Restaurant review: La Rambla, East Parade, Leeds

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I WAS lured into this fairly new restaurant by its tempting lunch offers displayed on an A-frame outside, and after all, tapas is a sociable bite suited to meet ups with a friend for an early afternoon meal.

There are two ‘deal’ options on the menu, light lunch for two at £6 each which consists of four tapas dishes between the pair of you, plus a side of bread, or the choice of three tapas for £9.95.

La Rambla, East Parade, Leeds.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

La Rambla, East Parade, Leeds. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Feeling peckish we opted for the latter and the service was cheerful, unintrusive and efficient on what was a quiet early afternoon with only a few other diners.

Having opened five months ago, the fittings are pristine and modern but soft on the eye, and on a bright day like this the sun streamed in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

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We were allowed to pick our own table, choosing seats beneath mounted photographic scenes of the street which lends the establishment its name, those of Barcelona’s famous tree-lined pedestrian walkway.

The background music offered a Mediterranean ambiance and the waiter’s accent lent the atmosphere an air of genuine authenticity.

Within moments of being seated we’d ordered drinks and set about choosing what to eat from the 11 dishes listed on the lunchtime menu. Each dish is given its Spanish names but carry a description in English below.

Our plates of choice came one at a time. I started with the Pinxto La Rambla; two slices of toasted bread topped with melted goat cheese on top of tomato jam and layered lightly with green pepper. The jam was pleasingly sweet and worked well with the cheese.

Next up, the Bacalao Rebozado; deep fried cod served with homemade alioli - a Spanish recipe which typically consists of garlic, olive oil, egg yolks and lemon juice. The dish was delicious and light, the batter dry and crispy, but I ran out of sauce too soon.

Before I could finish the dish, the next one came, Pollo Al Ajillo; chicken in garlic sauce, guindilla hot pepper and parsley served with a wine sauce. The seasoning was tasty but again there was too little sauce and I couldn’t quite finish all of it.

The bread, served as a side, came with garlic butter and I’d have eaten more if there’d been more sauce left.

My dining partner also tried the chicken and agreed with my assessment, whilst also ordering a salad of lettuce, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes served with a house dressing, and tortilla.

All in, with an Appletiser and a J20 Orange and Passion fruit thrown in, the bill was £29.05. I was full so considered this good value. On a return visit I’d hope for a little extra sauce all round.

VIndia Silvani-Jones, a vegan chef based in Leeds, has been running pop-up cafes across the city for the past two years. She is now looking to launch her own restaurant called The Jungle Kitchen.

Food entrepreneur looking to take veganism to the masses with cafe