As we were ushered in from the harsh conditions of Leeds in November, there was little I knew about Jake’s Bar, besides it’s passion for cocktails, yet after attempting to spice up its résumé by introducing their new Tongue ‘n’ Cheek food menu, it is well and truly cemented on my radar.
We were warmly greeted and sat at their tastefully styled bar, given their vast cocktail menu, and left in the hands of their talented bar staff. With great music on in the background and the bustling noise of others who had come to dine or drink, it was hard not to appreciate the atmosphere that you would enjoy here on a night out. With the recommendation of the staff we chose the Jake’s Bar Blazer, a warm brandy based cocktail, which was a perfect example of how their menu is adapted season by season. After watching our flaming drink juggled from pan to pan, we were presented with a small jug of homemade brandy cream, which elegantly removed the sharpness of the alcohol and enhanced the rich flavours.
As soon as our table was ready we were seated and began thinking about the starters. The options are perfectly suited to a light bite over a drink with friends or if you fancy choosing several, excellent for a tapas themed night. The menu brags the likes of crispy cod cheeks, scampi and sweet and sour chicken, yet we chose to try their crab in sticky buns and their ‘3am on Briggate’, a lovely take on the end of a night kebab (which we, unfortunately, know only too well.) The plate was served with rare breed pork kebabs, a bed of salad and all the trimmings, whilst the crab was also served with a small salad and jalapenos to give it that extra kick. They were a lovely set of starters to really whet the appetite for what was to come.
Before our main courses arrived we ordered some more drinks in an attempt to further explore their vast array of cocktails. Abandoning traditional masculinity, I tried the ‘Stairway to Devon’ a pleasant mix of pear vodka, fresh apples, lemon and ginger beer while my friend ordered a strawberry daiquiri, a charming mix of rum, strawberry liqueur, fresh strawberries and lime. Both were extremely tasty and definitely worth trying.
For our mains, I had ordered a smoked beef short rib in Jack Daniels and coke sauce, which came with homemade chips. The rib was cooked to perfection, falling gracefully from the bone with no effort at all, yet it was the sauce that really stole the show complimenting the meat wonderfully. My companion opted for a more traditional steak and chips, yet after ensuring me he’d eaten plenty of steaks, insisted it was the best he’d ever had. For dessert there was less varied choice, but a selection of fine house made ice creams. We tried the Guinness and malt flavours, both which were a surprising delight to end our meal with.
Although I was conscious that the menu does have little too offer to a vegetarian patron, what was on offer was truly exceptional, the only downfall is that their food menu is yet to be confirmed as a permanent fixture, so my advice would be to get down their while you can, you won’t regret it.
Photo: Property of jakesbar.co.uk