It’s always nice to be recognised for something that you’re good at and while boasting isn’t becoming to a lady such as myself, I’ve got to say it’s lovely to have received official recognition that I’m really truly excellent at um, eating.
That’s right, I’m now no ordinary Yorkshire-based food blogger, I’m in an award winning one with a plastic trophy and a prize of a bottle of wine (which lasted approximately one hour after my victory). I won the accolade of ‘Living Room Leeds Dining in the dark champion 2012’ by munching my way blindfolded through a selection of the restaurant’s new seasonal menu and unlike other things I’ve previously gotten medals and plastic trophies for (completing the Great North Run, sixth form award for study of French) I enjoyed every minute.
Firstly, the dining in the dark theme was more interesting than a simple new menu launch and as a chain, Living Room perhaps felt the need to excite a little more than most. I hadn’t been to the Living Room before but was pleasantly surprised with both the building and the quality of the food, which does tick the chain test of ‘having something for all’.
One of the nicest things about the event was getting to meet a few other Leeds bloggers and the atmosphere was friendly rather than cutthroat, which is reassuring when you are all blindfolded and armed with blunt spoons. We were asked to taste various foods and drinks and identify ingredients and flavours (in a Q and A format) and I’m pleased to say my gob did not let me down.
I snatched victory by the slenderest of margins (one single point) thanks to my real appreciation of meat. I was the only blogger to correctly identify the venison in the chef’s Venison Shepherds Pie (£13.25) and I’m certainly pleased that I did because my new shiny plastic trophy looks a treat next to the TV. Here’s me posing awkwardly for your appreciation.
So, now that I’ve bragged (I mean informed) about my taste skills, I should probably give you a rundown of the menu. One thing Living Room seem to do really well are cocktails and though I couldn’t go beyond identifying one as ‘vanilla-y’ they were very tasty indeed. A look at their website tells me you can get two cocktails for the price of one on Sundays from 3pm, which sounds like a decidedly more attractive option than cleaning my flat, which is what I did last Sunday.
Food-wise my favourites were the butternut squash, dolcelatté, walnut and honey tart £5.25 (buttery, crunchy, salty and sweet) and the pork and chorizo burger with a smoked paprika aioli on a brioche bun with chips (£10.25) (double meat, need I say more?). I am fast learning that burgers belong in brioche thanks to my recent trip to Manchester (expect my reviews of Solita andHomesweethome soon!)
I also found the Living Room to be rather good at luscious lentils, as the casserole that came with the pan fried sea bass orange scented broccoli (£15) and the braised lentils that accompanied the homemade Glamorgan sausgages with a sage and onion soubise and mash (£10) were deliciously rich, hearty and flavoursome.
Some surprise treats from this chain, I look forward to defending my title in 2013!