From sandwiches and Sunday lunch to Mexican tacos and Malaysian specials
WHATEVER globe-trotting you’re not doing during this holiday month, take your tastebuds on a round-the-world-trip by stopping at home. We have classic roasts and a selection of sandwiches worth sitting at your desk for, plus Japanese tasters and subcontinental comfort food. Add a coffee (or a pint) for a perfect pick-me-up.
The Confidentials team recommend their favourite dishes for August.
Beef and Pickled Cabbage Sandwich - Sheaf Street (£4.50)
You know those days where your fridge is half empty, but you pop all those leftovers together and it somehow works? Sheaf Street are masters of utilising the seasonal and local to create lunch dishes that minimise waste. Their sandwich selection changes daily, but we lucked out with their roast beef and sharp pickled cabbage sarnie - mustard mayo sopped up by hearty bread, and teamed with a serving-spoonful of quinoa salad studded with veg. Coming in at under a fiver, it’s the perfect eat-out lunch for days where you feel a little guilty for eating out. Jenessa Williams
Sheaf Street, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, LS10 1HD
Vegan Kofta Ciabatta - OWT (£6)
On a Sunday night, I eagerly await OWT's announcement of the coming week's menu. Which treats from the market will Esther and James be sprinkling with deft devotion and boundless joie de vivre? Sat at the wooden benches, with their retro campervan crockery, watching the haggling fishmongers and shoppers laden with bulging carrier bags, life melts into insignificance. This olive-studded ciabatta, stuffed with vegan koftas and salad, and slathered in tahini sauce, was really all that mattered. Not to mention the expertly seasoned triple-cooked chips (skin on, of course), hot from the fryer. With a free filter coffee after every lunch, nowt beats OWT. Sarah Cotterill
OWT, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds, LS2 7HN
Masala Dosa with Paneer - Jah Jyot (£7)
Served as a roll of spicy, salty goodness, Jah Jyot’s masala dosa has that winning combination of texture, flavour and satisfying comfort-food status. Rice flour and spinach pancakes are whipped and flipped into shape, filled with rich masala sauce and crammed with your choice of filling. Finished with a flourish of tamarind and raita to tick ‘sweet’ and ‘creamy’ off your ‘best food qualities’ list, this clever little roulade is packed with cumin-infused paneer cheese, but you can also opt for spiced aloo, chicken or a mix of all three. Kate Ryrie
, Assembly Underground, 12 Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3AL
Sunday Lunch - The Brunswick (from £12)
A pick-me-up pint in The Reliance followed by scran at The Brunswick makes for a revitalising double-header, and Sunday lunch here is a lesson in getting the old classic bang on the money. The crisp, dark (and massive) Yorkshire pudding will please its devotees, spuds do the crunchy-fluffy thing we all hope for, and the accompanying vegetables are vividly fresh. Pay the extra quid for the beef and you’ll be rewarded with tender sheets of outstanding bovine goodness. By the end, all we’re missing is a slice of pappy bread to dredge through the remaining pool of proper gravy. Richard Miller
The Brunswick, 82 North Street, LS2 7PN
Roti Canai - Kuala Lumpur Café (£3.99)
There's finally a roti canai spot in Leeds... The new-but-not-that-new Kuala Lumpur Café in Headingley (just behind the Cat's Protection charity shop on Otley Road) serves this Malaysian street food classic made famous around these parts by London's Roti King. Puffed-up, blistered paratha made of infinite layers of translucent dough which peel apart like sunburn, with a pot of curry sauce to dredge them though. All for under four quid. Absolute death row meal stuff. Thom Archer
Kuala Lumpur Café, 2-4 Bennett Road, Leeds, LS6 3HN
Torinegi - Iroko Bar (part of a £20 Yakitori tasting menu)
Iroko Bar hosts an evening of Yakitori and Japanese drinks every second Thursday of the month. It's £20 per person for a series of small plates from the Japanese grill; drinks can be ordered and paid for separately. One of my favourite dishes was the torinegi, a skewer of chicken thighs and spring onions that had been charred to perfection. The chicken was succulent and the spring onions had a wonderful smoky character. This tasting menu provides a great opportunity to try some unusual bites such as duck hearts and ox tongue. You can wash it down with some Japanese whiskey, and they also knocked up some fantastic alcohol-free cocktails on request. Iroko Bar makes for a great date spot - stylish, intimately lit, with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Sit at the bar if you're interested in cocktail wizardry.
, 7 Duncan Street, Leeds, LS1 6DQ
Beef Tongue & Feather Blade Taco - Neon Cactus (one-off, but regular menu tacos are £6)
I’m not a fan of Call Lane, but I recently paid a visit to Neon Cactus for a supper club collaboration with the Merrion Centre’s Chilli-Shop and I was pleasantly surprised. The task of pairing food with some mouth-strippingly hot sauces isn’t an easy one, but their chefs were up to the task for most of the five tacos on offer. The first was the best though – competing textures of tongue and feather blade, with some sharpening salted cabbage and an amazingly fruity Howler Monkey Amarillo sauce, which wasn’t too poky to be enjoyed by most. As the evening progressed and the sauces got hotter, my insides began to resemble hell itself, but the fruitiness of the first dish lingered on. I’m now interested in returning to check out their regular menu tacos. Simon Richardson
, 35 Call Lane, LS1 7BT
Like that? Here’s last month’s best dishes.