They may not be your first thought when you want to eat out, but don’t write off these hotel restaurants just yet.
Tucked away inside the city’s hotels lie three must-try restaurants – and you don’t have to stay the night to try them. They each have their own unique style, with the kind of high-end service you’d expect of a hotel, but the food is simply to die for. Think smokey steaks cooked on the Josper grill, refined French dishes with a little creative flair and classic eats you’ll come back for again and again.
Just a stone’s throw from the River Aire, Malmaison has transformed the old Leeds City Tramways Office into a top-notch hotel, and inside, you’ll find one of the city’s most underrated restaurants inside.
At Chez Mal Brasserie, executive chef John Woodward pairs French-inspired dishes, like tiger prawns al busara (chilli, garlic and tomato) with classic British flavours, from the black Angus grain-fed fillet steak to the smoked haddock fishcake with a poached Cotswald egg. Served amid exposed brickwork and twinkling chandeliers in their chic dining room, it’s a swish spot for a bite, and you can couple it with vintage wine or handcrafted cocktails.
Malmaison, 1 Swinegate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AG.
There’s a swanky bar and grill hidden inside Dakota Deluxe and it’s worth checking out. The menu is packed with high-class eats – start with moules marinière or chicken liver parfait, before you move onto dishes like squash and sage ravioli with toasted pine nuts and chorizo buttered chicken.
But the star of the show is their steak selection, all sourced from Donald Russell butchers, official suppliers to the Queen. Rib eye, Chateaubriand and even massive T-bones are cooked just how you like them. Space for dessert? Choose from crème brûlée with a vanilla donut, white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, petit fours or a decadent cheese board.
Dakota Deluxe Hotel, 8 Russell Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RN.
Tucked away underneath Radisson Blu hotel is FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, a knockout tribute to flavour and finery that will get your taste buds dancing from the first mouthful. They’ve transported the flame cooking traditions of North America to Leeds with their coveted Josper Grill – expect creative food, artfully prepared with twists on the dishes you know and love.
Try the 35-day aged Yorkshire rib eye steak, cooked over charcoal and wood for an unbeatable taste. Or go for bone marrow-infused mac’n’cheese, bourbon-laced pork belly or honey chicken thighs – you’ll soon see why it’s a hotbed for committed carnivores. But rest assured, there’s plenty for veggies too, with black pepper tofu, smoked chickpea fritters and the dirtiest of fries, loaded with cheese and jalapeño mayo.
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Radisson Blu, The Light, 13 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.Cover image credit: Alia Drewery