Before I went on "baby holiday", I spent the bulk of my time in my office at Bond Court, situated within spitting distance of Sam's Chop House at Pearl Chambers on East Parade. Whilst my colleagues often gravitated towards Greek Street to start the weekend with a bang, before The Maven opened my preferred "local" for a cocktail was always Sam's. Beautiful glassware, almost absurdly masculine decor (the feminist in me of course celebrates the rebellion here as I would traditionally not have been allowed over the threshold of a Chop House once upon a time!) and probably one of the best wine lists in the vicinity - a great place to have a civilised drink before heading to Baby Jupiter for a rum-fest or out to dinner if I had a date.
Whilst I was happy to settle in with a cocktail, eating there was always out of the question for me. A vegetarian, at a Chop House you say? Surely not.
Well, in addition to the sumptuous 3 course meal I just enjoyed, I am also absolutely eating my words.
My fellow vegetarian friend Mike, Starchild and I settled into our leather club chairs and high chair respectively to check out our options and something marvellous happened... we actually had options. Several of them in fact!
I went for the Goat's Cheese Rarebit - a lovely handmade pikelet (that's a flat crumpet if you're not from Yorkshire) topped with tangy cheese, balsamic glazed beetroot, rocket and lovely caramelised onions.
Mike had the Mushrooms on toast - chestnut, oyster & portobello mushrooms with a perfectly poached egg.
I went for Vegetarian Black Pudding (easily one of the nicest things I have ever put into my mouth) which was served with bubble and squeak in a creamy herby sauce.
Mike had the Homity Pie with chips and peas which I was delighted to sample. Beautiful pastry and a glorious cheese filling.
In addition to a cheeky glass of Moon River Pinot Noir, I also indulged in the Chocolate Honeycomb Cheesecake which was nothing short of FABULOUS. I also found room to sample Mike's Sticky Toffee Pudding which was the lightest one I have ever tried. I'll be honest I far prefer a nice light dessert over a rich one unless I'm only having one course but I could have eaten both of them (and the generous helping of sauce!) without any trouble at all! (OK, so some of this could be as a result of being drained from breastfeeding rather than out-and-out gluttony...)
The food was beautifully presented, made from seasonal, locally sourced produce and the service was excellent. A great atmosphere, mellow music and very baby friendly too with comfortable seats for breastfeeding, high chairs available and no one turning their nose up Starchild eating a selection of tidbits from the tabletop or having a little teething-related grizzle.
If you live in Leeds or Manchester, get yourself down there! You will not regret it.
Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.
Title: Scream Like A Baby by David Bowie