Review: Seven Artspace, Chapel Allerton, Leeds

Seven in Chapel Allerton.

Seven in Chapel Allerton.

3
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There was something entirely relaxing about Seven right from the start. I felt drawn there, intrigued to find out what a venue serving so many a creative uses offered.

It’s a small, modern building that can be set up as a 100-seat venue for film, theatre, dance, music, words and comedy, and comes with a softly-lit café bar area.

PIC: Simon Hulme

PIC: Simon Hulme

On entry there’s a table by the door to the bar that has flyers for the upcoming events and on this occasion there was a bundle of free promo CDs by a singer/guitarist one of which I gladly scooped up to listen to when I got home.

Through the door and into the bar, it felt very much like a social area at a university, part living room with a number of comfy looking sofas and part dining room/bar with plush wooden tables and chairs orderly dotted around next to a bar manned by two young male bartenders.

This is the kind of place where you wander to the bar at your own accord to order food and drinks.

There was one table left on this particular midweek evening and my dining partner and I sat down and took in our new surroundings. The crowd here was of various ages, but most looked as though they were young professionals or early middle-aged couples.

The decor was simple, warm in colour and artwork, which was for sale, was hung up on the walls.

On the menu, there was a variety of options. After the obligatory ‘soup of the day’, there was a selection of jacket potatoes, sandwiches, burgers, small plates (one for £4/ 2 for £7.50/ 3 for £11), sides and main dishes ranging from wild mushroom risotto and grilled haddock to quinoa with feta and pomegranate with chicken or salmon as an optional extra, and black pudding and goats cheese salad; all priced between a reasonable £7-£12.

Both of us opted to give the burgers a whirl, not least because there’s so much competition for premium burgers these days and there was one particularly hungry carnivore at the table. That would be me then and I ordered the lamb burger which came with lashings of salsa, sweet caramelised onion and sloppy minted yoghurt. It was presented in a stiff seeded ciabatta bun and given its strength against the rather drippy filling it presented a challenge to eat - especially given its large size.

Somehow I clamped my jar around the thing and while it was messy it was incredibly tasty. All the flavours really stood out. I could taste every ingredient and the mild bitters on tap - I went for the Rushmore by Skegness-based brewery, Riverside - were the perfect accompaniment.

The burger came served with a pile of thick but fluffy potato wedges and a side salad that included my culinary nemesis, celery.

My dining partner’s burger was even sloppier than mine - tip: don’t press the bun down with force to reduce the burger to a more manageable bite size, at least not when you go for the sweet potato and bean burger topped with salsa and lemon mayo. Again though it passed the taste challenge, and washed down with an orange juice, the bill came in at £21.30.

Rating: 4/5

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