Last week, me and Jamie were very kindly invited down to Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds to come and check out some of their delectable food and drink before they open their doors to the public. After having an amazing night of eating and drinking, I thought I would tell you all about it.
Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds is owned by Arc Inspiration which was created in 1999 by Martin Wolstencroft and Chris Ure. They opened their first bar, The Arc in Headingley Leeds, in 2000, and within four years The Box, and The Trio Bar and Grill, both in Headingley were launched along with Kith and Kin, and The Hub in Chapel Allerton. In 2006 they opened their first bar outside Leeds, Banyan Bar and Kitchen in Harrogate. In October 2007, Napa Bar and Kitchen was launched in Roundhay, Leeds. In May 2008, they opened their eighth venture, Kobe in Horsforth. Leeds. In July 2013, they opened a second Banyan Bar and Kitchen in York, and then two months later The Pit opened on Marion Street in Leeds City Centre. In November 2013 because of the success of The Pit in Leeds City Centre, the Hub was rebranded as the second Pit. In 2014 they opened a third Pit in Harrogate, then the basement of Trio in Headingley was rebranded as the fourth Pit, and in November 2014 they opened Manhatta on Merrion Street in Leeds, a stylish New York style bar, and in October 2015 Banyan arrived at the Corn Exchange in Manchester, which brings them to 13 wonderful locations, and 2016 sees the launch of Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds.
They like to keep it local by sourcing the best local Yorkshire produce, and love helping out local charities.
Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds food is kind of a mix of everything. If you’re after a good hot Curry, a nice filling Pie, or a hearty breakfast, to recharge from the night before, then Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds has it all, and unlike a few places, they’re open all day.
Once we had finally found the beautiful bar, we were told to head up the twisting staircase, where we were warmly welcomed by some of the wonderful staff, including Kristen, the lovely lady who had invited us. We said hello, and Kristen said that we could just wander around and check things out. We started to wander around and got chatting to Stephanie, another wonderful blogger who was also at the event. After a couple of minutes, another one of the lovely staff asked us if we would like a drink? Not one to turn down a drink, haha, I of course said yes, and the wonderful staff member handed me a glass of their Pea and Mint Bellini, which was absolutely delicious. I didn’t really taste the Pea, which I thought was a pretty unusual ingrediant, but the Mint tasted gorgeous.
After a little more wandering around, we went to go sit at the extremely long and beautiful table, and after a good ten minutes of us chatting to other amazing bloggers, one of the owners of Arc Inspiration introduced himself, and started to tell us all about how he started the company, how long the company has been running, the ideas behind the names of their wonderful bars, and then he let us ask him questions including his favourite food and drink on the menu.
After all this, it was time to start sampling some of their delectable food and drink.
First up was their Cucumber Cooler, which contains Hendrick’s Gin, Giffard Pamplemousse, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Pineapple Syrup, Passion Fruit Syrup, and Prosecco. This was really refreshing but you couldn’t overly taste the alcohol, so it’s one of those that you can drink and drink, and you don’t even realise you’re getting drunk. The Pineapple and Passion Fruit Syrup, Prosecco, and Hendrick’s Gin mixed really well together to give a nice punch.
Next up was their Teriyaki Pork Belly, Crispy Duck Spring Rolls, and Crushed Avocado and Pea Toast. The Teriyaki Pork Belly was gorgeous. It was so succulent and full of flavour. The Crispy Duck Spring Roll was to die for, and were absolutely full of the most beautifully cooked Duck. I unfortunately didn’t try the Crushed Avacado and Pea Toast, but i’ll definitely be going back to try it.
Next up was their Rum and Raisin Mai Tai, which contains Bacardi Oakheart, homemade Raisin Syrup, Lime, and Almond. This was extremely sweet and tasted nothing like I thought it would. I’m not the biggest fan of Raisins, but I couldn’t taste them. This was another one of those drinks that didn’t taste like alcohol, and just tasted like juice.
Next up was their Deep Fried Brie Wedges, Tempura King Prawns, and Pak Choi and Crab & Avocado Tortilla. I didn’t eat any of the Brir or Prawns as I don’t like Cheese and Prawns, but the Crab was delicious. It had a really nice kick and didn’t taste overly fishy.
Next up was their Pistachio Espresso Martini which contained Reayka Vodka, Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur, real Espresso, and homemade Pistachio Syrup. This was just like drinking a boozy Espresso. It was extremely strong, but absolutely to die for. I unfortunately couldn’t taste the Pistashio though, which was a shame.
Last up was their Salted Caramel and Chocolate Torte, and Vanilla Cheesecake with Spiced Sugar and Passion Fruit. I loved this. The Caramel and Chocolate Torte was so indulgent, but I don’t think I could eat a whole plate of it, and the Vanilla Cheesecake was so creamy but the Spiced Sugar and Passion Fruit gave it a really nice Carribean kind of a taste.
After filling ourselves full of incredibly delicious food, we just sat and chatted to a few other bloggers including Lizi for a little while, and then we decided it was time to head off. We said our goodbye’s and thank you’s to Kristen and the team, and headed for our train.
I had an incredible time at Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds , and I highly reccommend you go check out their delicious food, especially seeing as how they’ve just opened. If you would like to check out Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds for yourself, then why not book your table Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds?
I had an amazing time at Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds, and I would just like to thank Kirsten, and all the team for having me.
Have you been to any of the Arc Inspiration locations? Are you going to check out Banyan Bar and Kitchen Leeds? What dish are you going to have? Please let me know down below.