If you saunter down Greek Street in Leeds there are more than enough restaurants. You could eat at a different one each week and you would still have plenty of choices left, that is, if your bank balance would be able to accommodate all this indulgence.
Dakota, Leeds was opened in 2017, the fourth property within the Dakota Hotels group and the first in England – following branches in North Lanarkshire’s Eurocentral business park, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The grill is the heart and soul of Dakota; with head chef Craig Rogan at the helm, the Dakota Grill boasts a Michelin plate for its local comfort food favourites – with a twist.
A little too fresh for alfresco
The alfresco terrace is a luxurious hideaway in the heart of the bustling city centre. An elegant backdrop for drinks and dining, here you’ll enjoy classic and contemporary cocktails, and a carefully curated seasonal menu of fresh, flavourful dishes. Whatever the occasion, the Greek Street terrace seemed to be the ideal place to relax and unwind in the heart of Leeds.
A stiff easterly wind put paid to eating outside, a pity as I always think that everything tastes better alfresco. Still, we could still enjoy the terrace menu inside which seemed more convivial on an unusually bitter May night.
Though the easterly was a little too sharp for our tastes, the Dakota does have Canadian and Scandinavian-style heaters and blankets to keep diners warm, but for us at least on this occasion, inside it was.
On to the starters
Jazzy music infused the background ambience. Music in restaurants is often something that is hard to get right, and while jazz is an acquired taste, the volume level was just right so that it did not detract from our dining experience or make conversation a challenge.
The currently in-vogue serving idea reminded me slightly of tapas in that you choose individual plates. We began with their signature Venetian dip and bread (£6.00) served with goats’ cheese, basil and tomatoes. A welcome beginning as the starter was excellent. Sometimes goats cheese can be overpowering though not in this case.
From the small plates we chose the bratwurst hot dog (£11.00) served with mustard, ketchup, pickle and sweet caramelised onion. I have to admit it was a bit of a disappointment – I have eaten bratwurst from Hamburg to Munich and this version was nothing like that you would eat in Germany – this tasted more like a generic English sausage with not a hint of authenticity.
Thankfully the Iberico ham served with melon and manchego (£12.00) was a big improvement as was the crispy chilli beef served with bean sprouts and spring onion (£12.00).
… and the mains
A main of 17oz rump steak served with a slightly runny peppercorn sauce (£18.00) was excellent, cooked to my liking and the tender, full-flavoured cut did not disappoint.
The restaurant has a ‘catch of the day’. On our visit it was stone bass (£20.00), a wholesome and satisfyingly melt-in-the-mouth experience. A dish that you do not often see on a menu, the stone bass exceeded my partner’s expectations with its succulently mild sweetness.
The Dakota sundae (£10.00) was a pure delight as the pineapple and passion fruit complemented one another. On a sunny summer day this would be perfect.
A good experience all round with excellent service – we would visit again, hopefully the sun will be shining, and we can eat outside!
Dakota Restaurant and Terrace, 8 Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5RN