Friends and family is the ethos behind one of Leeds’ latest suburban bar/ restaurant combos.
A complete overhaul of Arc Inspirations’ Zed Bar, in Stainbeck Lane, has resulted in the unveiling of Kith & Kin, claiming to be the first venue offering “super locally sourced” ingredients in the country.
Its attempt at a community hub for cafe culture has seen it team up with Chapel Allerton Allotments and Gardens Association to harvest fruit and vegetables for its food and drink. In exchange their members dine for free.
Once upon a time its predecessor Zed Bar and Arc-owned sister bar The Hub were at the centre of the food and drink scene in the suburb.
Years on and Zed Bar had stagnated, The Hub, now revived as The Pit has a similar but more edgy offering, and neighbouring venues such as The Woods and Seven have moved with the times.
Zed’s shabby conservatory roof has now been replaced as part of Arc’s aim to create a new “rustic, homely bar and kitchen” and the venue looks straight out of an interior design catalogue, with its clean surfaces, aged wood panels and cream tiled walls. There are comfy green and cream chairs, brown banquettes and modern clear seats around thick-set wood furnishings beneath hanging retro glass lanterns.
The menu has had a makeover as well, and is geared up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can choose anything from sharer platters, deli boards and gourmet sandwich snacks to Sunday roasts, skewers, hearty burgers, steaks and ‘fit and healthy’ dishes. There is also a £5 lunch menu and a selection of homely desserts and hot drinks.
I plumped for a Crossfit Leeds Burger, a juicy bread-free burger topped with a fried egg and cheese, with a bacon salad and sweet potato fries on the side. My dining partner opted for an Inkwell Burger, a buxom portion of grilled halloumi, red peppers, butternut squash, red pesto mayo and tomato salsa sandwiched in a brioche bun with accompanying fries.
The Crossfit burger did not substitute calories for taste, oozing with flavour from the runny egg and Monterrey jack cheese, with the avocado-topped bacon salad offering a sharp yet smooth sideline. The Inkwell was piled high on the plate, with the well-cooked halloumi proving a veggie’s dream daubed in tasty sauce.
With the addition of a sharp and sweet Revitalize non-alcoholic cocktail and a large diet coke, the bill came to a quite hefty £27 although the portions matched the price.
The revamp of what was Zed was much needed and Kith & Kin is an interesting concept. On the evidence of our early visit, it is not lacking in flavoursome substance.