Knave's Kitchen, Leeds
Graham Clark, Features Writer
With so much eating choice in Leeds and with a new restaurant appearing to open every other week in the city, to succeed new openings need to offer something different.
The Oporto bar in Leeds has recently brought a new slant on the vegetarian front with the opening of Knave's Kitchen. They say that they offer 100% vegan junk food.
I'm no veggie and I must admit I enjoy my meat but my sister is vegan so I visited with her, keeping an open mind. It was very tempting to go instead into one of the meat restaurants that you pass by: the smell of the smoked meat cooking seemed to be alluring me to come in. Alas it was Knave's Kitchen that was calling.
The decor is minimal and intimate and in keeping with what is in vogue at the moment. An open kitchen lets you see your food being prepared. It is a warm atmosphere, though I'm not too sure more mature readers would like the loud music playing, even for me being a music fan, it was a little too loud.
The menu isn't extensive with around 5 main dishes and is split between seitan and not seitan. Hand made to a secret house recipe too they say.
The idea was to sample the various dishes on the menu. The 'Fish' Finger Wrap did smell like fish when it was cooking. Served with tartare sauce and shredded iceberg in a soft flour wrap, for me it smelt better than it tasted, but I'm no veggie but my sister thought it was delicious, so from a veggies point of view it scored highly.
For me though and for other non vegetarians visiting, the best dish could be the 'Mill Hill' special - grilled seitan, hummus, lettuce, pickles and extra Chilli sauce. It could have been the real thing as it tasted like a proper kebab, surprisingly it was my sister's least favourite on the menu - probably because it tasted too meaty. The highlight of the menu so far.
The O.B.B. half pounder - bhaji burger, cucumber ketchup, raita, iceberg and tomato to me seemed like two onion bhajis served in a bun. It felt like eating one of those slimmers meals when you can taste that something is missing. But what do I know? The veggie's verdict was that it was wonderful and "moreish". By now I'm thinking of giving up and going to one of the meat restaurants around the corner.
The Katsu Curry though seemed to make things better - breaded tofu, Japanese curry sauce and toasted sesame seeds at £5.95. Like most of the dishes on the menu it wasn't bad even from a non veggie's point of view. Again it scored highly in the vegetarian camp.
They serve a wide range of cocktails too, with even one containing Rhubarb gin that is named the Rhubarb Triangle Gin; sounds like a big Yorkshire connection with Wakefield there. The cocktails were inventive and with a name like the Rhubarb Streisand the cocktail for those in the know was described as being "one of the best I've tasted".
If you are a vegetarian Knave's Kitchen will be paradise for you - from a veggies point of view the meals are tasty, affordable and a big step away from Ratatouille type meals, which veggies usually get offered - they now have an inventive choice of meals that have been carefully thought about.
I must admit I would even go again just for the 'Mill Hill' special but the main thing is from a vegetarian point of view the verdict was that it was "brilliant".
Knave's Kitchen, 33 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 3BT
Telephone 0113 245 4444
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Knave's Kitchen, Leeds, 1st May 2018, 11:22 AM