IF there’s one thing which Chapel Allerton has plenty of, it’s eating options.
So one of its newest additions certainly has its work cut out in standing out from the crowd.
Cup and Saucer has a prime position in the heart of the suburb, which on a sunny day was packed with everyone from yummy mummies to pensioners.
But my dining partner, who knows the area well, had words of warning.
“This is the doomed unit,” she whispered conspiratorially after we took our seats.
Apparently a string of other businesses in the same shop on Stainbeck Lane have not been a success.
That’s a pity – but there’s no reason to suggest Cup and Saucer should follow.
For one, it’s got a great pedigree. The cafe is the latest outpost of coffee shop Opposite, which began opposite Leeds University (see what they did there?) and has now expanded to include not only a branch in the city centre’s Victoria Quarter but also a large outside catering operation.
So the people behind Cup and Saucer know what they’re doing.
And it shows. Decor is light and bright, the atmosphere is relaxed and service is warm and unintrusive.
Best of all is the mouthwatering display at the brick-built counter featuring the food on offer.
One of the main draws here is the coffee, so there wasn’t a huge choice of lunch options.
However what there was all looked very appetising.
Sandwiches were in a basket in the refrigerated counter, while the specials that day included tortilla and quiche.
My dining partner went for the grilled halloumi sandwich, which included marinated tomatoes, and came with a little side salad.
In super-fresh granary bread, she said it was delicious, the tomatoes adding an extra sweet tanginess.
She did think, however, that the cheese didn’t taste all that halloumi-like, but enjoyed it all the same. My quiche prompted a little confusion too, as though I thought it was with mozzarella, it definitely tasted more like goat’s cheese.
It didn’t matter – either way it was lovely, with a layer of red onion marmalade setting off the salty cheese. With a side serving of their two daily salads – couscous with roasted vegetables and lentils with feta, it made for a very filling and, at just £4.95, good value lunch.
Those generous portions weren’t going to put us off trying the cakes though.
Spoiled for choice, we eventually tried a mini lemon drizzle loaf, which looked adorable and tasted heavenly.
One of the two flapjack varieties was meant to be a healthier option, but didn’t scrimp on flavour, while the sticky ginger cake was simply amazing.
Moist, spicy and moreish, it was hard to believe it was also the vegan option.
Our total bill, with two soft drinks each, came to £19.90.
Cup and Saucer may be the newest kid on the block – but it deserves to become one of the most popular.