(and not just because it was 21 degrees outside…)
We are, happily, very spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Leeds. The recent trend for street food, small, casual plates and informal, cool settings has give rise to a whole new dining experience – perfect for date nights and meeting friends. But do you know what? Sometimes you want shiny. Sometimes you want dark, romantic, upmarket and a little bit special. And when more so than at Christmas time?
Ok, so when I went to try out Dakota Deluxe’s new Festive Menu it couldn’t have felt further away from a December evening. Whilst everyone else was bathing in what surely must be the last of the glorious summer weather, I was picking an outfit that could fit an entire Christmas dinner into, and still be able to breathe, or more importantly – drink.
I bloody love Christmas dinner. If there’s a full Christmas dinner on a menu – I’m getting it. Now I know there are lots of people that prefer the alternatives and for that reason my plus one graciously obliged to test these out. Plus, she doesn’t like Christmas pudding so it would have been a total waste. But I’m happy to say I went full on traditional in my selection of smoked salmon blini, turkey ballotine and the aforementioned (delicious) Christmas pud.
But before we get onto the nitty gritty of the grub, we need to talk about the venue. Having opened its doors in May 2017 the arrival of this boutique hotel had gone largely unnoticed by myself. Namely to the arrival of my son eight months previously. But now, I’m stumbling out of the baby fog blinking into the shining light of something rather special. And it seems as though I’m not the only one to be taking notice, with Katy Perry, Richard Ashcroft and The Stone Roses having stayed at Dakota Deluxe whilst touring. It became the Number One hotel in Leeds on Tripadvisor within three months of opening and had stayed there ever since.
My guest and I were kindly shown around the venue, consisting of various bars, outside seating, indoor snugs, a champagne bar and finally the downstairs grill. All absolutely beautiful. The available space is surprisingly large yet broken into smaller spaces to really create an intimate feel. We headed downstairs for our Christmas feast and I was so pleased to see crackers on the table – I really hope this is standard for their festive menu.
The starters were delicious and just the right size. Creamy chicken liver and truffle parfait on buttery toasted brioche and silky smoked salmon on a homemade blini. None of this dried out mini pancake rubbish.
My turkey, having been made into a stuffed ballotine, was deliciously moist and tasty. All the sides were fab but you can really tell a place by their roast potatoes. These goose fat wonders were crispy to the point of crunchy – absolutely perfect. And quite rightly Yorkshire Puds were left off….but I’ll leave that argument for another day.
We all know how bad Christmas dinner can be – and a really great one comes around less frequently than Christmas day itself. The Festive Menu is £30 for three courses which is really fantastic value, particularly considering the atmosphere and ambience of the venue as well as the attentiveness of the wonderful staff. I’d absolutely recommend it and hope to go back there soon.
All in all we were just missing the cheesy Christmas music – and perhaps the need for a coat.
- Myself and a plus one were kindly offered to select from the three course Festive Menu in exchange for an honest review of Dakota Deluxe
- We ordered the Smoked Salmon Blini, Chicken Liver Truffle Parfait, Stuffed Turkey Ballotine, Slow Cooked Shoulder of Beef, Christmas Pudding and Chocolate Orange Delice
- The Festive Menu is £25 for a two-course menu and £30 for three courses.
- Christmas Day is priced at £75 per person and New Year’s Eve is £95 per person.
- For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 322 6261