For a pub restaurant, location is everything. Brewery Tap in Leeds city centre is ideally placed being only shouting distance from the city’s railway station.
With 17m people a year said to breeze through the interchange, you can imagine quite a lot of them need to be fed and watered before or after their journey. So this establishment in New Station Street couldn’t be better located. Another point in its favour is it’s reputation is already well established but this is mainly for its beer... having paid them a visit, I can vouch they also offer an interesting menu.
From the outside, Brewery Tap seems small but busy with two floors, the spacious upper floor accessible via the steepest set of stairs you will ever see this side of a ladder. In short, it makes for a great, relaxed meeting place but it’s a pub first and foremost.
For us, it was the first stop on a bar crawl (of sorts) of Leeds.
Drinks first. We quaffed a pint of Camerons’ Sanctuary pale ale (£3.80), a full flavoured 3.8 per cent brew which was launched in Leeds and packed full of hoppiness. A pint of Camerons’ Roadcrew (£4.90), an American-style pale ale bursting with citrus and blackcurrant also went down a treat.
So on to the food. Two of our party ordered haddock in a Leeds Best beer batter (£11.95) which came with hand-cut chips and minted pea puree. It was a generous portion and the fish was white and tasty. Difficult to fault.
One of us chose the steak and red wine pie (£11.95) with puff pastry, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and ale gravy. We had reservations over the puff pastry, preferring shortcrust, but the dish was nice. There was plenty of lean meat and the gravy was astonishingly good.
My choice was the Yorkshire Dales sausage and mash (£10.95) with crisp vegetables. I added a portion of onion rings (£3.25). Again, it was a beautiful dish.
Now these dishes aren’t the cheapest in the city but they were hearty, well presented and quickly served. We had four drinks and four main courses for under £80, which isn’t bad for such a thriving city centre bar. In fact, it’s par for the course these days and anyone who baulks at those prices can hop on a train and go down to London where you will get change from a tenner if you buy a pint.
But... you are not reading this review for any of that. You want to know about the Yorkshire pudding sandwiches.
Well, it’s something they’re testing out at the moment. It’s basically your average full English between two Yorkie puds. What could be better? Well, I’m still trying to think but you can make your own mind up by going down Saturday and Sunday from 10am and trying them out for yourself.
Brewery Tap: 18 New Station St, Leeds LS1 5DL