Twisted Kitchen: Rachel gets in a twist at Leeds’ newest and most mysterious bar and restaurant at Brewery Wharf. Find out how she got on…
Being asked to check out new bars and restaurants in Leeds is definitely one of the perks of this job and when you’re sent somewhere you’ve anticipated the arrival of it doesn’t get better than that. With the opening of the mysterious Twisted Kitchen was on the cards I jumped at the chance to check it out and took my friend Claire down to Brewery Wharf midweek for a post-holiday catch up over a fine feast of food and cocktails.
Twisted Kitchen is the sister restaurant of the already well-established Azucar Bar with it’s tapas and Latino vibe, although the siblings differ in so many ways what they do have in common is the promise of a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with quality food and drink on tap.
With Leeds being in the midst of the American Food revolution it would be easy to assume that Twisted Kitchen has joined the campaign, although this isn’t completely untrue what separates this place from the rest is that added twist!
On arrival we were greeted by our smiley waitress and the option of dining in or out, with the sun still shining and the ample outdoor space we opted to start the night alfresco by ordering a couple of drinks whilst we studied the belly rumbling menu. Taking a peek inside the restaurant it had a modern yet authentic feel aided by the classic rock anthems, and the row of river view leather booths will seat you and your mates in style whatever the occasion.
Choosing a cocktail is never a chore for me and being a creature of habit I rarely stray from my beloved Mojitos or Caipirinhas. It wasn’t surprising on ordering I went for the Guava Mojito and much to my delight Claire chose the Plum and Vanilla Caipirinha meaning I could sample both! Now as the saying goes ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’, however the extra tropical fruit added a refreshing sweetness to the mojito whilst the plum and vanilla balanced out the typically tangy Caipirinha. If cocktails aren’t your thing the experience bar tender can always knock you up a beer, a vino or good old spirit and mixer.
Taking a gander over the menu you would think that Twisted Kitchen has been around for years, with plenty of choice of gutsy starters and mains it wasn’t easy to whittle it down to our final selections.
To start we went fishy and shared the All Blue Crab Fritters and the TK King Prawns. The crab fritters served with smoked bacon and a roasted cashew butter sauce had a rainbow of flavours going on which complimented each other perfectly. Now the TK King Prawns is certainly a dish to impress, the crispy prawns were gigantic and in true twisted style were served with salad and watermelon…yes watermelon! It may sound slightly bizarre but trust me it just works. Along with the prawns came a pot of homemade sweet chilli sauce which blew both Claire and myself away, so much so it left us fighting over who got the last dip, this stuff needs to be bottled!
Being a big fan of ribs for the main I ordered the TK Baby Back Ribs (full rack with the intention of sharing) and Claire has the Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Mozzarella Burger. Served on a piping skillet with a house bourbon sauce and chorizo and cheddar mash the ribs did not disappoint, the tender meat in the smoky, sweet sauce slid straight off the bone. Now normally I always go for fries with my ribs so the notion of mash was all new to me, saying that I was pleasantly pleased with the combination, you can’t beat cheesy potatoes and finding the chunks of chorizo hidden amongst topped it off nicely. Claire was equally impressed with her burger and fries, what she admired the most was that the peppers and mozzarella were infused into the meat and not just plonked on top as can be found in your typical burger joint. Although on ordering we knew we were due to be stuffed it was hard to resist trying a couple of sides. When coleslaw is on the menu it has to be done and with TK’s offering being homemade it gave it that extra crunch. The other side dish that I couldn’t overlook was the buttery Corn on the Cob, with the leaves still intact it was as fresh as it gets. For those of you that meat isn’t your thing don’t panic there are vegetarian substitutes and a range of salads for those daring to be calories conscious in such a place.
I know we ordered big but seriously the Twisted Kitchen portions could put an all American trucker to shame, however the presentation of every dish is clearly the work of a perfectionist, the slate plates and home grown herb trimmings were the quality to the quantity. As mentioned earlier what separates this place from the rest is it’s ‘twisted’ element, it is clear that lots of time and effort has been spent to create a quirky take on a popular concept, what I respect the most about Twisted Kitchen is the personal touches throughout, the homemade sauces, home grown herbs and the welcoming atmosphere.
Having happily worked our way through the cocktail menu for the duration of our visit and with the alarm set for 6am it was time to call it a night. As grateful as ever Claire is at being my dinner date her parting words were “I’m definitely bringing the boyfriend back here”, which pretty much sums the evening up to be a success!
Twisted Kitchen is reasonably priced and you definitely get value for money, it is also worth checking out the range of offers such as 241 Cocktails on Wednesdays on their FB page for that added bonus.
Twisted Kitchen has great variety, flawless food and drink, prime location and a relaxing ambiance, be it your birthday or a spontaneous night out you’re bound to be impressed!
Enjoy your visit there.