Man Behind the Curtain

This Little Piggy went to Man Behind the Curtain - Leeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Floor Flannels, 68-78 Vicar Lane, Leeds LS1 7JH. www.themanbehindthecurtain.co.uk

​The single best thing about this visit was that the restaurant was actually open! With a 3 month waiting list, the booking had been in the diary for a while and the lengthy journey up from Essex to Leeds took a bit more planning than usual so when the Google opening hours stated it was closed on the afternoon of our trip, I don't mind admitting we were nervous. A refreshing Apple & Cinnamon martini in Harvey Nicks beforehand calmed nerves a little bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the description on the website, you enter a clothes shop called Flannels on one of the main roads in Leeds city centre and take the elevator up to the floor marked with the Man Behind the Curtain button and step out into what looks like a minimalist art gallery with white washed walls and splashes of various art works. It was a great sight to see a receptionist and a barman behind the basic wood bar which meant that we were going to get our fancy lunch.
A few separator walls keep the kitchen from the main high ceilinged dining hall with large windows looking out on the rooftops of Leeds.

​We were shown to our table against one of the artistically splashed walls with an intriguing black box in the middle. We obediently waited until told to open the box which contained the wine list and list of 29 items, 10 of  which would comprise the surprise tasting menu for that day. Some of the items looked mouth watering and some intriguing. As you can see below, a few different cuisines were catered for aswell so we were really excited about what was going to be presented to us

A nice little silver eel shaped spoon was brought out first and this contained ​Hand Massaged Octopus with Capers & Lemon. ​It was a nice little shot of the Mediterranean, so refreshing and octopus was as soft as butter

Back to the Mediterranean for the dressing of the next small dish but with Japanese beef as the main protein. The beef was raw and cubed then dressed in an extremely fresh olive juice It has what looked like a plastic wrapper all over it but we were advised this was edible beef fat which gave a lovely extra meaty layer in each mouthful. A delightful ​Wagyu Beef with Olive Juice.  

Some really sweet looking mini donuts were up next, as the waiter said these were the Homer Simpson variety but were touted as being savoury Foie Gras Donuts. ​They were a strange taste sensation, not unpleasant but definitely strange. It was an overall sweet hit then the rich hit of foie gras and then ended up back to a sweet finish all in one mouthful. So this was the intriguing menu mix that the restaurant was famed for.

Some really sweet looking mini donuts were up next, as the waiter said these were the Homer Simpson variety but were touted as being savoury Foie Gras Donuts. ​They were a strange taste sensation, not unpleasant but definitely strange. It was an overall sweet hit then the rich hit of foie gras and then ended up back to a sweet finish all in one mouthful. So this was the intriguing menu mix that the restaurant was famed for.

Some really sweet looking mini donuts were up next, as the waiter said these were the Homer Simpson variety but were touted as being savoury Foie Gras Donuts. ​They were a strange taste sensation, not unpleasant but definitely strange. It was an overall sweet hit then the rich hit of foie gras and then ended up back to a sweet finish all in one mouthful. So this was the intriguing menu mix that the restaurant was famed for.

A bit of a theatrical dish up next with the Red Prawn and Roasted Head ​plate. I had seen this dish on the Great British Menu when Michael O'Hare had served it up so was very excited. Essentially the main body of the prawn is raw and the prawn head is blow torched to cook the brains inside which you then empty onto the body and 'cook' it. Every great chef and foodie knows that the flavours within a prawn head are spectacular and this was the richest prawn bisque we had tasted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the fishy Med to the fish of the Caribbean. A slightly larger plate of Ackee & Saltfish with Tripe Dumpling ​was served next. A salt cured hake was actually in this dish with a thick sauce made from the ackee (a Jamaican fruit) and placed on top of the dumpling. Luckily for me the tripe wasn't a dominant flavour but I felt a bit more sauce was needed as the dumpling was quite dry and salt from the fish also dried out your mouth.

Another Great British Menu hit is presented next and is simply called '​Emancipation' or a Blackened Fish & Chips ​in simple terms. It justly deserved it's place in the finals of the Great British Menu as it is the very essence of our classic Fish & Chips with a blackened cod fillet nestled under very fine potato strings that have been doused in squid ink to represent an oily beach. There's a lovely vinegar hit to bind it all together (I could have done with more of this as some mouthfuls didn't have any vinegar hit) and topped with bronzed griddled prawns. It also caused you to have black goth lips which only a vigorous rubbing with your napkin could remove.

 

 

 

@ Ali Twidale. All Rights Reserved on      Images and Texts.

 

We then move continents again with the next dish as a ​Curried Spider Crab with Wonton and Sriracha Shard ​is dished up. Actually there's a mix of three cuisines within this one dish with a thick curried crab protein (tasting like a really authentic curry), a Chinese wonton and then a Korean chilli sauce flavoured sturdy crisp to mop up all the curry with. It all really worked though and a nice spicy hit came through in the after taste.

The final savoury dish was the one I was looking forward to the most: Iberico Pork with Ajo Blanco ​(a garlic and almond sauce) and a soft poached egg topped with ash. The oozy egg gave a nice little extra sauce to the pork but the garlic could have been a tiny bit stronger as it seemed a bit lost in the splatters over the slate. 

The first of the desserts was presented in a stunning deep red dish which really brought the dish to life. It was a retro play on sweets from the 80s with ​Beetroot flavoured Rainbow Drops and Parma Violet Ice Cream. ​The colour of the ice cream was spectacular although the flavour wasn't as pungent as remembered. This dish was also placed in an edible wrapper made of dark chocolate, accompanied by an insanely good chocolate mousse and then bound together with a hot potato custard. I could have left the potato custard off in all honesty as didn't think it added anything apart from novelty value but all other pieces were delicious.

A delicious mouthful of Praline and Passionfruit Cupcake ended an exquisite meal with a passionfruit juice exploding in your mouth when you bit into it.

​An achingly modern art gallery that happens to have a Michelin star kitchen serving innovative dishes attached to it with a chance to pick up some smart modern clothing on the way out through the clothing store. Unique and well worth a visit.

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​© Ali Twidale. All Rights Reserved on Images and Text.

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