Home restaurant on Kirkgate has become one of the most highly praised restaurants around since it opened in 2017.
The high end restaurant is run by former MasterChef semi-finalist Liz Cottam and Mark Owens, former head chef at the Box Tree in Ilkley. Since opening the high end centre restaurant has won plenty of plaudits from punters and critics alike, and it’s easy to see why.
From the outside it’s not much to look at. In fact you could easily walk past the discreet street level entrance, but once inside you’re guided up a staircase by candles into a warm and inviting bar area.
Here our coats were taken, we were handed the menu and presented with a complimentary glass of fizz. The bar is stylish and modern but at the same time luxurious and comfortable - not always an easy balancing act.
We were given a selection of snacks the pick of which was a beetroot marshmallow that had us both smiling.
The staff, and this goes for the whole evening, were excellent. They’re young and knowledgeable and from the outset they let us know that they were aware of my nut allergy and which dishes would be tweaked accordingly.
What’s the menu like?
When it comes to the food, Home’s ethos is based around reimagining British flavours using great local produce.
It’s based around a 10-course tasting menu that lasts around three hours (on Sundays they do a five course tasting menu that costs £55 each).
What’s the atmosphere like?
The restaurant itself is spacious and open plan.
Everything about Home has been carefully thought through, from the order of the dishes and the portion sizes, to the layout of the tables (there’s a nice buzz but you don’t hear other people’s conversations) and colour schemes and lighting.
Now what about the food?
First up was a pea and ham broth. This sounds simple enough, but what the dish lacked in size (it was rather small) it punched above its weight in terms of flavour. My only slight criticism was there wasn’t much ham, but that’s a minor quibble.
Next came a smoked cod tart with Granny Smith apple and leek which was a delight. Inside a perfect pastry case the filling was almost foam-like in texture that melted into a symphony of irresistible flavours.
This was top notch cooking with an added element of surprise that had us both grinning like kids in a sweet shop.
It was followed by Black Forest Duck - a clever play on a Black Forest Gateau - that included duck terrine, parfait, sour cherry, a cep and chocolate. It was an absolute triumph and quite possibly my favourite dish on the menu.
Another contender for that accolade was the roasted parsnip with olive and honey. It sounds fairly simple but sometimes when it comes to food the simpler it is, the better it is.
And that was certainly the case here with a dish that elevated a humble root vegetable to star of the show.
It’s perhaps unusual at this point to have a bread and butter course but it worked nicely and helps keep those with bigger appetites happy.
The smoked salmon dish with cured egg yolk, gin sauce and cucumber was subtle and refreshing, while the red leg partridge with greens and pears was flavoursome.
Room for dessert?
We finished with two deserts. The first - rhubarb with custard and jelly - was a sweet treat that took me back to my childhood. The finale was a showstopping pud that included stout ice cream, salted caramel ganache and blood orange.
It was a delicious and decadent way to finish what was a pretty epic meal.
How much was the bill?
My only gripe, and it’s not an insignificant one, is the price. Our tasting menu cost £75 each and the total bill came in at £295.13 (including service). We also opted for one of the matching wine flights (£60 each) - though you can stick to a glass of beer or wine which brings the price down significantly.
This is pretty much Michelin star-level pricing and while Home appears to be gunning for a star (and I hope it succeeds) it hasn’t got one yet, and as long as that’s the case then some people will feel these prices are a bit steep.
The food is undeniably top notch, the atmosphere is great and so are the staff.
Is it worth forking out this much for? Well, that’s down to you. What I will say is that the food scene in Leeds is all the better for having Home on its doorstep.
FACTFILE - HOME
Address: 16/17 Kirkgate, Leeds, LS1 6BY
Telephone: 0113 430 0161
Opening hours: Wednesday & Thursday 6pm – 8pm. Friday & Saturday lunch: 12pm – 1:30pm. Friday & Saturday dinner 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Sunday: 12pm – 3pm