Times they are a changing for the seemingly unstoppable Vice brand.
They announced a concept twist at their flagship restaurant the same week as launching their fifth Yorkshire eatery.
We attended the Dough in the City preview held at Vice & Virtue, to see what Luke, Jono, Laura and the rest of the gang have in store for us this time.
Dough in the City is located downstairs from Vice and was nothing more than a building site on the Tuesday evening we visited. Given that the restaurant launched just three days later, I can only imagine that the team involved in the fit-out were working round clock on a diet of Red Bull, espressos and potentially something a little stronger.
The new eatery is the fifth venture in the Vice portfolio and takes part of its name from Luke Downing’s original suburban restaurant, Dough. Pigeon-holing Dough in the City is impossible, but imagine if Vice & Virtue got jiggy with Pudsey-based Feed, went to the gastropub and then stopped off for a cheeky KFC on the way home, you’re getting close.
Described as a modern pub, you can expect ingenious comfort food alongside daintier dishes, over 40 different beers, premium wines and inventive cocktails. And if the food we sampled is anything to go by, Leeds is in for another treat.
Despite the menu being packed with Ingredients that will have you reaching out for Google, I found the food on show to be far less polarizing than previous Vice ventures. That’s not to say that Dough is in any way less interesting, it’s just far more crowd-pleasing.
We began with the delicious Chicken Bhuna Samosa, which was all the better for its mint yoghurt and Dairylea side-serving. I could happily eat a plateful of these things, which are designed to be enjoyed with a few pints of your favourite ale.
Seeing Fried Chicken on the menu made me very happy, but my heart dropped when I saw it was served with pineapple. I really don’t like this sickly tropical fruit, and don’t get me started on the whole pineapple pizza debate. Thankfully, I couldn’t tell it was even pineapple, which may be an insult to the chef, but who cares.
The fried chicken had the lightly spiced, finger-licking goodness that I can’t resist, whilst the pineapple was balanced well with the kimchi and mooli (a South Asian radish), making it sweet, but not overly so.
With the appetisers done, we were then hit with the main course of Smoked Flank with roast onions and chimichurri. Flank is easy to get wrong and can often be tough, but is flavoursome and moreish when done correctly. This was a decent cut, prepared well, making it a total treat.
That said, it was almost overshadowed by the side dish of fancy Dauphinois Potatoes, which I usually find dull and uninspiring. Here, sprinkled with a zesty and herby gremolata, along with parmesan cheese and pepita seeds, Dough’s version is strong and inspiring. It’s a cracking little side.
We capped the night off with the Dough Ice Cream Sundae, which featured the tagline ‘It’s f**king mental.’ They weren’t telling porkies here with this claim either, as this pudding was packing more or less every dessert from your childhood.
We’re talking pretzels, doughnuts, profiteroles and of course, ice-cream. With more than enough to satisfy both Augustus Gloop and Chunk from the Goonies, I recommend you share this one.
We left Dough in the City completely stuffed, but mightily impressed. This Motley Crew of renegade chef’s keep on stepping it up, and we wait with bated breath to see what these industry disruptors do next.
Words and pictures by Jordan Fletcher.
Dough in the City, 72 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU. Tel: 0113 345 0202