it’s all about the mustard.
This hidden French brasserie in Leeds is beyond French – everything from the staff to the, quite frankly amazing, authentic warm interior. Try to imagine a 1940s French brasserie in the heart of Paris, with glowing bulbs, candelabras and candles in wine bottles that have gathered dripping wax for years; with basic brown tables and chairs, the visual effect is staggeringly authentic, beautiful and so very French.
If you have ever been to Maxim’s in Paris, Kendells is very similar. Maxim’s is the oldest restaurant in the world still in the same premises. Then there is the food – oh the food, the food, the amazing food! Oh so very French.
There are two menus, a sort of early diner paper menu, with a two and three course set price (we didn’t look at this so can’t comment). Then there’s the main menu on very large blackboards. The starters range from duck pâté, to moules marinière to pheasant. Mains range from duck to steak to lamb, a good poisson selection and a surprisingly decent offering of vegetarian dishes.
We had scallops in shells and moules to start. The scallops were a feast for the eyes; extremely well presented. The moules came in a small, typically French mussel pot and an old war-style chipped tin warm water bath for your hands. Everything was so damn French and we loved it.
Mains were a pure delight; I ordered lamb rack – it came looking like a Monet painting, it was so aesthetically pleasing that I didn’t want to dive in – but I did. The lamb cutlets were like clouds of juicy fresh pink lamb, the veg was al dente – honestly, it was superb.
My wife had fillet steak with a fantastic pepper sauce. It was a tender, perfectly cooked and good-sized steak. I was genuinely looking for fault; the only thing I could find was that the veg container was not hot so the veg didn’t hold the heat well enough. The best bit was the mustard – I last dined here over a year ago, which I had forgotten, but they hadn’t, as they brought us out a small pot of English mustard and reminded us that the last time we dined we asked for it and they did not have it. That morning they went out specifically for some; does service get any better than that?
The service was really lovely and the staff was professional, friendly and attentive. They enjoyed a little conversation and knew the menus well – what more do you really need?
To summarise – and let’s make this easy – it’s possibly the best restaurant in Leeds!
St Peters Square, Leeds, LS9 8AH
T: 0113 2436 553