Chinese whispers of bold new Leeds city centre restaurant in heart of Business Quarter

When it comes to food, we can be an argumentative bunch here in Leeds.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 11:00 pm
West Point on Wellington Street, Leeds.

In fact almost every time we write about restaurants or food, people are always keen to have their say and tell us about the places they love, hate and love to hate.

But one thing we can all agree on is just how diverse the city’s dining scene has now become.

With everything from Gujarati and gluten free to Keralan and Korean restaurants, there’s something for everyone.

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The area is already home to successful bars and restaurants, including neighbouring venue Toast.

However, City Buzz has noticed there’s a fairly significant gap in the lack of contemporary Chinese restaurants to be found in the city centre.

It’s not that there are no Chinese restaurants as such, more that it’s a type of dining that hasn’t quite managed to surf the wave of Leeds’s restaurant revolution that’s brought us so many modern, swanky takes on traditional food.

But that could be about to change as plans are in the pipeline for a new type of Chinese restaurant.

Around 30 jobs could be created at the site, which is in the basement of West Point on Whitehall Road.

The area is already home to successful bars and restaurants, including neighbouring venue Toast.

Nestled in the heart of the Business Quarter, the eatery will join the likes of Buca di Pizza, Primo, Toast and Lazy Lounge and will set up beneath the former Royal Mail building in a currently disused basement area.

The plans will see the space transformed into a restaurant, complete with a bar, waiting area, DJ booth and two private dining areas.

It will have a modern design, with grey floors and walls, metal cladding, wooden tables and neon signs.

We’ve seen a few of the proposed designs and from the looks of it, it’s just the kind of thing that would be a hit with local office workers.

If given the go-ahead, this new project could help lift the city centre’s Chinese food offering into the 21st century, and it could be a great new addition.

Not only that, but it will be a big boost for this part of town.

In a document seen by City Buzz, it said: “The restaurant space will contribute to the vitality of the area and will attract custom.

“This will then have a resulting positive impact on the surrounding businesses and amenities.”

It added: “It also helps the West End district, which is historically, and predominantly a business and financial district, in developing as an increasingly mixed-use area.”

There’s no denying this corner of the city centre is up-and-coming.

Mediterranean restaurant Espeto recently joined the ranks, along with My Thai, burrito offering Amigos and Juici Sushi on nearby York Place and Britannia Street.

So what’s the cause for all this change?

The neighbouring £100m Central Square skyscraper could be the catalyst.

The towering 11-storey building will be home to thousands of workers, a rooftop ‘sky garden’ and outside terrace when it opens.

It’s clear the major investment in the area has had a knock-on effect, with restaurants and businesses clambering for a piece of the action.

Keep your eyes peeled here for the latest news and we will be sure to keep you posted.