Restaurant review: Sebby’s, Otley Road, Leeds

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LITTERED along Otley Road are hundreds of restaurants, takeaways and run-of-the-mill eateries.

But venture just a little further up the road, towards the Three Horseshoes pub, and you’ll find the small but perfectly formed Sebby’s.

With just three tables inside and a couple outside facing the main road, it could probably squeeze in 12 people at a push.

But that’s all part of its charm.

Other restaurants and cafes in the centre of Headingley cater for the student masses and can feel stuffy, grubby and greasy.

But Sebby’s is small enough to only take on a few people and gets the food – and the service – spot-on every time.

My dining companion and I visited at around 3pm on a Monday. It was almost empty, which is fair enough for that time of the day, so we took our time making our choice from the chalk board menu on the wall behind the counter.

The cafe offers a range of piegatas (pitta bread-style pockets) with fillings such as homemade houmous with spinach and peppers.

I opted for a toasted piegata with bacon, brie and cranberry for £3.50. My companion went for a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwich. Just a few minutes after placing our orders and paying at the counter, our meals arrived. We had just enough time to quickly browse through some of the cookery books stacked on the shelves but not quite enough time to play with the dominos on the table.

My toasted piegata was delicious. The brie was gooey and perfectly melted and the bacon went well with the cranberry but it was a bit too heavy and stodgy to finish. My companion thoroughly enjoyed his sandwich, which came on a fresh, fluffy brown bread roll.

Whilst tucking into our food, some customers popped into the cafe and we got the impression Sebby’s has already made a name for itself amongst locals. Not only with students but with the older generation as well.

And it’s easy to see why. The service is polite and friendly without being too try- hard and the food is fresh.

On top of that, Sebby’s is quietly flying the flag for Leeds and Yorkshire, with local cheese and produce for sale at the deli counter and on the menu as well as artwork on the walls by local photographers.

They also do hot meals for £4.50 – a healthier option for those wanting an alternative to a takeaway, and food hampers from £5.

All-day cooked breakfasts are also available, which I hear are particularly popular, and other early morning treats include breakfast burritos and porridge.

They have several little tasters to try on the counter, from pork pies to carrot cake. My companion and I couldn’t resist getting two small chocolate cake bites for dessert, which were 50p each. I chose the spiced chocolate flavour, which was a mouthful of gooey chocolate cake with a fierce kick to it.

My companion went for the gingerbread cake bite, which I couldn’t help but sample for myself. It was a little slice of heaven and for 50p I could have easily got another one if my waistline would have permitted.

The cafe has a very homely, warm atmosphere whilst keeping a fresh feel and its food is extremely well priced.

With our two sandwiches, two pink lemonades and two cake bites, the bill came to £10.10.

It’s clear that Sebby’s has set the bar and it’s time that similar venues in Headingley stepped up their game because, as far as cafes are concerned, there’s a new kid on the block.

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