Happy in Hummingbird Kitchen

This is a quick post about my brief visit to Chapelallerton’s Hummingbird last night. This is housed in what used to be Angel’s Share and is slap bang in the middle of Chapel a’s thriving bar and restaurant scene. I’ve always felt that this area was a bit style over substance and that the actual quality venues more based on the fringes, like the lovely Sunshine Bakery.

Hummingbird has a trendy vibe with a modern, colourful and warm decor. They have fab hummingbird wallpaper on the ceiling (the new trend apparently) and lots of huge canvasses and glass and light and air – a pleasant place to spend an hour or two indeed. It’s staffed by young, attractive staff – living the LS7 dream!

We started on cocktails as it is happy hour every week night from 6pm to 7pm. This means all cocktails are £3, a true bargain! There was nothing overly familiar on the list, which was probably a good thing as I would have been boring and opted for a martini. We first opted for a strawberry mojito which is based on gin. It was strong and fruity and very enjoyable indeed. It was made with love and care and didn’t take ages, which is often the danger with cocktails! Our slightly ill friend opted for a fruity punch mocktail which she seemed very pleased with. My second choosing was a green hornet, which was basically a margarita with additional mint. It was served in fun retro glasses and was similarly strong and punchy, yum!

The menu is very straightforward – meat or fish from the grill, sharing platters and a series of tapassy style starters. We opted for the grill and between us ordered fish, chicken breast with garlic butter and rump steak with red wine jus. The fare is all quite pricey (£12-£14 for a standard main course) and the portions not huge. We were annoyed that the chips were described as ‘a small handful’ on the menu – why on earth would you put that?! Anyway they came in those annoying silver baskets and meant we only had about 5 chips each. Having said that, they were good chips – basically chip shaped roast potatoes. And as they were so rich, being cooked in pure lard, I probably wouldn’t have managed more than 5 anyway! I had the chicken breast and it was wonderfully moist and soft but with a chargrilled exterior. The garlic butter was a bit weak but as a combo it was great.

With the portions being small we opted for dessert. One of us had the profiteroles with chocolate mousse and praline. The other two of us opted for the cheese board. It’s a very innovative cheese menu actually. 5-6 cheeses are listed and each come with their own unique accompaniment. I had a strong cheddar that came with mini pickled onions, Yorkshire fettle that came with a fun chilli jelly and Exmoor Blue which came with a saffron chutney (not very nice). My other cheese buddie went for the Irish cheese which came with a much nicer tomato relish. These were presented beautifully on little wooden boards with homemade crackers and grapes and walnuts.

So all in all we had a satisfying meal indeed. The downsides were the prices and sizes of the main courses. The upsides were that it was obvious that absolutely everything was homemade when it can be easy to cut corners in this type of establishment. As we were leaving we were watching friends tuck into the platters, which looked brilliant. I think it’s a great place to go and meet friends and have a relaxed, chilled out and wholesome dining experience. The cocktails were fun, tasty and innovative and worth it during happy hour. Monday to Thursday they also do a set menu, which would perhaps make the food a bit better value for money.

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About martinimanleeds

Martini Man lives in West Leeds and a is rabid foody and obsessive home cook. He has recently set up West Leeds' very first Secret Supper Club, Dinner at the Manor, with his friend Sticky Pinny. The supperclub aims to use locally sourced ingredients that are not typically found on restaurant menus. It also runs 'wine and dine' events that pair wines (or soemtimes even ales) to food - yum!

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