There are some restaurants in Leeds that seem to come and go, and then there are those that seem to have been part of the restaurant scene for years. Blackhouse The Grill On The Square, is certainly one that has been in the city for the long haul. It has just undergone a refit of their interior and refresh of their menu. When I was invited along to one of their re-launch nights, I couldn’t wait to see what they had in store.
We arrived at the restaurant for around 5.30 and was shown to one of the nice booths which overlooked the lovely looking new Conservatory. Our drinks orders were taken whilst we looked over the fab looking menu, which included an abstract of ‘Book of Beef’, where my attention was immediately drawn to!
We ordered one of their warm baked loaves which came with wheels of salted and chrorizo butter. We also got some mixed olives. Both were nice appetisers, but the Chorizo butter made the warm baked bread my favourite.
You are certainly spoilt for choice with the selection of starters. Sam opted for the Tuna Carpaccio, served with wild rocket, sesame and chilli dressing. I liked the sound of the dressed crab with bloody mary dressing and olive oil croutes.
For those that don’t know, Carpaccio is a dish of raw meat or fish. It’s certainly one to try if your a fan of Sushi. Sam enjoyed it, but thought thought the sesame over powered the light taste of the tuna.
My dressed crab came well presented and the bloody mary dressing added a nice splash of colour. The portion size seemed to be about right for a starter.
The crab was a nice light starter, however, I did find the sauce the crab was dressed in was a bit too sharp for the subtle shell fish taste. But, on the whole, a nice dish.
On to the mains…I think this was a very obvious choice! How could we resist trying one of the legendary Blackhouse steaks? The classic steaks (Rump, Sirloin, Fillet & Ribeye) came in two sizes, small and large. Sam went for the very safe option of English fillet with peppercorn sauce. I chose the large Ribeye with red wine & shallot sauce. We also ordered a house salad (got to keep up with your 5 a day)
Steak is one of my all time favourities, so when they arrived, I could not wait to tuck in! both looked so good, especially the fillet steak!
I have to admit, fillet steak is always my first choice when it comes to steak, so I was slightly envious. Sam really enjoyed it and said it was cooked perfectly and so tender it just melted in the mouth, possibly the best she’s had I tried a bit (very small) for review purposes and it was indeed beautifully tender and delicious.
My Ribeye Steak was cooked medium rare as requested. I usually opt for my steak to be cooked rare, as I love the extra tenderness. However, I feel this cut is more suited to being cooked medium rare. The red wine and shallot sauce was a nice alternative to the signatory peppercorn or bearnaise, I thought the rich, slightly sweet flavour worked well with the steak.
Rib eye steaks are notoriously quite fatty, but this actually gives the meat more flavour. The fat wasn’t a problem for me as it could be easily cut away. I know this does put some people off getting this cut of steak. What steak would be complete without their best accompaniment? Those thick cut fries skin on fries were well seasoned and tasted great.
My steak was also lovely and tender, the pink meat juices ran through when you cut into it. Although it didn’t quite have the melt in your mouth effect of the fillet steak, it was a delicious cut all the same, which I really enjoyed.
To round off the evening, we couldn’t resist indulging in their dessert menu. There was a good selection on the menu. I opted for a twist on one of my favourite classical desserts, banana bread and butter pudding served with orange creme fraiche. Sam went for lemon and lime posset, served with brandy snaps mint and sugar, accompanied with a Espresso Martini.
Sam thought the lemon and lime posset was nice, even if a little too sweet. The brandy snaps were slightly chewy and lacked snap. I had to help finishing it off, of course, having a sweet tooth, this was not a problem! I though it had a good balance of citrus flavour and sweetness to it.
The portion size of the bread and butter pudding was a bit disproportionate to the posset. I can understand smaller portion sizes such for rich, chocolate desserts, but not lighter tasting bread and butter pudding.
The bread and butter had a nice taste and texture. However, I do feel that the banana flavour was lacking a bit and not like you would get within a banana loaf. I thought the orange creme fraiche was a well matched accompaniment and gave it a nice twist.
I really enjoyed our night at Blackhouse. Although, it’s not one of the more affordable places to dine in Leeds. I’m not sure you would find better quality steaks anywhere in the city. After all, that is there speciality. If you are a steak lover and you have not visited before, I recommend you give it a try. For more information or to make a booking, you can check out their site here