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word on the str-eat

You can tell it’s nearly Christmas when you find yourself eyeing up a mince pie Bao at Little Bao Boys; tucking into a sprout bhaji at Bundobust or wondering what festive flavour kebab I Am Doner will bring out this year. That’s right, it’s the season of good food when restaurants, indies and everybody with a pan gets the chance to really push the boat out and serve up a seasonal surprise or two.


Get set for an alternative festive menu from the infamous Dijon Boys who will be taking over the kitchen at Leeds Corn Exchange this year. Make sure you check out their Christmas Crackers (pastilla’s) which come in a variety of flavours including Moroccan braised beef, harissa spiced winter veg and Punjabi sweet potato and paneer. The stars of the show are the braised ox cheek stew and their incredible Korean fried chicken burger, with a side of pigs in blankets.


If you’re looking for a private dining experience with a difference, one man to check out is talented chef Hanro van Eck AKA The Sizzling Swine. Having trained with Michael O’Hare at The Man Behind The Curtain, Hanro is gaining a huge following with inspired dishes like his “invisible” bread, “the skull” and “cereal killer” Check him out at


If you’re planning a trip to York, one place well worth a visit is Fish & Forest, a small, sustainably-focussed, low-waste restaurant that’s making a lot of noise in the city. Chef owner Stephen Andrews is a self-taught chef and serves seasonal and sustainable fish, game and locally foraged forest foods which he prepares in-house. Recognised in the Michelin Guide for its ‘Commitment to Sustainable Gastronomy,’ expect the likes of monkfish, mushroom pappardelle and parmesan or venison croquette for starters and Skrei cod, wild boar and rabbit with green peppercorn, parsnip or roasted cauliflower for mains.


After a busy opening summer, Green Room, the award-winning independent bar and social space is poised to unveil its brand-new Winter Garden with an exciting menu created to get everybody in the festive mood. Designed to fill the gap left by the absence of the Leeds German market, the roof terrace on Wellington Street has been transformed into a cosy winter haven which is fully covered, complete with fire pits, heat lamps covering the roof top and treats including the BBQ vegan quarter pounder, bratwurst, currywurst, buffalo chicken burger and loaded cheese and bacon fries.


Could this be the most colourful food in Leeds? Brooklyn Leeds has a brand new kitchen and this time it’s The Bad Boy Bagel Co who have dropped into this neat bar on Call Lane to take the reins. What can you expect? Smash patties served in bagels, sharing platters with delicious sides and chicken tenders andwings.


Festive Fries are getting the VIP treatment down at Chow Down this year as BB take over one of the resident kitchens, serving up a range of their dishes with a Yuletide twist. Think pulled pork cooked in orange, beef short rib and bone marrow plus regular specials including corned beef hash browns and festive burgers with dipping gravy.


If you’re looking for a more traditional Christmas dinner with a twist, Leeds has plenty of options. Whitelocks – the oldest pub in Leeds – brings you dishes like truffled celeriac soup and red wine poached hake, as well as stuffed turkey ballotine. The Reliance have options including squash & chestnut soup, beetroot, dill & lentil fritters mixed with roast pheasant and game chips, beef bourguignon and a delicious leek and potato pie. The Tetley offers up some interesting dishes like pan-asian inspired fish cakes, spiced sprout & parsnip pakoras, and a vegan eggnog panna cotta to finish. Meanwhile Ox Club won’t disappoint with its salt baked celeriac with truffle cream, pastrami brisket, cultured cream and bone marrow mash – what’s not to like?

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