A Foodie Tour of Victoria Leeds


It is hard to imagine Leeds without Victoria Gate. Since its arrival only last year,  it helped transform the city in many ways, by introducing a luxurious shopping district to what was once a run-down area of the town and also being one of the main reasons Leeds made it into the Top 10 of Lonely Planet's 'Best Places in Europe'. Victoria Gate merges the old, with the new - bringing the Victorian arcade across the street known as Victoria Quarter together with a new, state of the art shopping centre Victoria Gate, collectively known as Victoria Leeds. Over the last twelve months, Victoria Leeds has established itself as the hotspot for luxury shopping, drinking and of course dinning.

There are several restaurants in Victoria Gate and to give me a taste of what they offer, I was invited last night on a foodie tour of the shopping centre, where I was given a three-course meal to review, with each course being in a different restaurant. As a newly proclaimed vegan, I was a little bit apprehensive about what would be on offer, but I also knew I was in for a treat.


Our starter took place in Le Pain Quotidien, an organic bakery which specialises in Belgian cuisine and uses only seasonal produce. LPQ is one of my favourite eateries in Victoria Gate and I was excited to start my culinary tour in familar terrority. LPQ has such a homely feel and I love the finishing touches they add to the tables to give them a seasonal feel. The main table in the restaurant featured an array of autumnal pumpkins and flowers. For my starter, I ordered the french onion soup which was served with a crisp garlic bread and a soya yoghurt dressing. The soup was rich, flavoursome and warming, a perfect starter for the colder autumn nights that are beginning to settle in. 
















Once we had finished our starter, we nipped around the corner to Cau for our main course. Cau is an Argentinan steakhouse with a beautiful sleek black and white decor, an extravagant glass ceiling and balconies overlooking the main shopping centre. Cau was the restaurant I was the most anxious about as I didn't know whether they would cater for vegans, but the staff were amazing and listed so many items on the menu that they would have been happy to 'veganise' for me - including flatbreads, pasta and different salads. As I'm trying to be healthy, I decided to go for the superfood salad without the goats' cheese and I wasn't disappointed. The ingredients were incredibly fresh, the colours of the salad look amazing, it was a large, filling portion and the mustard dressing was moreish.


Our last course was at the newly opened East 59th, a New York-style bar and Grill on the third floor of the shopping centre, which features a beautiful outdoor roof terrace. The menu features modern twists on American foodie classics, curated by Executive Chef Lee Murdoch who is also in charge of the menus at Angelica and Crafthouse. I opted for the sorbet sundae with chickpea cream for my dessert and it was incredible. It was an explosion of flavour from the juicy cherries to the tart lemon sorbet. The chickpea cream was a revolution and I was also impressed by the vegan meringue, also made from chickpeas. It was an incredible dessert and it really made a change from the standard bowl of sorbet that vegans are usually offered. I would happily eat this dessert again.

My foodie journey of Victoria Leeds was a night to remember - I learnt about two new restaurants, trialled several new dishes and had a great time getting to know the staff who work really hard to maintain this level of excellence that has everyone in Leeds talking about all these places. Victoria Leeds has everything you could wish from cafes to a la carte dining and also a £10 million casino perfect for cocktails to finish the night off. If you're visiting Leeds, Victoria Gate should be on your radar.

Have you dined at Victoria Gate before?


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1 comment

  1. Oh wow, this sounds like such a great experience! That dessert especially looks wonderful :)
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