Distrikt bar Leeds – Review

I thought I would review a recent trip my husband and I took to Distrikt bar/eatery in Leeds city centre.  Distrikt proclaim to be Leeds’ most unique underground bar.  Founded in 2009, they hoped to offer Leeds a fresh perspective on the bar/restaurant environment, featuring Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tapas from their award-winning chefs.  Distrikt claim to be a quality place to eat, hang out, drink and dance in Leeds.  They also feature a lot of live acts/DJs and a weekly salsa class if I remember rightly!

I have been to Distrikt several times since it opened.  The one thing I always forget is how dark it is on stepping in from the pavement and descending the steps into the quirky basement bar.

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Whenever I visit for food, I always seem to be served by the same guy.  He is so friendly, well-informed and just… chilled!  He always makes you feel at home, and never rushes you to order.  He also has some pretty good beer knowledge if asked.  Hubby ordered a Vedett pale ale (a new addition to the Vedett range apparently) whilst I was on medication, so went for a virgin Mojito (just not the same without the rum…!)

As my husband and I have a Taste card, we were entitled to half-price Tapas (anything from the main tapas menu, not including sides or sharers).  Although definitely not your traditional Spanish tapas, the dishes are similar in size.  My husband ordered 3 plates, I ordered 2 and we got a pita & dips to share.  As I’ve said in restaurant review posts before, as I am vegetarian, I will only review the veggie food, although I will include photos of everything.

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The pita & dips we got to share were gorgeous, and we had fun guessing what exactly each dip was!  There was a cucumber raita, a flavoured hummus and a final mystery dip, which was actually our favourite.  I reckoned some sort of moroccan tomato-based dip but hubby was thinking beetroot.  Either way, it was tasty!  The pita was served warm, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with herbs.

The waiter misheard my hubby’s request for mussels as mushrooms, so brought us a veggie mushroom dish.  On realising we hadn’t ordered it, he urged us to keep it anyway for free – very kind!  He of course also got the mussels on their way.

My veggie dishes were “roasted spiced pumpkin & celariac stack with grilled halloumi & sweet potato crisps” (yummy and SUPER garlicky, coming from someone who is immune to garlic!) and a wilted spinach dish in a creamy, garlicky sauce with veggie parmesan and pine nuts.  This was my favourite, it was so rich and tasty.  My husband, although a meat-eater, also loved this one.  Of course, I also had the accidental but free mushroom dish; “sautéed wild mushrooms with garlic, thyme & spinach, served on walnut loaf”.  This was packed with all different mushroom varieties.  I really enjoyed the walnut loaf, despite not actually being a walnut fan!  I didn’t finish this one though, as I was pretty full by this point.

My husband had Shetland mussels in a dark IPA ale sauce, sticky caraway balsamic ribs and “sobrasada on toast, served with cherry tomatoes, samphire & walnut honey”.  We discovered sobrasada is a sort of chorizo paste, which hubby says was really tasty.  He enjoyed all of his dishes, and they were all pretty substantial for tapas!

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The service was quick and the thing that stood out to me overall was the quality and presentation of the food.  They say that you eat with your eyes, and that was certainly the case here.  Everything comes out looking colourful, pretty and extremely appetising.

Our bill was not full price due to our Taste card, but with tapas dishes averaging between around £4.50 and £8 (for the more expensive seafood etc options), I would say the prices are pretty reasonable.  Given the quality of the food and the portion sizes, I think you get great value for money.

Although we were not drinking (apart from hubby’s one beer), having been there before I can say that they have an excellent drinks selection, with some creative cocktails, lots of spirits and some great draught beers.  There are 5 variations on the Mojito alone – including my favourite cocktail that they serve; a strawberry & balsamic Mojito.  It shouldn’t work, but it really, really does!

If you’re in Leeds, definitely check this place out – don’t forget to take pictures of the prettiest food around!

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