Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Tues 19 Feb 2008

Today, I should have been bringing you all the details of an exciting trip to the Leeds' Aagrah for a whole curried, stuffed lamb.

Unfortunately, despite the organiser (not me) ordering the lamb well in advance, and ringing over the weekend, and doing a smashing job of organising 20 people for a night out, the best laid plans were scuppered at half four yesterday afternoon when the restaurant rang to tell us that ... well ... um ... the lamb hadn't been ordered.

There was nothing for it but to head to the pub, drown our sorrows and seek out a curry somewhere else.

We started at the Palace, where I enjoyed the Milestone Black Pearl - quite light in body for a stout, and no overly caramelised flavours, but pleasant and easy drinking. The Palace always has an impressive range of beers available, they're well kept and there's always something new.

Not to be denied a curry of some sort, we headed to Shabab. Andy's masala machee (fried cod) was delicious, as was the haleem (lentils, beans and lamb), and my potato cakes were pretty tasty too. As usual I opted for the dahl makhni for my main course, and I actually felt that neither the dahl nor the paratha were up to the usual standard. As the starters really shone last night (although there was a complaint that the mixed grill was a little small for two to share) I suspect that on my next visit I'll be opting for two starters rather than my usual dahl.

Post curry, more beers were in order and we visited the Horse and Trumpet. I've never been in (it's always looked a little like what we call "a scary old man's pub"), but was pleasantly surprised. A good range of real ales (our choices were Landlord for some, Bombardier for others) and the standard lagers. The pub is still divided into rooms and was quiet enough for us to commandeer the whole front room. The beer was in good nick and the pub will definitely be marked down as one to visit in future.

A quick mention of two other pubs I've visited recently: The Rodley Barge, in Rodley, where they have their own bitter, and the Old Red Lion in (sort of) the city centre. The Rodley Barge was a friendly, jolly place on a Friday night (we were waiting for a bus), packed full of regulars and with good beer. The Old Red Lion is a Sam Smith's pub, which means it's insanely cheap. However, we did rather stand out and it's the type of pub you need to cultivate as a local, rather than just drop in.

1. The Palace, Kirkgate, Leeds, LS2 7DJ, phone 0113 244 5882
2. Shabab, 2 Eastgate, Leeds, LS2 7JL, phone 0113 246 8988
3. The Horse and Trumpet, 51-53 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 6LR, phone 0113 243 0338
4. The Rodley Barge, Town Street, Rodley, LS13 1HP, phone 0113 257 4606
5. The Old Red Lion, opposite the Adelphi (couldn't find any more details), Hunslet Road, Water Lane type of way.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's changed, but the Old Red Lion used to be more of an old gay man's pub.

1:50 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Um, I couldn't comment!

1:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, Matt and I tried The Old Red Lion not so long ago. Didn't spot any overtly gay old men, but the man and woman behind the bar were very friendly and the beer was... um.. awful. I know that Sam Smith's has a reputation for being an acquired taste, but this was the first pint ever that both Matt and I left not even half-dunk! I'd like to think it was an off day though as I really liked the look and the feel of the pub on the Sunday afternoon that we visited.

7:03 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

I have to say I was underwhelmed by the beer at the Old Red Lion too - and we found the staff friendly. If you go back and get a better pint, Mike, please let us know!

1:39 pm  

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