Bar review: Twisted Kitchen, Brewery Wharf, Leeds

Twisted Kitchen at Brewery Wharf, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Twisted Kitchen at Brewery Wharf, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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Burger joints and hearty portions of barbecued red meat are in vogue in Leeds at the minute.

From the Handmade Burger Co. and Red’s True Barbecue to Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Twisted Burger Company, there is a lot to be said for a sizzling pattie in a wholesome bun at the moment.

The combined food and drink offer at bars has also seen a shift towards the burger, and Twisted Kitchen at Brewery Wharf is among the latest to tempt you in with a booze and burger mix.

Here the menu is as food-heavy as it is cocktail-heavy, as its owners bid to build an evening retreat boasting both tasty treats and delicate cocktails.

The American themed menu at Twisted Kitchen certainly follows the “more is more” philosophy, while its styling is a conservative blend of diner-style red leather booths, smooth dark wood surfaces and plush leather banquettes.

There is certainly a modern feel to this expansive bar, with its dark wood floors, purple walls, cream ceilings and multiple plasma screens.

Its main dedicated bar space, complimented by a sun-drenched beer garden out front, features a lengthy banquette and stooled seating by the spirit-laden bar, while decorated tables in a stepped up area look more suited for diners, as do the booths highlighted by industrial metal lightshades and spotlights at the rear that boast fantastic views over the River Aire.

All American music from the likes of Bon Jovi, Starship and Staind combines with a themed menu that reflects the USA far more blatantly than the quite neutral decor. It is an utterly inoffensive yet comfortable place to drink.

Owned by the same people behind neighbouring South American tapas bar Azucar, you sense Twisted Kitchen is intended to be a slightly more low key, contemporary space than its markedly rustic sister.

All four draught choices here are from the USA, with Budweiser, Blue Moon, Coors Light and Sam Adams costing from £3.85 upwards, while a dozen or so bottled choices also have American origins with Bud 66, Brooklyn, Goose Island and Bud Light among those on offer.

You can even get your fix of native cider, with Hornsby cider available in addition to European Kopparberg, while there is a decent range of white, red and rose wines as well as a handful of champagnes stocked here.

An extensive range of cocktails is the star of the show however, with around 40 mixes including classics, blends and ‘over the borders’. One of its choices even boasts a “mini donut garnish”.

Unfortunately, when we visited on a midweek evening we were told the rum and Hennessy-based Boston Sidecar and Whiskey-based American Pie weren’t available and were offered banana ‘Sprinkles Delights’ instead that we weren’t charged for, weren’t on the menu and didn’t seem alcoholic to taste.

So with the addition of bottles of Coors Light lager and Hornsby apple cider, our bill came to £7.70.

Having been open a month, you would hope the kinks of having ingredients at the ready would be ironed out somewhat by now, but the signs as far as the menu’s variety and theme are promising.

Twisted Kitchen occupies a prime spot for people living at Brewery Wharf, and with neighbours including Oracle and of course Azucar, there is room for a taste of the States. If only they have the ingredients.

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