trinity kitchen september 2014 5
Last month, I forgot to visit Trinity Kitchen. But blaming a heavy workload (read: latte lunches) and respectfully mourning the loss of The Cauldron and Banh Mi Booth only got me so far. With the turn of the trucks, I sped over to Trinity Leeds as soon as the September gang arrived.

Drawn visually to PopaBall, I sampled their reinvented Asian bubble tea – which trades tapioca balls for jelly balls – and delighted at every flavour. Out of lychee, strawberry, mango, vanilla and kiwi balls, the latter was my personal (but tough-to-choose) favourite. The tiny truck is even offering a mini afternoon tea – with drink, finger food and cake – for just £12.

But a drink alone does not a food review make.

Darting between the menus of Street Fodder (worldly weekly menus), The Salty Cow (moreish salt beef sandwiches done three ways), and Rice Shack, I settled on
the global gluttony of the latter. Unlike the majority of street food vendors, Rice Shack doesn’t focus on any one cuisine or food trend. Simply, Rice Shack is a diverse selection of meals served with rice – all made from scratch. With The Manfriend craving a crispy shredded beef (even after the owner himself telling him he made a ‘boring choice’) and my intrigue over the Japanese Drunken Duck fried rice winning over my carb-consciousness, we sat down with our paper tubs and tucked in.

No taste phenomenon in the rice department, but both of the proteins were fantastic.

I’m coming back for you, Brio Gelati

trinity kitchen september 2014 1
trinity kitchen september 2014 9
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julian hakes
Amidst a rough couple of weeks between eye surgeries, my sister* Tiffani finally left the US and made her way over here to join me for two weeks of adventure in Leeds, London, and Paris. Not only that, but two of my favourite Londoners hauled their lovely bums up to Leeds to share in the excitement of her first weekend; an introduction to ‘night’s out’, cathedrals, mystery games, the countryside, latte art, the Great British High Street, and more.

I am a lucky lady.

What I Wore:
Julian Hakes Mojito Shoes from Cloggs (because what better excuse to whip out the coolest shoes I’ve ever seen – plus, they’re on sale!)
Polka dot shirt dress (similar here)

(*Not by blood, but – long story short – after her family took me in and became my family so many years ago, there is no better way to describe her).

julian hakes
julian hakes
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home tour
Welcome to my home tour (if we weren’t chatting through a screen, I would offer you a drink).

To set the scene: The Manfriend and I moved in roughly two months ago. Moving out of a rather enormous house and into a two bedroom apartment meant we came up against a few space issues, but I am altogether incredibly happy with the way our small time interior design projects and investments have come together.

It is not my dream home – far from it – but it is amazing value for renting in the centre of Leeds and a stone’s throw from the station, which means easy commutes to and from London while working in dual cities.

Let’s take you around…
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trinity kitchen july 2014
As each month of Trinity Kitchen goes by, I think I get more and more judgmental.

I’m still feeling pretty sour about losing Dogtown and The Cheese Truck back to London.

Thankfully, Trinity Leeds keep pulling rabbits out of their proverbial hat. This month? I made a trip to Banh Mi Booth twice in the first week alone. Emily Boothroyd’s ‘booth’ serves what I consider to be the Daddy of Street Food – succulent char siu pork banh mi sandwiches (the only complaint: the bread seemed to change with every visit, meaning my classic soft/crisp expectations weren’t always met).

The Cauldron, however, wins for must-visit food truck of the month. Slightly burnt out on Vietnamese when I finally took The Manfriend for a trial, I read through The Cauldron’s whiteboard menu items and settled on the ‘Pig Out’ – a slow cooked free range pork belly wrap with a fennel, garlic and chilli rub, ‘bang bang’ sauce, salad, and a minted yoghurt dressing.

I couldn’t imagine spending a better £6. It was the most flavourful and filling meal I have ever had.

As I seem to always catch Flavours Found (Shake Maroc and Roll) when they’re on a break (TEAR! I love Moroccan!) and tend to be far too full to indulge in the seductive lassis or crumpets of Indie Ices and Cook It Up, I sincerely hope I have time to visit the other vendors this month.

Then again…look at that wrap!

trinity kitchen the cauldron

The Cauldron

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gaucho leeds
As The Manfriend wasn’t much of a foodie before dating me (I think we could safely categorise him as a Food Is Fuel connoisseur), it has always surprised me how much he has raved about Gaucho Leeds.

Though he last ate there for his twenty-first birthday (more than a few moons ago), the restaurant had made a lasting impression on him. Frankly, our trip for Sunday lunch was long overdue.

Lured in by their Late Spring Lunch Menu (two courses for £23 or three courses for £26), we descended their secret staircase into a dark and open miscellany of well-furnished rooms to take our seats.

We were presented with two wine lists; one Argentinian-packed plethora of wines (sparkling and still) as well as a charmingly handwritten selection of rare bottles. Knowing we weren’t going to leave without a steak in our systems, I elected a Malbec – a bottle of Domingo Molina Mortero 2010 – to share. This particular Malbec is clean and sharp (the way I prefer my reds) with very pure notes of dark cherry and blackberry, leading into a savoury finish.

It’s a freshly baked bread wine. A pea and mint soup wine. A bruschetta of tomato, basil, and goat’s cheese wine. (Thankfully, those were our starters.) The bruschetta was presented beautifully and was near perfect, barring a slightly overgrilled base. The pea and mint soup, however, was balanced tastefully and was as moreish as soup can get.

In hot anticipation of our mains (the Spring Menu selections of Spaghetti Provencale and Chicken Milanese had to chance of winning out over steak), our 180g medium-rare rib eyes arrived shortly thereafter. Though each was plated with chips and Béarnaise sauce, the ‘sides’ almost disappeared when I bit into the steak. I don’t often choose rib eye when cooking or ordering steak (it might be its American omnipresence in my childhood), but I would happily pay Gaucho the £26 for this course alone.

We slowly drained the Mortero between business talk, planning of our next (BIG!) visit to Gaucho for celebrations later in the month, and indulgent bites of dessert. The millefeuille with fresh strawberries and shortbread didn’t quite live up to the puff pastry versions I have tried in France, but the Manfriend’s ‘Gaucho Eton Mess‘ whipped up a smile so big it didn’t matter.

From maître d’ to our final farewells, service was impeccable and the food – despite a few niggles – was well worth its price. Go, Gaucho.

gaucho leeds
gaucho leeds
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