Chef Jono at V&V: Leeds restaurant launches new menu as it's named among best for fine dining in England
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Chef Jono at V&V is up for Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year in the Food Awards England 2023, after winning the same category last year. The New Briggate restaurant, run by chef patron and Masterchef: The Professionals star Jono Hawthorne, has also been shortlisted for the Best Restaurant in Yorkshire award.
As Jono and his team wait to find out their fate in October, the restaurant has launched a new five-course tasting menu for £45. The menu gives diners the opportunity to try Chef Jono’s creative dishes with a shorter experience and lower price - and the menu will change weekly.
Jono said: “We are accessible, but we wanted to tap into the pre-theatre shows and that clientele. The five-course experience lasts around an hour and 15 minutes, so if you’re going to the O2 or the theatres, you can still come in, have the experience and be on your way.
"We open early, at 5pm, which not many fine-dining restaurants do. We want to make people aware that it doesn’t have to be such a long period.”
The current menu includes chicken liver cereal with apple, sultanas and pine nuts and a chocolate and hazelnut dessert, served with crème fraîche and wood ants, which he controversially served to judges in the Masterchef competition.
Also on the menu is sweet and sour chicken, and ‘milky fish’ – smoked haddock, parsley and black pepper.
“It’s a take on one of the dishes my grandad eats,” Jono said. “He’s part Scottish, and he used to make a haddock dish in milk and dip his toast in it, with loads of black pepper. It’s unusual and I’ve based the dish around that.”
As well as its eight and five course tasting menus, Chef Jono at V&V also serves a fine-dining take on Sunday lunch - a five-course menu for £49.
Jono added: “There’s not many places that do fine dining on a Sunday. If you’re looking for something a bit more high end, or for a special occasion, it’s perfect, instead of just going for a Sunday roast.”
A professional chef for more than 16 years, Jono has trained at some of the world's best restaurants. He opened his first solo venture in 2021, taking on the former Vice and Virtue where he was previously head chef, and Chef Jono at V&V quickly scooped a number of accolades.
Jono and his team are hoping to be crowned the best fine dining restaurant in England for the second year running. The Food Awards England ceremony will take place at the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre on October 9.
“It was a shock to be nominated,” Jono said. “Last year we won it, so to be up for it again says a lot about what we’re doing.
“I think we’ve really stepped it up this year from where we were a year ago - and you can see that looking at our reviews. We’re one of the highest-rated restaurants on OpenTable that isn’t a chain.
“And they’re natural reviews, we don’t give people offers for writing them. It speaks for itself about what we’re doing down here."