If you’re the type of person who savours your lunch venue’s surroundings as much as you do the food on your plate there are probably few restaurants in Leeds city centre as striking as The Lost and Found’s newest home.
After opening its first Leeds venture in Greek Street in 2016, the restaurant and bar chain is now welcoming diners to its sister site in the magnificent grade II listed Leeds Club building in Albion Place. And what better home could there be for a Victorian inspired restaurant than this 19th century former private gentleman’s club?
It may once have been frequented by the city’s wealthiest industrialists but now it’s a hangout for ladies (and gentlemen) who lunch - or just want to enjoy a drink or two from the extensive choice on offer.
Downstairs houses a beautifully designed and spacious bar area while the main restaurant is to be found upstairs – and gorgeously decandent it is too.
The menu veers towards Italian, with a good selection of pizza and pasta and mains including osso buco and chicken Milanese.
My friend spied a rare appearance of whitebait on a menu but it was only available as part of a sharing platter – a quick word to our waitress and she disappeared off into the kitchen to ask if it was possible to do as an individual starter. Chef was more than happy to accommodate - and friend was more than happy with her delicious opening gambit of breaded fish with sriracha mayonnaise, Asian slaw and lime (£7.50).
I went for the starter of harissa glazed aubergine (£7) which came with a touch of garlic yoghurt and fresh chillis.Simple, tasty and the perfect portion size.
Next up, my vegetarian chipotle and quinoa chilli with avocado cream and toasted pitta bread (£11) was incredibly flavoursome for something with such simple ingredients and just the right side of spicey.
My friend plumped for the chicken Milanese (£12) served with caper and parsley butter and a fried egg. It’s her very favourite dish and it didn’t disappoint.
All washed down with a bottle of merlot (£18.95) – well, it was a Saturday afternoon – the final bill for two came to £56.45.
Admittedly, it’s not the cheapest lunch you’re going to find in town but what you will discover is good food, good service and surroundings to make your mouth water (this might sound weird but the ladies’ toilets are worth a trip alone!).
It’s also heartening to see such a beautiful building put to great use.
For a visual feast, not just a foody one, it’s most definitely worth a visit.