Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Mill Race

Fri 1 August 2008

I first went to The Mill Race about 7 years ago - before I really cared too much about where my food came from and how it had been produced. The main consideration was whether or not it tasted any good. The restaurant had ticked all the boxes then so I was interested to head back and check out the current state of play.

The Mill Race is in a bit of a funny spot. At the bottom of Kirkstall hill, next to Morrison's, on the corner of a busy intersection: not perhaps the place you'd choose to stick a restaurant. However, once you get inside, you don't really notice the slightly unfortunate location. There's a newly opened courtyard area at the rear which is nicely secluded, and there's a lounge area upstairs. The restaurant is laid out spaciously: you certainly won't feel as though you're sharing your neighbours' meals.

Drinks wise, we started off with organic gin and tonics before moving on to organic Valpolicella. There were a few blackboard specials and the main menu contains something for everyone. Remember - this is an organic restaurant, not a vegetarian one! I started with a special: roast beetroot and blue cheese salad, while Andy opted for the smoked mackerel pâté. The combination of beetroot and blue cheese was never going to fail and the pâté had a good smokey flavour and was served with plenty of bread.

Moving on to the main courses, I chose another special: roast pork with caramelised apples and gravy. Andy again went à la carte with venison served with sweet potato wedges and an orange chutney. The venison was beautifully pink and it went well with the sweet potato, but Andy thought that the chutney was an unnecessary step too far. My pork was delicious. My only criticism would be that it was a little dry, but the flavour was fantastic and the potato dauphinoise, caramelised apples and gravy were all pretty near perfect.

We wrapped up the meal with a tarte tatin (me) and a cheese plate (Andy). Again - a tiny criticism of the tarte tatin would be that the pastry was a little tough, but otherwise we ended the meal full and happy.

The final bill was around £90. However, you can dine at The Mill Race far, far more cheaply. The early bird menu costs just £11.95 for two courses and £14.95 for three. Even better, while this is available before 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays it's available ALL evening Tuesday to Thursday. The restaurant is also open for lunches on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with 'express' lunches starting at just £4.95. So actually, it was quite an achievement for us to spend so much!

The Mill Race may not be serving flawlessly executed food, but I think it's an essential destination for anyone who is after an interesting meal, with soundly sourced ingredients.

1. The Mill Race, 2/4 Commercial Road, Kirkstall, LS5 3AQ, phone: 0113 275 7555, map.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In heart, I am a vegetarian. I love a good grilled steak, and can go so far as appreciate food dripping in fatty oil goodness every now and again, but there is something warm and comforting about a true vegetarian restaurant. The smell of fresh ingredients, the distinct hippie decor, the overall grandma's kitchen feeling is lovely, at least at the places I tend to frequent. If you love vegetarian - especially organic- food, this blog is a must read. She doesn't post often, but when she does, its bold and typically delicious:

Thanks for the post.

1:49 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

I didnt even know there was a restaurant there! Ill have to look out for that next time im at morrisons!

7:13 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Katie - go at Morry's at lunch time so you can check out the Mill Race first hand!

Gabriella - The Mill Race is far from hippie decor ... it's very trendy! But I guess it's not vegetarian - although I think often 'organic' has more of a hippy thing associated with it than not ...

6:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Millrace closed in September. They had a sign saying they hoped to open under new management soon, but there's now a 'for sale' sign above the door.

2:28 am  
Blogger Alex said...

It's a real shame the restaurant has closed.

I think it will be really interesting to see what happens with the Leeds' restaurant scene over the next few months ... let's hope that more good restaurants don't close ...

1:50 pm  

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