Dough in the City was always going to be a little different from your regular pub with the Vice & Virtue team at the helm. Fusing together the culinary credentials of celebrated restauranteur Luke Downing and Leeds chef du jour Jonathan Hawthorne, Dough has set out to deliver comfort food fit for both foodies and traditionalists alike.
After being impressed by last years’ preview of their debut menu held at sister restaurant Vice & Virtue, we were keen to discover how Dough have progressed. The evening got off to a good start with an unusual whisky cocktail named the June Thug.
Blending Jack Daniels with pineapple, Ting and absinthe mist, it’s one of those tipples that looks terrible on paper but turns out to be surprisingly light and refreshing. The venue itself is unashamedly no frills, but has plenty of character with its astro turf pillars and neon signage. A little Shoreditch hipster for sure, but more laidback than try hard. It works.
Like most pubs, the Dough food menu is short but sweet. With subtle influences from around the globe, there really is something here for everyone. The starters selection we enjoyed turned out to be all hit and no miss, starting with the fantastic Salt and Pepper Calamari.
Perfectly Tender and covered in a deliciously crisp coating, you can’t beat a classic dish done well and the accompanying black garlic aioli only made it better. Even the classic Prawn Cocktail was elevated, thanks mostly to the fat juicy prawns that are usually present in this old-school starter.
The veggie selection too were superb, with the Vegan Proper Falafel tipping it for me over the otherwise solid Cauliflower Bhajis, which came with mango chutney and raita.
But it was the Buttermilk and Sriracha Fried Chicken that won me over, tasting even better than it did at the aforementioned preview evening. Served with Asian slaw and kimchi, I could quite happily order two of these as main as this is my kind of hangover food.
Picking a main took ages, as besides from the Spring Risotto, I could have gone for any one of them. As the Dough Chicken Katsu Curry, Shorthorn Beef Burger and Saddleback Pork Loin began arriving around the table, I did begin to suffer from a short lived bout of food envy.
The arrival of my 24 Hour Braised Ox Cheek soon put an end to that, served up with a creamy truffle mash, carrot and pickled onion. The meat literally melted apart, and couldn’t have been paired with anything better than the awesome truffle mash and glass of Malbec.
After an extended break, we opted to share a dessert which sounded too good to pass; the Jameson’s Whisky Sticky Toffee Pudding. Plated up with a raisin, maple and pecan ice-cream and drizzled with toffee sauce, this boozy pud was everything it promised and more.
Dough in the City may just have delivered my favourite meal from the Vice kitchen to date. Mixing up classic pub grub fare with just a hint of the exotic, it’s an unpretentious menu that has broad appeal. Add to this a selection of ice-cold local ales on draught, forward-thinking cocktails and prices that won’t break the bank, Dough offers Leeds an essential casual dining experience.
Reviewed by Fletch.
Dough in the City, 72 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU. Tel: 0113 345 0202.