Leeds Restaurant Awards 2008

I was kindly invited by the Queen’s Hotel to the Let’s Eat Leeds Leeds Restaurant Awards on 10 November, where I feel the awards counted on public or members’ votes were more representative of my views than those awards chosen by judges and “experts”.  But then again, I am probably a little out of touch with the Leeds scene and really ought to go out more often in this fine city.

I have to commend the Queen’s Hotel staff for setting the busiest table I have ever seen.  It was the Tracy Emin of place settings with every possible whim catered for.

As it happens the food was superb.  Smoked salmon followed by a fab piece of steak from Sykes House Farm.  Although overcooked for me, the meat was tender and tasty and served with a tidy rosti -yum.  British cheeses included Cornish Yarg, a nettle wrapped favourite of mine.

The food was washed down by a couple of decent wines and in particular I was delighted to see that there was just enough room left on the table for a Clare Valley Riesling.

The best resto award went to Chino Latino.  Although I would prefer to recognise an independent restaurant, I guess 95% of Leeds eateries are chains so I shouldn’t be so snobby.  In any case I have not eaten at the Leeds branch of Chino Latino so I ought to give it a try and pass my own judgement.

The other award of interest went to Martin Pickles who picked up best front of house for one of my favourite places – The Flying Pizza.

I caught up with Martin later and joked that he almost certainly won the award for his previous role at Langan’s Brasserie in London, since he never seems to be in residence when I visit the FP.

Above is Emma, Louise, Mark Platt (GM of the Queen’s), Tony and Wendy all of whom kept me laughing throughout the evening.  The biggest laugh, though, probably came from the Leeds Met ladies, Julie and Kate (below).

A top evening even though a school night, and an opportunity to search through the three dinner suits in my wardrobe to see which one (if any) fits this month.

Also a chance for the Queen’s Hotel to once again prove that it is really the only venue in Leeds that could host such an event.

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