Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Tuesday - Restaurant Review: Cattle Grid - Leeds

Via the power of Twitter, we recently received a kind invite from Emma the CultureVulture to attend an evening of complementary food and drinks at Cattle Grid in Leeds.  We toddled along last night after work, not sure what the plan was, but happy to check out a new restaurant.

Cattle Grid is behind the Corn Exchange and opened in August this year.  It's one of a small chain owned by Steve Novak and Shaun Grey, and Leeds is their latest venture.  We had the pleasure of meeting Steve last night over a few drinks and he took the opportunity to explain the ethos behind the restaurant.

Cattle Grid, as may be clear from the name, is a steak restaurant, but with a difference.  They are looking to become the steak version of Pizza Express, serving good food at realistic prices.  Steve's message is up front with no bullshit.  This is not a restaurant focused on provenance and fine wines - they get the best meat they can at the best price, whether its from Scotland, Ireland, Yorkshire or Uruguay (incidentally all the steak currently comes from Yorkshire).  That is not to say they are not focusing on quality - the bread comes from Anthonys and they even nicked the Anthony's head chef, David Flett (who we also met last night and gave me a sneak peek of his recipe notes - lovely chap!)

The restaurant also serves burgers, salads and ribs, and the most expensive wine on the menu is about £25!  Currently they are also promoting a lunch deal where you can get a slow roast beef or hog roast sandwich and a can of pop for £6.00. 

Anyway, back to our evening....

Cattle Grid in Leeds
Cattle Grid's educational artwork - in case you weren't sure where steak comes from!
The starter portion of ribs.  They don't really go for the traditional starter-main-dessert formation here and don't have a list of starters, but this was a good size for sharing between 2.  We were advised that Cattle Grid's USP is its ribs which are cooked in a special bbq sauce.  I usually don't order ribs when I'm out because they can be so disappointing, but these were really good!  Definite recommendation.
Joe and I went for the same main (which was a poor idea for reviewing but we were both happy!) - medium rare rib eye with harissa sauce.  The rib eye was cooked as ordered and pretty tasty.  It also came with a mound of chips which were brilliant and a watercress salad.
A rack of ribs (we didn't have this as well - not that fat) but Joe would have this next time.
Our greek salad side, which was probably not necessary given how much you get with the steak, but nice all the same!
My dessert - waffle and ice cream.  The desserts were really the only slight let down of the meal and definitely play second fiddle to the main event, but who cares as Cattle Grid is about the meat!
David's recipe notes - what a legend!
The view from upstairs.  The restaurant is split level, and has the room to expand upstairs, where they are planning on opening a comedy venue soon.  Watch this space!  I really enjoyed my night at Cattle Grid.  The owners and the staff are obviously passionate and geared up to make it a success.  I'm not usually a steak fan (badly cooked steak is gutting) but I think I'd trust these guys to give me a good night.

1 comment:

Jalizrich said...

I would agree with your review of the Cattlegrid. We on Friday night and had a delicious meal. The ribs with Peri peri sauce were really good, sticky and spicy. I had a rare rump steak which was very tasty and cooked to perfection. The chips were really good too with the skins left on, just how I like them. 3 course meal with drinks £50 not bad! @jalizrich