I am a major food lover, so when I was very kindly invited down to the Black Swan Leeds a couple of weeks ago to come and taste their new Winter To Spring 2016 menu, I jumped at the chance, and I thought I would tell you what I thought of the wonderful and tasty food.
I of course went with Jamie and his very good friend Michelle, and once we had all walked in to the beautiful bar area, we were greeted by one of the Black Swan Leeds friendly members of staff who said hello and asked if we were hear for the menu tasting event, we all said hi, and yes, and the wonderful staff member handed us a piece of paper. Instead of just ordering a drink, you order three for the entire night. You could either choose from a list of beers with some interesting ingredients, or from a little list of lovely wine. I unfortunately wasn’t drinking as I was on some pretty strong antibiotics and didn’t want to mix alcohol with them, so I stuck to good old Coke. After about twenty minutes we headed upstairs and found a lovely big table to sit down at and started chatting. Just before everything got started, we were joined by two lovely people called Miss, I know interesting name right, and Rachel, and after everyone had made their introductions we chatted for a while before all the food started to arrive.
First up came all the amazing starters, which were basically little tasting spoons filled with miniatures of the full dish.
The first starter spoon I tried was Salmon and Crab Scotch Egg with Pickled Cucumber and Parsley Emulsion. This was gorgeous. I’m a massive lover of Crab and adding it to a Scotch Egg was a brilliant idea. I couldn’t really taste the Salmon, which was a good thing as I don’t really like Salmon as it’s too fishy for me, yes I know Salmon is supposed to taste like fish, it is after all a fish, haha! The Pickled Cucumber was really interesting. It was extremely sour, but it gave a great tang to the creamy and fishy Scotch Egg. I stayed away from the Parsley Emulsion, as I absolutely hate the taste of Parsley, but otherwise I loved this and I would definitely order it again.
Next up was the Leek and Pearl Barley Risotto with Crispy Leeks. This was really nice, but i’m not really a fan of Risotto as I usually find it to be too stodgy. It was light and fluffy and the Leeks were cooked beautifully, but it wasn’t for me.
Next up was the Venison Carpaccio with Pickled Shallots, Sherry Vinaigrette,and Nasturtium. The Venison was cooked to perfection, and was so moist and succulent. The Sherry Vinaigrette was so sweet yet sour and went perfectly with the Venison. I’m not sure what the other stuff were about, it seemed quite strange to me.
The last and final starter spoon was the Duck Oxo Cube with Celeriac Veloute, and Celeriac and Apple Salad. This was my favourite of all the starters. I love Duck and this was beautifully cooked, it was so moist and easy to eat, it just fell to bits in my mouth, and calling it an Oxo cube was the perfect name as it just tasted like I was eating a massive Oxo Cube, not that i’ve ever done that haha! The Celeriac wasn’t really for me, it was nice and all, but just not for me. the Apple was a nice addition though.
After all the incredible starter spoons came the main courses, and there was pretty much something for everyone.
First up was the Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree and Artichoke Crisps. I wasn’t really a lover of this, Gnocchi to me is supposed to be a little more solid. I don’t know, it just didn’t taste right to me, and I have a thing about Ricotta so I only had a mouthful of this. I’m also not really a fan of Artichoke.
Next up was the Pan Fried Seabass with Butternut Squash Puree, Roasted Squash, Baby Leeks, and Mushroom Filled Pasta. The only part of this I actually ate was the Pan Fried Seabass, and it was absolutely delicious. It just fell apart in my mouth, uh! I could go for more of the Seabass right about now haha!
Next up was the Pork Belly with Rib and Black Pudding Croquette, Braised Ox Cheek, Carrot Puree, Roasted Chantennay Carrots, and Mustard Jus. The Pork Belly was incredible and cooked to perfection. It was so succulent and juicy. The Black Pudding Croquette was really nice, interesting, but nice. The Ox Cheek was gorgeous, and if this was on the menu again I would order it in a heartbeat. The Carrots were really nice, and this is from someone who doesn’t really like Carrots, and the Mustard Jus gave everything a really nice and rich sauce.
Next up was the Roasted Seasonal Root Vegetables. This was pretty much just vegetables, nothing to really say about them. They were cooked to perfection and really crunchy.
After all the lovely mains had been eaten it was time for my favourite part of any meal, the desserts.
First up was the Spiced Rum Poached Pineapple with Raspberry and Sorrel Sorbet. The Spiced Rum Poached Pineapple was absolutely delicious and very interesting. It didn’t really taste like I thought it would. it tasted like Rum soaked Pineapple but it had a little bit of a spicy after kick, and the Raspberry and Sorrel Sorbet was the perfect accompaniment. It had the perfect sourness to counterbalance the sweetness of the Pineapple.
Next up was the Dark Chocolate Tart with Honeycomb and Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream. This was so rich and indulgent but bitter at the same time. It was a little chewier than I would have liked but I really liked it. The Honeycomb was so chewy and went perfectly with the tart. The Ice Cream was ok, but I couldn’t really taste the Bourbon which was a shame as I think it would have complimented the Dark Chocolate tart perfectly.
The last and final dessert was the Stewed Rhubarb and Ginger Creme Brulee with Housemade Ginger Shortbread. I love a good Creme Brulee and this was no exception. Mixing Rhubarb and Ginger together was a brilliant idea and gave the Creme Brulee a sour yet warming taste. I would definitely order this again.
After filling our bellies with lots of yummy food it was time for us to head off, so we said our goodbyes and headed to the train station.
I absolutely loved all the food at Black Swan Leeds and if you’re looking for some incredibly tasty food at a reasonable price, then I highly recommend you check out Black Swan Leeds new Winter To Spring 2016 menu.
I would just like to thank Black Swan Leeds for having me, Jamie, and of course Michelle. We all had a fantastic time.
All of the pictures were taken by the amazingly talented , so please go and check out her incredible work.
Have you checked out Black Swan Leeds? What did you think? What was your favourite dish? Please let me know down below.
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