Vanguard is a newly opened up restaurant on Duncan Street in Leeds. It’s the same owners as The Domino Club and Rolands. If you’ve ever been to either of those venues, you know Vanguard has the same high standard. So far, my only visit was on a night when they organised a Bordeaux wine and food event.
Vanguard is wedged between Veeno and Mommy Thai on Duncan Street. It’s a very small place so easy to miss if you’re unaware. Their wooden blinds are always down which makes it look like a closed down venue but once you’re in, you realise the reason for the closed blind. As soon as you enter, you forget that you’re in a busy city centre like Leeds. Two table booths and three or four more tables is all that fits. And of course a big bar to sit by and admire their impressive whiskey and other spirits collection which reach all the way up to the ceiling. On this evening, we sat in a booth table, just by the window, and I honestly felt like I was sitting in train carriage a la Wes Anderson. I absolutely loved it! Low key jazz music playing in the distance to give a tranquil atmosphere and on a low volume to be able to have a civilised conversation with the fabulous company I was in.
Canapes on Arrival
To start the evening, we began with a light white wine (Reserve de Lucien Lurton). Crisp and easy to drink on its own. Accompanying the starters, another white wine (Chateau Valoux Blanc, Pessac-Leognan) which I preferred. It has a deeper taste and more colour than the first wine. It works really well with the starters: Smoked Mackerel Pate served on fennel crisp-bread with horseradish, Goujeres, Sweet Potato & coconut Maki and Black Pudding Bon Bon with Green Apple Pure. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I really know black pudding now and these bon bons did not disappoint. Definitely the favourite starter, closely followed by the Smoked Mackerel Pate. It reminded me of Swedish summer!
Moving on to the main: Pot au Feu. A stew with beef, oxtail and marrowbone meat, parsnip, leek and carrot. It was served with sourdough toast (with bone marrow butter), gherkins and mustard and relish dips. The mustard was so good, giving that tingling feeling in the nose and slight head sweats which is amazing! It doesn’t sound it but those of you who also like it know what I’m talking about. The meats were cooked to perfection, the oxtail melting in your mouth like butter. The pulled pork bonbons were rich in taste and worked really well with the sauces. The marrowbone meat just about stole the gold medal as its flavour was so powerful. You should have seen how easy it fell off the bone so you can imagine how tender it was.
To wash it all down we were served the only red wine of the evening: Chateau de Villegeorge. I prefer a red wine over white and this was no exception. Rich and round flavours.
We finished the evening with a dessert wine (Garonelles Sauternes) and Macaron Bordeaux. Macarons are not to be confused with macroons which are coconut based and macarons meringue based. Although these Macaron Bordeaux don’t look as colourful as the ones you might be used to see, they were equally delicious and the dessert wine complimented them very well. The wine has flavours of apricot and pineapple so very fruity and tropical. I could taste the apricot which almost gave a sweet nutty taste to it.
Vanguard organise themed events and evenings like this all the time and I can highly recommend to go. Check out their website to find out the next theme and book tickets. They’re also changing names so if you want to suggest a name and enter the competition, you can do so until the 22nd May. More information on their website and social media.
What are your favourite wines to drink? Have you been to Vanguard yet? Would you be intrigued to go after reading this post?
*I was kindly invited to Vanguard’s Bordeaux wine and food night in return for this blog post. Photos, views and words are as always my own.