The last time a member of the Oliver family visited Brown’s for food, it was underwhelming to say the least.
So it was with some trepidation that Little Oliver ventured to the bar/restaurant at The Light in Leeds city centre.
Thankfully, this experience was as delightful as our previous visit in 2013 had been disappointing.
The venue is a well known haunt for the cocktail generation, and on this Wednesday afternoon at bang-on midday, when we popped in for an early bird lunch, there was already a decent smattering of diners spread out over the three levels.
The customers were mostly couples in their 30s and 40s, and a few mum and daughter and business-lunch type pairings.
Soft jazz music in the background provided a nice ambience, and we settled into our comfortable brown leather booth seats.#
The unfussy all-day menu perfectly suits the relaxed vibe, with a selection of European contemporary dishes, sharing plates, burgers, British classics and pastas sitting among a handful of brunch and afternoon tea choices. There is also a fixed-price midday to 7pm two course offer for £11.95 which sounded ideal for our visit. The four-eight-four starters, main and dessert offering is great for both an express lunch and a more leisurely one.
We decided to skip starters and go straight for mains. My Smoked Haddock Fish Pie looked hearty and appetising, though I would have liked just a touch more colour on the mustard mash covering it. I dug in and loved the combined textures of crunchy topping and juicy well-cooked fish chunks. The surprise of a just-set egg in the middle was a nice touch. However the highlight for me was the delicious accompanying lightly dressed salad of heirloom tomato, rocket and samphire. This helped cut through the natural stodge of the pie perfectly.
My companion’s Slow Cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich came in two crispy thick white bread pieces. He said the just-pink, shredded beef was tender and well flavoured with black pepper. He loved the additional filling of sautéed mushrooms and onions. The sandwich came with a side of crispy chips which also went down very well.
Service was quick and friendly, and we were seated, fed and paid-up within 50 minutes, which is a fantastic bonus for city centre workers with often tight schedules. We decided not to have desserts, so our mains were charged at £9.95 each. With a drink each, the bill was a little over £25 - not the cheapest lunch but worth it for a thoroughly pleasant overall dining experience.