was one of my favourites.
Normally, the idea of baby squid in ink sauce would put me off ordering a dish. In fact, I’d go so far as saying this is normally the sort of dish I would go out of my way to avoid. Despite my views, this is a Basque speciality, which meant I had to give it a fair chance when trying it! Much to my surprise, and to the credit of the cooking team, this dish far, far exceeded my expectations, with the squid perfectly cooked, the alioli providing a difference in flavour, and the ink sauce proving complex enough to make it more than palatable for me. The fact that there was no rice was also pleasing; the dish itself was left to stand on its own.
Ensalada de pollo
Though not in my photo, the real highlight of this dish was the chicken skin, which provided an extra burst of flavour and a different texture. The Basque cheese used here was distinctive enough to turn this from chicken and cheese into a unique salad.
It was suggested by a few people at the event that Pintura should simply open a small coffee shop at the front, serving these rosquillas to passers-by. Should this happen, they would do a roaring trade! The doughnuts were not overly greasy, were dusted in enough cinnamon to provide a good punch of flavour without being overpowering, and the dulce de leche dip simply added to the indulgent factor here. A divine dish.
Sadly we tried this dish after the rosquillas, which skewed my impression of it! Despite the fact that it could never reach the lofty heights of the doughnuts, the gateau was lovely; the pastry was perfect and the pudding as a whole not too heavy.
Reservations: 0113 4300 915
Where is it: Trinity, Leeds, Ls1 6AP
Categories: Restaurant reviews