I love chicken, it is by far one of my favourite meats, the Other Half is and has been well aware of this for some time. On our first date, over ten years ago he took me to Nandos (at the time the restaurant was pretty new to Leeds).
Nowadays, we don’t go there that often, on account of the lack of information on the provenance and welfare of the chicken used.That and the fact there is a great selection of other places to eat in Leeds that do shout about the provenance of their food.
One such place is the newly opened Bird and Beast – where they have a strong focus on provenance and quality.
The restaurant is located in the Central Arcade opposite Mrs Atha’s and is impossible to miss on account of their white exterior walls and signature chicken feet.
The menu is right by the door before you enter and does a lot to showcase Bird and Beast’s main offering, chicken.
When we reached the restaurant floor we were surprised by how light and big it was, the use of exposed brick and wooden floors opened the main space and this was complemented by the use of natural light from the large windows.
As we were shown to our seats we were given a copy of the menu and specials. As it was a Sunday, along with chicken, Bird and Beast serve a full Sunday roast with a choice of either pork, which is slow cooked for over 12 hours or Sirloin of beef (The ‘beast‘ element of the menu).
All Bird and Beast’s produce is supplied by Sykes House Farms, who supply a lot of regional restaurants and are well known for their free range produce.
The chicken is not just simply dashed on the grill but is double marinated, steamed to lock in the moisture and then finished off on the restaurant’s custom-made British rotisserie over cherry wood chips and charcoal.
The Other Half went for the Chicken and side options of the chips and house salad, where I had the Sunday roast as, after all it was a Sunday!
We were directed to look at the variety of sauces and pick any that we wanted to have to accompany our meal, there was a great range from a mild BBQ to papaya hot sauce (one of my all time favorites). The restaurant also has the option for you to bring your own sauce, which they will save for you for any subsequent visits.
My roast was served with vegetables and the cheesiest of cauliflower cheeses I have had in a long time. This worked well with the meat and steamed vegetables.
The meat was perfectly cooked moist and very tender, however I would have preferred a bit more crackling on my pork.
The chicken was so succulent, all that was needed was a good squeeze of lemon. The Other Half loved his sides of chips, not greasy at all, thick cut and covered in a light seasoning that was pretty addictive.
The salad was nice although there was too much dressing and in future I would just ask for this on the side.
After dinner we wanted some space for dessert so, we took some of the chicken home with us*.
Bird and Beast serve Greedy Goat ice cream, which is made from goat milk, it comes in some interesting flavours. The Other Half selected the warm double chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream.
As soon as it came to the table the smell of cocoa was mesmerising, so much so it was hard for me to take a photo. As I’m not normally a huge fan of chocolate this was a bit of a surprise – but as usual the Other Half was not overly keen on sharing desserts.
My Creme Catalana had the sort of rough caramelised top that provides a satisfying crack when you break the topping.
We had a great time at Bird and Beast the menu is simple and the food tastes delicious, we will be returning again soon. As the restaurant is in its early days the menu is still evolving, we did note there was a lack of veggie options but this is something that is being looked at at the moment.
Bird and Beast also do takeaway orders which are 20 per cent off the menu price.
*The leftover chicken was perfect for a chicken salad the day afterwards.
Bird and Beast
Central Arcade, Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 6DX
0113 245 3348