If breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, then a good barometer of a restaurant’s qualities is the standard of its morning fare.
There are precious few establishments in Leeds that offer a decent brunch option as well as evening service.
West Park Lounge is among their small number.
It was with that in mind that, on a leisurely Saturday, we took a trip to the Otley Road eatery, where, praise be, breakfast is served until midday on week days and fully 1pm at weekends.
The staff here must be true grafters – it’s open 8am to 9pm seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Someone is clearly keeping on top of things though – the interior remains smart, contemporary and inviting despite the almost relentless traffic.
In the evenings, a largely Italian inspired menu offers the likes of pizzas, meat and fish from the grill, as well as burgers.
As well as a substantial full English (£6.95), the breakfast options include pancakes and eggs done multiple ways.
It’s the kind of food which should really be eaten on a sun-drenched veranda overlooking the pool.
There is outside seating here, but the view it offers of one of Leeds’s main thoroughfares doesn’t exactly fit the bill. And in any case, it was just a touch too chilly despite the sun on the day we went, so we took our seats in one of the comfortable booths.
My dining partner had the eggs royal (£5.95). A freshly baked crusty roll topped with smoked salmon, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, it was a mouth-watering sight.
The eggs were poached to perfection, their yolks spilling out in a yellow tide across the white plate at the merest brush of her fork. The salmon was beautiful.
Her one minor criticism was that the Hollandaise could have been a bit sharper – there was barely a hint of lemon juice in what was otherwise a decent dressing.
She had no trouble using the bread roll to mop up every last ounce, however.
I had the pancakes. Done in the American drop style, they were light, fluffy but surprisingly filling.
I had them with maple syrup and banana. Not necessarily what a nutritionist might advise as the ideal way to start the day, but they set me up perfectly. I didn’t eat again until evening.
The food, along with a couple of glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and two large cups of coffee, set us back roughly £20 – a fair sum for a substantial late morning hunger remedy.
The early bird might catch the worm, but far more inviting options await even the latest of risers at West Park Lounge.