Shears Yard, Leeds

The Shears Yard building has always confused me. I originally thought it was a marketing company (maybe they used to be in the same building), then a bar (with a swanky beer garden out front) until realising it was a restaurant, but still not sure what kind of vibe they were going for. It had been on my list to find out for a while, and a decent January deal gave us the perfect excuse…yes…I went in January and am only just writing this post!

Restaurant deals make the month of January so much more appealing. With 50% off food, we picked up a three course meal plus drinks for around £50. An absolute BARGAIN when it comes to the food available at Shears Yard.

We kicked off with a a smoked mackerel mousse for starter. I really like smoked mackerel and don’t eat enough of it. It was so tasty! It was served up with watercress, melba toast and a really sharp pickled cabbage that complimented the fish crazy well! Beautifully presented as well, it was the perfect dish to kick off the meal.

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The main courses all sounded fantastic! Really interesting combos, but nothing too “out there”. Again, I wanted something that I don’t cook myself. We both went for pan fried duck breast, served with black pudding, braised red cabbage and celeriac. We chucked a side portion of chips as well (why not if it’s half price). The duck was amazing! Really tender, melt in the mouth style stuff, pink in the middle with a delicious skin on it. I was a bit sceptical of the black pudding but it worked so well, and even better with a bit of red cabbage. I very, very rarely eat celeriac but it worked a treat. The chips were fantastic as well, kind of like fish shop chips. Couldn’t be better!

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We really couldn’t turn down dessert. I was torn between a cheese board and stick toffee pudding with honeycomb. After some reassurance that the blue wasn’t too smelly (not a fan of smelly blue), I went for the cheese board and Alison had the sticky toffee pudding. Both were great! The cheese board featured a brie de meaux, cheddar, Yorkshire blue and a goats cheese, served up with some oat crackers, celery and caramelised chutney. My only criticism is that the chutney was VERY rich. I’d say more burnt than caramelised and difficult to eat a lot. Only a very small point. The sticky toffee pudding was SWIMMING in toffee sauce and, from what I tasted, was great.

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Drinks wise I went for a guest cask, golden pale ale but can’t remember who from. I do remember their selection was pretty good though. They had a decent cocktail and g’n’t selection as well but had to go for a Malbec with the duck as well.

The restaurant itself is such a nice space! Loads of brick, a really open seating plan and fantastic lights all over the place. The entrance looks great, and would great for drinking in the summer. Service seemed a bit rushed at the start – I don’t really like feeling pressured into ordering drinks. But that out the way, the staff were lovely and very helpful.

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All in all, absolutely lovely food! The menu is constantly changing, giving more and more excuses to go back. Outside of January, it’s going to be a bit more expensive of course but well worth the money in my opinion.

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