(image from Shears Yard website)
A trip to Shears Yard has been a long time coming. After reading some great reviews on this Independent Kitchen and Bar in Leeds, from the same team as Arts Café, we finally got round to booking a table on Thursday Evening. Shears Yard is tucked away on Wharfs Street, on the Calls and has an impressive entrance arch way at the front.
The interior is beautiful, a large open space exposed brick work and simple hanging lightbulbs – which looks like it should be cold, but really isn’t! There were only around 6 tables eating, so it didn’t feel too busy or too sparse. I am imagine on a full evening it could get very loud and er, cosy in there! The décor was fresh with soft lightening and impressive high ceilings.
We had homemade bread with tomato butter whilst we were ordering, as well a lovely bottle of Rose Zinfandel Wine (£15 a bottle, which is very reasonable for a restaurant!). The menus came on wooden boards with a bulldog clip on the top and with my resolution to try new things, I opted for the “Smoked goats cheese beignets, slow roast tomatoes, basil mayonnaise, roast baby aubergine & confit garlic” for starter, and Adam chose the “Ham hock & grain mustard terrine, blue cheese puree, walnuts, poached baby pear & apple coleslaw” – both of these were delicious.
The ham with the pear went perfectly together and my goat’s cheese beignets were delightfully warming. For main, I opted for the “Local corn fed chicken breast & leg, crab & lobster fritter, sweetcorn & chorizo salsa & lobster mayonnaise” and Adam the “Fillet of Sykes House farm beef, beef brisket & potato hash croquette, roasted shallot, shallot puree & king oyster mushroom.” The portions were perhaps small for some people, but I am not a big eater, and so for me it was just right. I wish all restaurants served smaller portions so I wouldn’t feel so bad for wasting it!
Since setting myself the resolution to try new foods, I have been confident enough to have widened my palette dramatically. A couple of months ago, I would have looked at the menu and freaked out because I couldn’t see Spaghetti Bolognese and I didn’t understand it, but just taking a chance is paying off dividends and allowing me to taste some amazing foods and flavours. Now I just wish I knew more about the ingredients, and how different foods complement each other – (Crab and Lobster Fritters, Sweetcorn and Chorizo salsa? I know nothing about these things!). Everyone who knows me, knows I am a terrible, hopeless cook – Pasta and Sauce is my kind of meal (which is a luxury next to Pot Noodle and cold spaghetti hoops!) but its time like visiting Shears Yard that I wish I would buck my ideas up. The mixture of flavours were like an explosion on my taste buds and I just wish I could truly understand ingredients and cooking in able to appreciate it even more than I already did!
I failed to finish off the bottle of wine (Adam was driving!) but we did share a banana cheesecake with a toffee sauce which was so delicious, but such a good job that we just shared the one!
I thoroughly recommend Shears Yard, and I can’t wait to go back. It was perhaps an extravagant evening out for a Thursday night, but the bottle of wine did push the bill up! I can’t wait to return and try some of the other things on the menu, I trust that they all probably taste as nice as the ones we ordered!
Please visit their website to look at the menu and book a table: www.shearsyard.com
(Apologies for the really shoddy photos and lighting, I'm too embarrassed to use flash - I think a fantastic camera needs purchasing before Australia!!)