Dakota Grill Leeds: Here's what I thought of the tasting menu at at this Michelin Guide restaurant

Choosing just one meal from this amazing menu would be extremely difficult - but luckily, I got to taste nine.
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Located in the basement of Leeds’ five-star hotel Dakota, nestled between Greek Street and Russell Street, it might be a bit tricky to spot this amazing restaurant if you’re unaware of its existence. Not to say it’s unheard of - it's one of 12 restaurants in Leeds to feature on the Michelin Guide.

We were invited to Dakota this evening to try out the refreshed menu under the supervision of new head chef Chris Nuttall.

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The first of our four starter dishes was a tomato and goat cheese dip served with warm bread. My guest and I agreed that the goat cheese made the dish a star - it was the perfect creamy and warm starter to enjoy after coming in from the rainy streets. 

Out of the four amazing starters, the monkfish (bottom right) was my absolute favourite. Out of the four amazing starters, the monkfish (bottom right) was my absolute favourite.
Out of the four amazing starters, the monkfish (bottom right) was my absolute favourite.

Next up was pan seared scallops with parsnip, chicken butter and nasturtium. I am not usually the biggest fan of scallops, but this was incredible. The scallops were incredibly meaty and large and sear on them and the parsnip carried so much flavour I could have eaten a dozen on my own. 

This was followed by a herb gnudi - something neither me nor my guest had ever tried before, or even heard of - a gnocchi-like dumpling with ricotta cheese instead of potato. This was served in a green spinach emulsion with smoked pancetta, walnuts and parmesan cheese.

The salty pancetta and the soft gnudi together with the creaminess of the spinach made this one of my favourites of the night, and I would definitely come back to Dakota Grill for this starter alone.

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The final starter of the night would end up being my favourite dish - a spiced monkfish pakora with mango chutney, wild rice, coconut and lime. The crispy batter and rice topping combined with the sweet chutney and lime was something out of this world.

Wild mushroom orzo, corn-fed chicken and sirloin steak with chimichurri and shallots made up the mains.Wild mushroom orzo, corn-fed chicken and sirloin steak with chimichurri and shallots made up the mains.
Wild mushroom orzo, corn-fed chicken and sirloin steak with chimichurri and shallots made up the mains.

After four starters, we were served our first main, corn-fed chicken with a creamy baby leek and artichoke sauce and a side of parma ham dauphinoise. The chicken was tender and the sauce was a rich dream.

Next, was a wild mushroom orzo with black truffle, old Winchester, and bacon jam. The flavours were deep and warming but me and my guest couldn't stop talking about the curious bacon jam. It was the perfect sweet and salty topping to an extremely rich dish. 

For our final main we were treated to grilled beef sirloin, cooked to our preference, served with charred shallot, chimichurri and cress. I was especially hoping to try a steak dish after hearing great things about the grill at Dakota. It was everything I was hoping for - perfectly seared and brightened by the fresh chimichurri and smoky shallot. 

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Lastly, we were served two desserts, a sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate tart. The sticky toffee pudding was a perfect classic and the tart was a fresh and chocolatey treat. No matter how full you are, don't skip dessert here. 

For desert, we had chocolate tart with white chocolate ice cream and sticky coffee pudding.For desert, we had chocolate tart with white chocolate ice cream and sticky coffee pudding.
For desert, we had chocolate tart with white chocolate ice cream and sticky coffee pudding.

Dakota does truly live up to its reputation. Every single dish was unique and we loved every bite. Although the restaurant does have a bigger price tag, the meals and service makes it all worth it.

Factfile

Address: 8 Russell St, Leeds LS1 5RN

Telephone: 0113 322 6261

Opening hours: Mon-Thu, 6.30am-9pm, Fri, 6.30am-10pm, Sat. 7.30am-10pm, Sun, 7.30am-9pm

Scores

Food: 10/10

Value: 9/10

Atmosphere: 10/10

Service: 10/10