Fettle review: Leeds cafe a winner for Great George Street

Fettle Cafe, Great George Street, Leeds.
Fettle Cafe, Great George Street, Leeds.

“Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!”

That’s right – a local paper food review starts with a nod to Kill Bill 2.

And not just because it’s a rare treat to commit such lines to print – restaurant pieces don’t often come in the form of breakfast ratings – but also because this writer rarely has the chance to properly spend time on the supposed most important meal of the day.

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So after an unusually early start, I decided to take up a friend’s recommendation of visiting Fettle on Great George Street. It was cold enough to wince on the morning I turned up, expecting to have to shed my layers instantly after seeing the steamed-up windows, but on entering it was simply cosy and comfortable.

Fettle is neatly presented with thin wooden fittings, soft chairs and, though not a large premises, has a mixture of table sizes for various groups.

I nestled into the far corner, giving me a prime view of both the cafe and the Leeds Town Hall clock tower out the window (table three, FYI).

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Breakfast is served until 11.30am (after which brunch, lunch and ‘fine’ menus are available), offering a power smoothie, a full English or black rice pudding and more.

I went for the smashed avocado on seeded sour rye toast with a poached egg (£8.35), and added bacon (£2.75). I also got an English breakfast tea (£2.60), which came in a small pot with a little wooden strainer and a decent amount of milk.

The standard of service was good – pleasant but not overbearing. And the cutlery came shiny clean, which is an odd point to make perhaps, but so many breakfast places fob you off with limp, murky knives and forks.

It’s hard not to come across a bit Alan Partridge when rating a breakfast (“that was the best full English breakfast I’ve had since Gary Wilmot’s wedding”), but luckily Fettle present me something worthy of the praise.

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The portion was generous, with all features piled high and prettily, the poached egg dotted up top.

While the egg was ever so slightly overdone for my own taste (not tragically – it was still a tiny bit soft and golden orange) and the toast a little tough around the edges, the combination as a whole worked well.

The avocado was light, accompanied nicely with a touch of fresh chilli pepper, and was well suited to the bacon (not smoked, but it added a pleasant saltiness and texture to the dish).

A dusting of herbs also added something a bit more complex and satisfying to the mix.

At £13.70 for one person, it’s probably a bit more expensive than the typical breakfast, but for those who want to start the day well, Fettle is highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5

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