Leeds newest fine dining experience: Vice and Virtue review
The Northern Quarter is arguably Leeds hottest nightspot right now, with a popular bar to suit every demographic. Hipsters, students, Indie kids, hens, stags and trendies are all well-serviced with ale and cocktails galore and every kind of gourmet burger you can imagine.
However, the area has never dipped its toe into the fine dining arena – until Vice and Virtue debuted their top floor restaurant a few weeks back that is. Boldly taking up residence in a venue that was previously a strip club, Luke Downing of Dough Bistro fame has transformed the space from shabby to chic and the results are impressive.
The concept is pretty simple. The menu changes on a weekly basis using the best seasonal ingredients available, with diners able to choose five or eight course tasting menus. There is also a ‘chefs table’ option, which gives you the option to build your own bespoke menu based on personal preference.
I dropped in for a complimentary preview of their first five course taster to see if Luke still had the culinary Midas touch.
First up was the Trout, served with peas, cucumber and herb buttermilk. This was one dish I wasn’t looking forward to, but the trout was surprisingly delicate and the dish overall was a miniature work of art.
Due to a mix-up, we were then served the Hogget Cannon (this was supposed to be the third dish) which was yet another handsome dish that looked too good to eat. The lamb was spot on and complemented perfectly with the pistachio and mustard – easily my favourite dish of the evening.
Next up was the Golden Beets, which was accompanied with smoked Aryan, rosa and aromatics. I’ve never been a fan of beetroot, and whilst this dish didn’t taste like your average beetroot, it just wasn’t to my taste.
However, this was soon forgotten with the arrival of the Fuschia, which was a dessert cocktail consisting of chocolate and vanilla – now you’re talking. This was really tasty and a great appetiser for the finale, which turned out to be my second favourite course.
You really can’t beat a good Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Luke’s take on this classic dessert was up there with the best I’ve had. It was served with kumquat and coriander, which sounds a bit hipster but worked out just great; cake lover Mary Berry would definitely approve!
After a confident start with only a few missteps, Vice and Virtue have succeeded in bringing something out of the norm to a city where restaurants are ten to the penny. I’m looking forward to seeing what creations their future menus bring.