Bubbles and Brunch: Oracle review
Dubai and London have been championing the boozy brunch culture for years, but it has only really taken off in Leeds in the last six months or so. Perhaps it all seemed a little pretentious and poncey for us no-nonsense northerners, but we finally seem to be warming to its charms.
Oracle Bar launched their Saturday Bubbles and Brunch on the Easter bank holiday and it’s been generating a buzz ever since. The launch coincided with the bars subtle refurb and also the rebranding off the restaurant, which has gone from offering gourmet burgers to street food.
This change in direction makes perfect sense. 10 years ago, Oracle was pioneering the gourmet burger concept in Leeds, but nowadays there’s a trillion restaurants with meat-centric menus so it was time to move on.
The Kitchen as it’s now known plays host to guest street food vendors, which changes every 1-2 weeks, meaning punters never get bored and can try something new each time they visit.
I dropped in on Saturday to find Jenny’s Jerk Chicken was in the house, at the end of a popular week long stint.
The first thing I noticed is what a huge difference a few minor changes to the décor have made to the overall ambience of Oracle.
Gone is the stark, all white interior that was perhaps a little too clinical for modern times and in comes reclaimed wood, colourful chairs and sofas, as well as some cool set pieces and neon signage. The whole place feels much warmer, more rustic and ultimately, more inviting.
So enough of the Grand Design bull shit and onto the food and drink – so, what do you get for your money exactly? Well, Bubbles and Brunch costs just £20, runs between 12-2pm and includes a Bellini on arrival, a main meal from The Kitchen and bottomless Prosecco.
Not bad at all, especially when the fizz on offer was so drinkable – in other words, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
Thankfully, the rumours about Jenny’s Jerk Chicken turned out to be true – the food was amazing. The chicken was really flavoursome with a nice amount of heat, although I would definitely order it extra hot next time.
I brought my aunt along as my plus one (cos I’m rock n roll like that) and she went for the fishcake, which was equally well received. We ordered some sides (which are not included but cost up to £2 each) which included sweet potato fries and plantain, which I’d never had before but would definitely return to again.
The portions were generous and it was the attention to detail that really stood out with this food. The side salad, which I find is often treated as an afterthought, was garnished with a tasty sweet dressing unlike anything else I’d tasted.
With regards to the bottomless Prosecco, my glass was never empty as the hosts kept coming round every few minutes to top everyone up. The DJ was spinning a mixture of r n b and pop, but also taking requests from a large group of girls celebrating a birthday, who were all up and on the dancefloor (which was packed by the time we left).
So, would I return? For sure – this week sees Man Meat Fire taking over The Kitchen for two weeks of flaming hot steak, ribs and burgers – so I’ll be back to sample their wares. In my eyes, this marks a positive step in the right direction for Oracle who seem to have really found their groove with this new venture, which looks set to become the backdrop for some memorable summer days in 2016.