Banyan Bar & Kitchen

There’s a new restaurant in Leeds! This is a sentence we here and say almost every week, it’s become a very luxurious habit lately. So many new restaurants and bars are opening up in this wonderful city. One of the most recent additions is Banyan Bar & Kitchen. Before the grand opening, I was lucky to visit, along with other fellow Leeds bloggers, for an exclusive food and drink menu taster.

Banyan Leeds

As myself, Charlotte and Natalie were a bit late, I didn’t catch the name of the Bellini (Pea & Mint Bellini) on arrival. I didn’t get why Charlotte and Natalie looked a bit confused, I just drank without second thought and it was lovely, really refreshing! I can definitely recommend it, don’t let the name scare you off.

Banyan Pea & Mint Bellini

We were all seated upstairs, in the room called ‘The Branch’. It’s a great room for private bookings, meetings etc. as it can easily be sectioned off from the rest of the upstairs area. I really like the dark  burgundy walls, the minimalistic theme of decorations but most of all, I love light instalments with a mix of big light bulbs and glass lamp shades in different nuances of brown.

Banyan’s Drinks and Food Menu Taster

First out – Cucumber Cooler to drink, Teriyaki Belly Pork, Crispy Duck Spring Rolls and Crushed Avocado & Pea Toasts to nibble on. I normally love Crispy Duck but felt that these Spring Rolls were too packed with it. My favourite food from these platters was by far the Teriyaki Belly Pork. The Cucumber Bellini was my favourite cocktail of the evening, you can never go wrong with gin, elderflower and prosecco.

Banyan Cucumber Cooler

Second serving – Rum & Raisin Mai Tai to drink, Deep Fried Brie Wedges, Tempura King Prawns & Pak Choi and Crab Avocado Tortillas to eat. I really enjoyed all of these foods but the crab won, just because of the fresh taste and the little kick the chilli gives. The cocktail was nice but reminded me more of a Piña Colada than rum raisin in it’s taste.

Banyan Rum Raisin Mai Tai

Dessert – Pistachio Espresso Martini to drink, Salted Caramel & Chocolate Torte and Vanilla Cheesecake with spiced sugar and passion fruit to indulge. I love sweet things but it’s rare I order a dessert at a restaurant. The chocolate dessert was lovely but oh so rich! I could never eat a full cake slice of that but I did have three pieces of the vanilla cheesecake – so fresh! I never tried the cocktail as I don’t drink coffee but it looked really nice with the  crushed pistachio decorated along the rim. Word of mouth said it was quite strong with two spirits mixed in.

Banyan Pistachio & Espresso Martini

I think Banyan is a really nice addition to Leeds city centre scene, and hopefully it’ll bring even more people to the City Square. They’ve taken over Loch Fyne’s premises, in the Old Post Office building. I liked Loch Fyne (only went once and ate lovely sea food) but I think they lost customers on the fact they didn’t have food license outside. Banyan does and yes, I want to come here when the sun is high and sit outside – it looks lush! Next time I go, I might pick something from the fish selection on the food menu and definitely one of their gin based cocktails.

For full food and drinks menu, visit Banyan Bar & Kitchen’s website.

Have you been to any of the Banyan restaurants yet? What’s your favourite drink and food from their menu?

Jennie xx