Restaurant review: Filmore & Union, Moortown, Leeds

Filmore & Union has health-conscious choices on the menu.
Filmore & Union has health-conscious choices on the menu.
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Filmore and Union may sound like the kind of deli you might find in New York.

In fact it shares its name with two streets in San Francisco, and now the chain of restaurants and cafes are in a growing number of Yorkshire towns and cities.

The latest outpost is in Moortown, north Leeds, where we dropped in for a lazy Sunday brunch.

Located on the bustling parade of shops near Moortown corner, the arrival of Filmore & Union has created something of a stir.

“Great coffee” was the verdict from staff at a business nearby – “but a bit pricey”.

With its all-white decor and “eat clean” motto, the cafe’s more obvious home might’ve been down the road among the yummy mummies of Chapel Allerton.

However that’s not to say it isn’t a welcome addition to the area.

Despite being a purveyor of healthy foods, the array of delicious cakes in the window looked tantalisingly naughty but nice.

Inside, the cakes are displayed on an open counter, along with a further selection of equally enticing savouries.

When we arrived, it looked busy with fellow brunchers but we were directed to a table upstairs.

With its shabby chic funrniture, soul music on the stereo and the sun streaming in, we could’ve been in some trendy San Francisco cafe.

The menu is equally Californian with its health-conscious choices, like rye bread with hummus, spinach, tomato, mushrooms and pesto topped with a poached egg.

We overheard the manager explaining their healthy philosophy to a neighbouring table, and that they didn’t sell fizzy drinks, or hot chocolate with “marshmallows or sprinkly bits”.

Luckily what they do sell is delicious, we found.

My companion chose the smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on rye toast, which was perfectly made and beautifully presented – though you would expect it for £9.95.

I had the Back to Basics bagel from the lunch menu, with smoked salmon, cream cheese, dill, capers and spinach.

The generous filling was bursting out of the olive and sundried tomato bagel, which was wonderfully fresh, and it came alongside an interesting mix of salad leaves with a nutty dressing.

These were washed down by a latte and one of the array of juices on offer, the ‘slim down’ with pineapple, lemon, orange, apple and strawberry.

It was a fruity delight, but also pricey at £3.75.

We weren’t about to leave without trying one of those cakes from the window, so we took away a slice of pistachio cake. It was moist and densely packed with nuts, but surprisingly was a little sweet for my taste.

With cake, two glasses of juice, and two lattes, our brunch turned out to be on the expensive side at £34.15.

Takeaway lunches looked much more reasonable and while our food was well-made, high quality and pretty virtuous, a visit to Filmore & Union may not leave your bank balance feeling quite so healthy.

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