If you asked me what I fancied eating for a meal out, tapas would never spring to mind. Too many tomato and garlic rich dishes in big chain restaurants put me off for a while. Luckily, there are a few places in Leeds now offering imaginative and quality tapas – Distrikt being one of them.
Distrikt is an underground tapas bar down the cobbled street next to Five Guys on Duncan Street (near the Corn Exchange). I was invited to Distrikt on Saturday to try out some of its dishes and see what a great place it is for quality food as well as a cool bar with resident and international DJs.
Distrikt has a trendy, urban feel to it, with Day of the Living Dead style inspired artwork on the walls and menus, tables in the middle and cosy booths lined against one wall.
In true James and Han fashion, we turned straight to the cocktail menu as soon as we arrived. We were pleasantly surprised by the comprehensive list of cocktails – a whole page dedicated to sours and another to mojitos is enough to keep us happy. Distrikt also has a long list of wine available and a good selection of craft beers. James moved on to a Vedett IPA at the bartender’s recommendation and can now add it to his ever-growing list of ales he enjoys.
We were given a selection of the Chef’s favourite dishes throughout the night, which meant we didn’t have to choose from the menu – which was a good job as we never would have been able to decide and probably would have picked all of them!
To start with, we were given a sharing board with rosemary pitta bead (which I could happily eat on its own), olives, slices of Granny Smith apples and cheese, and some lovely dips including a beetroot hummus. This was quickly followed by tomato and cheese arancini and then crispy pork crackling coated squid. Why isn’t everything coated in pork crackling?! Amazing.
Next up was the creamed spinach pompey with parmesan, nutmeg and minced lamb. Although slightly too cheesy for me, James declared he could eat it every day until he died (a bit hyperbolic, but you get the idea!).
We were also given slow-cooked rib of beef with mussels, king prawns on bruschetta, and artichokes with asparagus – all really tasty. As well as being presented beautifully and tasting lovely, it was really great to see how creative the dishes were (not just the usual tomato and garlic potatoes!). As an added bonus, the dishes are made with fresh ingredients, many of which are sourced from Leeds market.
We finished the night off with a limoncello digestif – always a good way to end a meal!
Distrikt is a bit of a hidden gem. Being underground with no windows to look through, it’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. Serving tapas from 12pm, it’s a great place for lunch or for a nice meal after work or on a night out at the weekend. It’s probably not the kind of place you’d take your grandparents for food (a bit too dark and loud) but it’s a great restaurant to go to as a couple or with a big group. The staff are all really friendly, the food is creative and delicious, the drinks are varied and you can stay on to party until the early hours, if the mood suits.
There are also plenty of events and offers at Distrikt, including half price tapas on Wednesdays all day, and 2-for-1 cocktails every Thursday. I didn’t realise, but apparently they also have salsa nights on Tuesdays – so I’ll be giving that a go!
A big thanks to Rosita for inviting me and to Johnny and the staff for taking good care of us on Saturday.