Lazy Sunday pool, pints and pizza: Slate NQ review
What does it take to drag me away from my couch where I can eat rubbish and watch films all day on a lazy Sunday? Quite a lot actually. However, my arm can be twisted quite easily by a few beers, some comfort food and a few games of pool rounded off with some cocktails.
Since attending the launch of Slate NQ back in June, I’ve returned on several occasions for pizza and pints on their rooftop terrace and have loved it each time. As it’s become a regular haunt for me, I thought it was only fair to dust down my rusty snooker skills and experience the whole enchilada.
Anyone who knows me can confirm that I am useless when it comes to any form of sport, however I do rather enjoy playing pool, despite being pretty crap. I arrived with my mate Crofty in two, who is also reassuringly rubbish, having booked an hour slot on one of their 7ft Sam Leisure American pool tables.
We kicked off proceedings with some beers. Slate serve a diverse range of ales and lagers, which come from a number of local breweries as well as Europe and beyond. I opted for a pint of my personal favourite, the Schneider Weisse, whilst my mate went for the Beavertown Gamma Ray. The latter also happens to come in a super-cool can, clearly created by someone who took way too much acid during their student years.
The first game was a bit stiff, with both of us struggling to get any remotely decent shots in. After what seemed like ages, I managed to win the first game, before we ordered our pizza and another round of drinks in the hope of loosening up a bit.
Crofty won the second round, just in time for our food to arrive. The pizzas at Slate are high grade; cooked fresh to order in their open kitchen complete with rustic pizza oven. Having enjoyed the Bresaola and Parma Ham offerings in the past, this time we went for the Pepperoni and Spicy Pork Sausage.
Pepperoni pizza is always a sure-fire winner for me, but Slate’s take on the much loved classic really is second-to-none. The Spicy Pork Sausage was equally as moreish, although I wouldn’t describe it as ‘very hot’ as per the menu, although I do have an asbestos mouth and it was delicious all the same.
The Cracked Pepper Chips which we ordered on the side are also darn good with bags of flavour – no further seasoning required.
With the food polished off, we ordered a couple of cocktails as we prepared to play the final deciding game. As you can imagine, the atmosphere was tense, as two of Leeds most talentless sportsmen stepped up for the last round.
After a fairly strong performance from yours truly, I went for my last ball, only to pot that and the black in one shot. Technically, this means I lost, but it was such an awesome shot, that Crofty declared the tournament a draw. Deep down I know I lost, but I’ll take that thank you very much.
The cocktails arrived looking on the money and the perfect way to end an afternoon in Slate. After much deliberation, I chose the Gem of Piacenza– I’m still clueless as to what that means, but it contained Elements 8 Spiced Rum, Khalua, Frangelico, espresso and Vanilla Syrup. Now this is a drink that’s as easy on the eye as it is on the taste buds and comes topped with fresh coffee beans.
Crofty went for the Pear and Ginger Collins, which is a refreshing concoction including Muddled Pear, Portobello Road Gin, Xante Pear Liqueur, homemade pear syrup and ginger beer. The cocktails here are definitely on the premium side, using the best brands and packed with much more of a punch than their decidedly girly names would suggest– don’t be fooled.
Needless to say, we had a cracking afternoon at Slate before moving onto a couple more bars in the now buzzing Northern Quarter. If you’ve not checked this joint out, I recommend you do so, whether it’s for pizzas, pool or an al fresco drink in one of their three outdoor seating areas.
The pizzas are a bona-fide labour of love as opposed to being simply a money-spinning afterthought. They also serve a selection of cured meats and cheeses which can be ordered separately or as part of a sharing platter if you’re really peckish – check out their full menu here.
Slate has managed to not only fill the huge gap left by the closure of Elbow Rooms, but has bettered its former self, rising from the ashes like a phoenix to replace The Lounge.