The Spanish Black Cat has found it’s routes and returns to Yorkshire or El gato negro Español ha encontrado sus rutas y regresa a Yorkshire.
It started in Yorkshire, moved to Manchester, went hunting the Liver birds in Merseyside and now it’s back in it’s original Yorkshire home, albeit, El Gato Negro has gained attitude, it suave and sophisticated, it’s outgrown it’s village tom cat status and now is far more deserving of it’s new swish home in Leeds.
It’s no secret that Spain a favourite destination for the Pudd family so news that the fantastic Spanish eatery of El Gato Negro was back in town felt us with delight, especially when we were top of the Black Cats VIP list to pay them a visit.
Wrapped up warm on a winters day we took the trip over to Leeds on a cold and crisp Saturday afternoon to firstly checkout the winter warmer cocktails available in the city before heading for tapas in what is fast becoming the restaurant district of Leeds, Park Row.
Whilst the building may of one time housed a financial establishment these days it’s a modern yet elegant venue that’s classic in design but quirky in decor paying tribute to it’s Spanish theme with the twist of exhibited Yorkshire landmarks, the menu at El Gato Negro follows a similar theme, respectful to it’s origin yet modernised in such a way that choosing is almost impossible simply because you want to try everything.
Armed with a bottle of the finest Rioja it’s time to let the dishes roll, Padron Peppers kick things off, what can I say? If you know, you know, they are the law, things of beauty, no Tapas meal should be eaten without them, next!
There’s a really simple dish that me and Mrs Pudd get just a little overexcited about; Catalan bread with olive oil, garlic and fresh tomato, sounds simple right? But again if you know you know!
These aren’t just any tomatoes on bread, think the best tomatoes you have ever tasted together with the best olive oil you have ever tasted on a flat incredible piece of Catalan bread, if I only had to choose one dish on the menu this would probably be it, simple but effective purely because of the quality of the ingredients.
So where do we go from here? Well I tend to want to relive my days in Spain and go classic, Tiger prawns with chilli, garlic, lemon butter otherwise known as Gambas Pil Pil, the classic Patatas Bravas with spiced tomato fritarda sauce and aioli, and who can resist Croquetas? in fact Cauliflower cheese Croquetas to be precise.
And then there’s the headliners; Morcilla scotch eggs with mushroom duxelle, apple purée and aioli, without doubt my favourite simply because Morcilla is absolutely amazing, so I amazing that dare I say it, it makes English Black Pudding seem distinctly average.
Throw into all this dishes like Mini Catalan chorizo with Aspall cider & Spicy harissa chicken with romesco sauce and I’m left thinking, thinking something really bold.
Is El Gato Negro the best restaurant in Leeds right now? To my knowledge there’s certainly no tapas restaurant that comes even close and whilst there maybe a man hidden behind a curtain with an overpriced star in his hand, I just don’t think even he can compete with a restaurant that delivers this quality at this at this price, with this level of service.
Let me explain, El Gato Negro is the ultimate in term of flexibility, fancy a quick bite to eat with a glass of wine and a close friend, then it’s the perfect location or maybe its a romantic table for two on a Saturday evening with a fine bottle of red, then it’s the perfect location for that, it could be a gathering of friends, a night of catching up laughter and great food, well then it’s the perfect location for that too, in fact it’s just the perfect venue.
It’s not often I dish out this level of praise, I’m a Yorkshire man, say it how it is, so here it is; El Gato Negro is in my opinion the best dinning experience in Leeds right now, it’s a must visit and I promise you will not be disappointed, outstanding! Enjoy!