Tabula Rasa review: the new bar on Eastgate giving its guests plenty of room for self expression and creative flair

Tabula Rasa joins a whole host of bars dominating the Headrow, but this addition chooses to offer a different experience to visitors.

By YEP Reviewer
Sunday, 7th November 2021, 4:45 am
Tabula Rasa has just opened along Eastgate. Photo: Tabula Rasa.

It's hard to encapsulate the experience at Tabula Rasa in just a few short paragraphs, so I'll start in the very same way I was introduced to the bar.

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Tabula Rasa is the Latin expression for blank slate, a concept that owner Filippos Filippopoulos is particularly fond of.

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The Pablo Picasso features a candyfloss skewer that can be mixed into the cocktail to transform its colour. Photo: Tabula Rasa

For him, a blank slate encourages creative flair, gives plenty of room for self expression and allows guests to leave their worries at the door- a perspective he shares with all his visitors upon their arrival.

A twist on a classic cocktail bar, the drinks menu here has been handcrafted by Filippos over his many years as a bartender, each cocktail bearing the name of a transformative character in history to spark conversation.

But it is not just their names that call upon these inspirational figures; look no further than the Pablo Picasso to see just how well thought-out these concepts are.

A crystal blue gin drink, dry yet refreshing, with a cocktail stick delicately placed on top, enveloped in pink candyfloss.

The Jolly Roger cocktail is based on the famous flag flown on pirate ships. Photo: Tabula Rasa

Yet this very picture of art and freedom doesn't stop when the glass arrives at the table.

Encouraged by the waiter to remove the candyfloss skewer from the rim of my glass, I saw my cocktail transform from blue, to lilac, to purple as I swirled the pink sugar into my drink.

Across from me I watched in awe as the Jolly Roger was delivered to my friend, a balanced drink with a hint of Biscoff, the brownie resting on top symbolising a pirate's flag.

There's a love and warmth here; a passion for creating drinks and crafting escapism that is often forgotten about when founding new bars and restaurants.

As we chatted over the gentle hum of music we watched the night tick away, with more and more people pouring in through the doors to get a taste of freedom before the day was done.

In its short time in existence Tabula Rasa already knows how to entice a crowd with its passion for creating new experiences, and this latest addition to Eastgate is sure to encourage other bars to start doing the same.

Factfile

Address: Tabula Rasa, 8 Eastgate, Leeds LS2 7JL

Telephone: 07593 902413

Opening hours:

Monday- Closed

Tuesday to Wednesday- 10am-1am

Thursday to Saturday- 10am-2am

Sunday- 10am-12am

Scores

Drinks: 8/10

Value: 8/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Service: 9/10

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