Review: Ira B’s, Roundhay, Leeds

Ira B's.
Ira B's.
Have your say

Tucked away on a quiet residential street in Roundhay is a snack bar that is widely agreed to be one of the best lunch spots in the whole city.

A few people had mentioned Ira B’s and its famous salt beef sandwiches to me in recent weeks, which got me wondering why I’d never been there myself to try it out.

All too often my mind turns to the city centre or the likes of Chapel Allerton when I’m thinking about where to get some lunch, probably because there are so many options clustered together there.

But since it was one of those blustery yet sunny afternoons we’ve been getting lately, my friend and I decided to head to Roundhay Park with a lunch stop en route.

The perfect opportunity then to find out what all the fuss was about and why Ira B’s is consistently in the top choices on review websites.

Approaching on foot, we found an unassuming shop front in an ordinary looking parade with a handful of tables clustered outside.

Most were taken already but one party left just as we arrived and we quickly snapped up a spot beneath the canopy which was still close enough to hear the music drifting from inside.

A glimpse of the quirky interior as a I collected one of the unusual round menus gave a clue to the distinctive personality behind the restuarant, Leeds-born chef and caterer Ira B Silverman.

The menu itself sums it up as ‘Classic food, bonkers mood’ before setting out a selection of traditional Jewish dishes that might leave the uninitiated asking for pointers on what they’re ordering.

Suffering as I was with a summer cold, there was only one option for me – a comforting mug of Chuck Soup with a matza ball and noodles.

This chicken soup was something really special, absolutely packed full of flavour and without any of the saltiness that you get with a cheaply made broth.

You could just tell that proper time had been spent on this and the same went for the heavenly bread served with it, which had a golden and crispy crust but was perfectly light.

My friend was equally delighted with The Grobber – the aforementioned salt beef sandwich is packed full of filling and served with a host of sides including coleslaw, potato salad and pickles.

Each constituent part delivered on taste, a sign of the care and quality ingredients that seem to be a hallmark of all the dishes coming out of this particular kitchen.

And it’s not just the food as my friend declared the strawberry milkshake one of the best he’s ever had.

Together with my fresh orange juice it brought the total bill to £21.50, which we agreed was worth every penny.