This week I managed to get myself over to Create in Leeds – this restaurant is causing quite a stir both locally and nationally. Jay Rayner has already extolled it virtues in the Observer and Create’s own Twitter feed is full of praise from happy customers.
However, Create is about more than just the food – they describe themselves as a “for more than profit” company – a social enterprise, providing training and jobs for those in society who need an opportunity. An opportunity to give them a future.
On the edge of the financial area of Leeds, the restaurant itself is light and open, with colours brought through by the brightly coloured chairs, prints and light shades. As we perused the menus, I was impressed by the real ale selection, offerings from Ilkley Brewery and Samuel Smiths made me happy – we’re massive ale fans at the Manor! I also liked the seasonal range of ingredients used – Yorkshire forced rhubarb featured across at least one dish per course, which got me rather excited.
For my starter, I opted for the char-grilled mackerel, potato and herb salad with horseradish cream – the mackerel was perfectly cooked, with the smoky flavours definitely coming through.The salad was packed with herby oils and the whole dish left me hungry for the next course!
Although, I have to say I was very envious of my friend’s choice of pork belly and black pudding – this is one I have to try on a next visit!
My main course did not disappoint, skirt steak with celeriac purée and deep fried mushroom. Skirt either needs flash cooking or long and slow cooking to keep it tender and make the most of the flavour – the meat was chargrilled to perfection.
After two fabulous courses I was determined to fit in dessert. I wanted something light after all the protein and so chose the trio of rhubarb, which I think was my favourite course. Consisting of rhubarb crumble, rhubarb and ginger parfait and then stewed rhubard with a vanilla pannacotta, I was spoilt! Hints of ginger and orange came through each element, I didn’t want it to end!
Other choices from my party were the sticky toffee pudding, treacle tart and chocolate brownie – all receiving rave reviews.
In a nutshell, you should go to Create as soon as you can – the food was fantastic and the service was second to none. The waiting staff knew exactly who had ordered what dish without the need to ask the table when the dishes arrived and its touches like this that make the experience even better.
I’m already planning my next visit, and so should you!