Selected Restaurant

Malmaison - Leeds

1 Swinegate, Sovereign Quay, Leeds, LS1 4AG

The Malmaison group of hotels has established throughout Britain a collection of centres of excellence where nothing but the best will do. As a concept alone this is exciting, but the reality is brilliant, so that at last there is a hotel group where uniformity of standards is of the same high calibre. Malmaison also have a happy penchant for selecting buildings of character for their hotels and restaurants, in this particular case a former bus company office that stands majestically on a corner site in Leeds. As their publicity says 'head to the bar in the back, a low lit den of fine wine and devilishly divine dining' - couldn't have been put better than that. The bedrooms are all that one would expect from a hotel that has genuine regard for its guests and is concerned with every aspect of their wellbeing.

The Malmaison group of hotels has established throughout Britain a collection of centres of excellence where nothing but the best will do. As a concept alone this is exciting, but the reality is brilliant, so that at last there is a hotel group where uniformity of standards is of the same high calibre.

Malmaison also have a happy penchant for selecting buildings of character for their hotels and restaurants, in this particular case a former bus company office that stands majestically on a corner site in Leeds. As their publicity says 'head to the bar in the back, a low lit den of fine wine and devilishly divine dining' - couldn't have been put better than that.

The bedrooms are all that one would expect from a hotel that has genuine regard for its guests and is concerned with every aspect of their wellbeing. Rich, warm tones of aubergine and plum with taupe help build a seductive and lavish atmosphere.

Amidst elegant surroundings, with an impressive vaulted ceiling, leather booths and a contemporary open-through glass fireplace and of course the spotless gleaming glassware and shining cutlery, an essentially brasserie menu is offered. Lovers of seafood will be delighted to note at once that their particular needs are well heeded, starting with a delightful home hot smoking salmon.

Head Chef James Key and his team using delectable local ingredients create brasserie dishes such as goats' cheese ravioli with pepper and spring onion salad that never fails to please the crowd. Other starters include a guinea fowl terrine with Scottish langoustine and roasted foie gras and oxtail hash brown served with poached egg and mustard sauce.

An inspired choice amongst the main courses is the fillet of sole with saffron fondant and parsnip purée, while the beef bourguignon is just perfect for those seeking by this time a slightly more carnivorous approach. Which leads us neatly to the, wait for it - Mal burger - a 250 gram burger made from ground beef tucked into a floured bap to join bacon and gruyere, served with homemade relish and some fries.

Over the years the number of outriders surrounding a good honest steak on the plate has grown to unacceptable dimensions. At Malmaison the thought and care is centred on the dry-aged on the bone Scottish rump and that's it - except for the chips. If you want all the rest go for the side dishes, but steak and chips on its own takes some beating. Vegetarians are well looked after - the stuffed palm hearts served with bean sprout and pak choi broth, and macaroni cheese with cep mushrooms sound appealing.

Heading the puddings is the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce, a triumph of timing and co-ordination, supported by other choices amongst which expect to find a chocolate and blood orange tart and lemon and thyme crème brûlée. Their homemade ice creams and sorbets are dreamy while their renowned cheese trolley has a selection of British and French farmhouse cheeses served with an assortment of breads, biscuits, walnut and chutney.

The wine list is a symphony of its kind, clearly compiled by an enthusiast who knows his wines well enough not to disappear into a world of hyperbole when describing them.

Their Website is a wealth of information that will, I predict, only serve to increase your resolve to make Malmaison your next stop in Leeds. It is worth noting that you can also make reservations Online on their Website.

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Brasserie, British, Grill

: 07:00 - 10:00 12:00 - 14:30 18:00 - 22:00
: 07:00 - 10:00 12:00 - 14:30 18:00 - 22:30
: 08:00 - 11:00 12:00 - 14:30 18:00 - 22:30
: 08:00 - 11:00 13:00 - 16:00 18:00 - 22:00

0844 567 2342

Click here to visit

1 Swinegate, Sovereign Quay, Leeds, LS1 4AG [Map]

£20.00    £34.00

£14.50 (2 courses) to £16.50 (3 courses)

£14.50 (2 courses) to £16.50 (3 courses)

(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)

REVIEWS OF Malmaison - Leeds

Hev N Stu (26 March 2010)

We stayed overnight here, then had our evening meal here as well after a few drinks in town. The meal was one of the best we've had for ages. We were over the moon with everything and the hotel stay. Well worth booking!

S Taylor (10 February 2008)

Having eaten at various places in Leeds, including Sous le Nez, Loch Fyne and the like, we had high expectations of the Brasserie given the menu on the website (which is accurate) and good reviews.

I'm glad to say that the experience all round - service, food, drink and ambiance were all excellent and we will be eating there again. Setting is very much a bar and restaurant, as opposed to going to a bar and restaurant in confines of a hotel - so don't think of it as going to a hotel to eat.

The wine list was extensive, and being a hotel obviously gives them the ability to carry as much as they do - to the benefit of the restaurant goer. Page after page on the wine list revealed numerous whites and reds, and the sommelier was polite and helpful with wine choice (although we ended up with a three figure drinks tab!!).

The standard of food was high, both quality and presentation. The black pudding and venison I chose for the meal were incredible, and will be difficult not to choose next time. My wife had a steak, and although she does prefer it medium-well (way over cooked for me) I thought it a bit dry and to be fair have tasted better steaks than this when cooked this way. Food type is British and traditional, but certainly not predictable/same old, same old you can get with less imaginative restaurants.

Cost-wise, no different to the usual good eating houses in Leeds, but then it's usually the wines that make the difference to the final bill and if you're a bit of a wine buff (and don't cringe at a three figure bill) you'll enjoy the Brasserie even more.

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