When it comes to contemporary fine dining in Leeds, Mark Owens (ex-head chef at The Box Tree) and MasterChef semi-finalist Elizabeth Cottam have excelled themselves with their small-plates restaurant, Home. The pair have transformed this once-shabby top-floor space on the city’s oldest street into a bar-restaurant that is simultaneously informal and up-to-the-minute trendy.
The warm welcome we received from staff on arrival, together with the prompt offer of a glass of whatever we fancied (which is complimentary to guests dining from the 10-course tasting menu), made an excellent start to an evening of flawless culinary creations. From the Bellini truffle bar snacks paired with a glass of crisp English sparkling wine, to the delicately spiced carrot cake with cream-cheese ice cream that rounded off the meal, each dish was meticulously composed to ensure maximum flavour, exquisite textures and first-rate presentation.
The monthly changing tasting menu comes in standard, vegetarian and pescatarian versions, though there’s also a five-course ‘selection’ menu and Sunday lunch. Our favourite dishes were the spiced aubergine pasty; the salt-aged duck with chocolate, hazelnut, salsify and cherry; and the perfectly balanced lemon verbena parfait with white-tea custard. Each dish is delivered and explained by the chef (a nice touch), but what especially made our evening was the friendly, knowledgeable waitress.
If seasonal tasting menus are the order of the day during the week, it is all about the capturing the essence of classic meals on weekends. On Sundays, Home serves a tasting menu inspired by the flavours of a traditional Sunday roast – the offering changes regularly, but diners will be glad to know that the so called Yorkshire pudding course is a permanent fixture on the menu.
Home’s welcoming atmosphere, together with the top-quality ingredients and superb value, compels us to conclude that there really is no place like Home.