It’s great to be able to ask for recommendations from locals in other cities when visiting the area. Rather than relying on Happy Cow in the way I normally do, I decided to ask Twitter where we should eat on a recent trip to Leeds. The overwhelming winner was Bundobust, which specialises in craft beers and sharing plates of tasty vegetarian food.
With a restaurant in Manchester as well as the Leeds branch, Bundobust have clearly come up with a formula that is even winning over meat-eaters. Snacks and sharing plates served in tubs are reasonably priced and plentiful in choice. We decided to opt for the Vegan Combo as a way of sampling some of the best dishes on the menu, including Masala Dosa which we’re big fans of after visiting Jesmond restaurant Dosa Kitchen. This is good for those who are as indecisive as us, or those not familiar with the cuisine..First up the were Okra Fries, which are coated in chickpea batter and seasoned. They were incredibly moreish and will go perfectly with some of the beers on offer. We were on the softs as we had the car, disappointingly.
This method of cooking means the usually slimy vegetable (in my opinion, anyway) could give other bar snacks a run for their money.The Onion, Kale and Broccoli Bhajis were also a success, although I found the tamarind and red pepper chutney quite spicy for me. Serving it on the side, like the coriander dip which came with the dosa, would mean those not keen on the heat could have adjusted to taste.
The Bhel Puri was Gavin’s favourite and there seemed to be a tussle for who would get the lion’s share. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect as it is served cold, but it is a must-try for anyone visiting. The contrast of textures and flavours work exceptionally well and is perfect for those who are unsure about spices too.
We were less sure about the Lentil Soup served with dosa, which we felt was lacking in flavour, and the Raghda Pethis. This dish is a mixture of spiced mushy peas and potato cakes topped with turmeric noodles. Think chippy tea and you have a rough idea of the combo!
The dosa didn’t quite match up to the ones we’ve had up here in Newcastle, but they were enjoyable nevertheless. We were impressed by the selection of the food on offer and the quality, and will definitely return to one of Bundobust’s restaurants. It would be great to see one open in our home city, to be honest, especially on account of how few specifically veggie places we have in the area. It certainly doesn’t feel like anything is lacking with the imaginative snacks and dishes on the menu
Thanks for reading,