I have mentioned Fire Lake restaurant in a previous post here, when I went restaurant hopping in The Light. I’m sure I also mentioned that it’s a hotel restaurant, belonging to Radisson Blu. Now, the thought of going to a hotel restaurant for a meal might put you off but I’m hoping this post will change that. More and more hotels, at least in Leeds, are stepping up their restaurant game. Soap Factory for example doesn’t send that hotel vibe, neither does @LS1 which I’ll feature in a post next week and from what I’ve seen in pictures, Dakota’s restaurant and food looks amazing!
This also applies to Radisson Blu’s Fire Lake restaurant. Just look at the interior and you know what I mean. If you didn’t know it was part of a hotel branch, could you guess it is? The wall art (Peter O’Toole) is stunning, the lounge is cosy, the kitchen oozes gourmet food and the table setting gives a feel of luxury. Because you don’t have to go through the check in area for the hotel but straight to the bar, that hotel feel never crosses your mind.
Let’s start at the bar. Can’t enjoy a 4-course meal without sampling a couple of cocktails. Fire Lake restaurant offer cocktail masterclasses which includes a long list of traditional cocktails, with a in house spin to them. We only had time for two mini versions and decided on the Bramble and the Long Island Tea.
Ross, our bartender for the evening, talked us through the making of the cocktails, the story behind them whilst making samples for us to try.
The Bramble is an English version of the classic mojito. Swapping rum for gin and lime for lemon. In this, flavours of raspberry.
The Long Island Tea is the cocktail with all the alcohols. A prohibition cocktail when you mixed everything you had. Most likely not as thought through as these days. Originally mixed with cranberry juice but I opted for Coca Cola. It looks like a cola sweet but tastes nothing like it.
Fire Lake’s evening menu includes around four options for each course. You can of course choose only to have one or two courses, or three, it’s all up to you. We went full out and I tried were possible to keep a good variety of tastes and meats across the evening; sausages, scallops, lamb and rhubarb.
I didn’t want to fill up straight away but I couldn’t resist the sound of the smoked sausages bites and I do not regret my choice. I’m normally not a massive fan of English sausages so very happy that these are more of a Scandinavian hot dog type. You can’t have sausages without fried onions but the sticky glaze made the snack for me. There are lighter options like olives and cheese bites.
To break up the snack and main meaty meals, I decided on the seafood option for my main: scallops. They’re really pretty laid on the plate but as a minimalist, I find it quite cluttered. First impression is important but the smell and taste of these scallops is what matters and believe you me, they’re delicious. How could they not be when the garlic butter has been cooked for two hours! A decent sized portion but in no way to filling to be able to fit another two courses. Paired without a dry Chardonnay as the scallops are salty.
This is not a drill, nor a joke, the lamb I enjoyed here is the best lamb I’ve ever had!!! It looks amazing, it smells delicious, it is cooked to perfection: the amount of red I want and it tastes heavenly. Not a single piece is difficult to chew, every bite melts in the mouth. I couldn’t get enough and it goes to show that simplicity is sometimes the key. Why over complicate food? Mint and garlic will do the trick.
The lamb rump is served with chunky chips, most likely double or triple cooked. I normally don’t enjoy chunky chips but these are very crunchy, with the right amount of salt. The lightly grilled tomatoes explodes with flavours. Normally a tomato might not taste much but these are perfectly seasoned ands gives the meal a little tangy taste.
Paired with a Bordeaux wine which is full of flavour to keep the modishness meat entertaining.
To finish off, I tried the Rhubarb Triangle. It’s a Yorkshire menu and can it get more Yorkshire than a rhubarb dessert? It looks amazing! I like the layering and that it has a decent amount of rhubarb in big chunks than normally only getting a hint of it. It is tricky to eat though, no chance of doing it gracefully. Despite the custard the pastry gets slightly dry but with more, it would take over the rhubarb taste.
The chocolate cake got a lot of oohs and aahs around the table, especially the accompanying honey comb. I must admit, it looks delicious and knowing it’s flour free makes me think it’s a nice finish to a lovely evening.
Instead of a dessert wine, which tends to be very sweet, the desserts were all paired with a Signature Negroni. It’s dry and bitter and seen as a cleanser palette with smells of clementine. Sadly it doesn’t taste as it smells but in small doses rather than treating it as a shot, it’s delicious. A regular Negroni contains gin, Vermouth and Campari. This is made with gin, Campari with pistachio nuts, Port and Creme de Mure.
I’ve never stayed at this particular hotel in Leeds but I have stayed at a Radisson Blu before and it was lovely so I can only but imagine this one is as well. The standard rooms sure look it. I might never stay here but I really want to come back and try the breakfast. You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the best meal of the day and is there a better breakfast than a hotel breakfast?!
What do you think to hotel restaurant food? Do you ever consider going? Have you been to Fire Lake restaurant before? If not, would you go after reading this post?
*I was invited to wine and dine at Fire Lake with other food enthusiasts, in return for this post. All words and views (as always) are my own.