Bar review: Pieminster, Leeds city centre

Pieminister, Duncan Street, Leeds. Pic: Simon Hulme.
Pieminister, Duncan Street, Leeds. Pic: Simon Hulme.
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OK, I know what you’re thinking. A pie restaurant that does cocktails? How does that work?

Let me be frank when I say I’m not sure, but it definitely does.

Pieminister arrived on the Corn Exchange’s doorstep just a matter of weeks ago but it’s already made its mark.

The YEP’s Oliver has already been to sample the tasty delights of the pie menu but we were intrigued to learn it has a decent cocktail menu too.

So we popped along to give it a try.

When we entered the restaurant on a Saturday afternoon, it was fairly busy.

The friendly waitress showed us to a table at the back and handed us our menus.

There were couples in there enjoying a hearty meal, not daring to take their eyes of their enormous pies as they did so.

Then there were other visitors who weren’t indulging in a meal but who had popped in for a casual drink.

Pieminister has a chilled out vibe and is trendy without being too in-your-face about it.

The bar-restaurant has brick walls, dark wooden tables and chairs and some funky neon signs to liven it up, with a separate ‘shed’ area and booths for diners to sit in if they wish.

The huge glass windows stretching along the front of the restaurant make it a perfect people-watching spot, with Call Lane just a stone’s throw away.

Pieminister’s cocktail menu is small but succinct, with three categories – sours, classics and specials.

Each category has four drink offerings, and I go for the Paddington special with Black Cow Vodka, marmalade and ginger.

My companion opts for a classic Mule, with Black Cow Vodka, raspberry and lime.

All cocktails are £5 before 7pm and after 10pm, or £7 otherwise.

My cocktail was particularly sugary but pleasant for anyone with a sweet tooth and the marmalade settled at the bottom of the glass giving it a sunrise-type effect.

Meanwhile my companion’s drink was refreshing and zesty.

The drinks menu also includes ales, lagers and ciders as well as wine and prosecco, plus ice cream floats and non-alcoholic cocktails for the non-drinkers.

It’s a difficult thing to get the balance of a bar and restaurant right, but Pieminister have achieved it perfectly.

The only thing you should be aware of is that if you’re venturing there purely for a drink, it’s incredibly hard to resist getting one of their award-winning pies to soak up the alcohol.

This side of town is set to thrive with Five Guys opening next door soon, and with two sides to the Pieminister business this new venture is probably going to go from strength to strength.

Rating ****

l

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