Dakota Deluxe bar, Leeds


I cannot rate this place highly enough. It has fast become a favourite of mine. The customer service is impeccable, the decor is decadent and the atmosphere is incredibly relaxing. The staff make you feel at home at the same time as making you feel valued. The drinks list is fantastic and the cocktails are gorgeous. I almost didn’t want to do a review because it’s that good, I don’t want to share it! However, I couldn’t not tell you all and I would certainly urge you to go!

Atmosphere 10/10
Quality 10/10
Service 10/10
Value 10/10
Unique 10/10
Overall 10/10



Tattu, Leeds

This is a frustrating review, to write and to read, because I’m about to tell you all about the magic of Tattu , how it’s customer service ethos is on point and plenty of reasons why you might want to go. I’m also going to tell you why it’s unlikely that I’ll return.

I arrived with my family for our table at 6PM. Tattu was so popular that this was the only table I could book for the night despite it being booked in advance. I was so excited to try the place, I didn’t care what time the table was. When we arrived I gave my name and booking details. The member of staff appeared to find me on the list but then there was long period of time where we stood waiting for instruction and the staff spoke to each other uncomfortably as if something had gone horribly wrong. Eventually we were seated.

It’s a strange atmosphere at 6PM on a summery day. The restaurant decor is very dark and sleek and sexy. The juxtaposition of this against the bright sunny windows felt somewhat clashed. It felt like being in a nightclub in the middle of the day. On that point, the music is just awful. There was loud house/dance type music pounding away at 6pm. I asked our waitress if the music was this loud during the week and she  somewhat proudly announced that it was and it gets louder from 9pm. It doesn’t really go with the tranquil imagery I associate with Chinese culture and it certainly doesn’t make for a pleasant eating environment. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation across the table. This is the reason why I am unlikely to return. I can think of lots of friends and family that I would like to take to Tattu to show them the decor and the food but I would never subject any of them to the atmosphere.

The tables are beautifully decorated but feel a little crowded. There doesn’t seem enough room for everyone to look at the menu and you have to hold it up as there is nowhere to lay it down on the table. Unfortunately, along with the horrendous music, there was an alarm that kept going off continuously. It wasn’t Tattu’s fault, their alarm was being triggered by the alarm of a neighbouring bar. This brings me on to one of the best things about Tattu, the customer service. The alarm was annoying, very annoying. The staff recognised this and  both our waitress and the co-owner came to speak to us to apologise and the co-owner bought us a round of cocktails to apologise. In my opinion, you can tell a lot about a restaurant by the way they handle their mistakes. Tattu had it bang on. We also waited an extremely long time for our dessert to arrive. Again the waitress and co-owner spoke to us, apologised and we got another round of free cocktails. This time it was a sharing cocktail and it was certainly a showstopper! and very tasty too!

We ordered starters and they were all delicious. We had a mix of dim sum and small plates including Wagyu dumplings, lobster and prawn toast and mushroom spring rolls. They were presented beautifully and each tasted delicious. We ordered mains and again they were delicious and looked stunning. Between us we ordered Thai monkfish, caramel soy beef fillet and pork ribs. We had all ordered a different main initially but we were told that they had run out. This was extremely disappointing considering how early it was and that it was a Friday evening, the start of the weekend. I would expect a restaurant to be better stocked. We were advised to order two sides between the four of us as that was more than enough. The side portions are pretty small, I’d recommend ordering a starter each or maybe three between four. We waited an incredibly long time for dessert. Again they had run out of one of our choices, so we each ordered the cherry blossom dessert, which is a really fun and magical dish. It’s certainly worth ordering and is lots of fun but don’t expect anything as refined as the rest of the meal. It is cherry and chocolate flavour and involves candy floss. It makes you feel like a big kid but it just tastes like sugar, very lacking in flavour or quality. Unlike the rest of the food.

The cocktails are great but some are better than others. My first cocktail, recommended by the waitress, was very small and insignificant, not worth the £9. I was envious of everyone else’s that were bigger and better presented, some bubbled, some sparkled. I did later order a peepshow martini and it was incredible! Very good cocktails, I just wasn’t a fan of the ‘Eastside’.

Be careful when coming back from the toilets. They are pretty far away and when you get back through the door to the restaurant, everything is dark and there are mirrors everywhere. It’s hard to work out where to go and two of us walked in to a mirror!

While waiting for our bill a magician came over and did some tricks with us, he was very good and I liked the added fun. At one point, they had made a cocktail and didn’t know who to give it to so they gave it to my mum as it was her birthday, which was a nice touch.

The restaurant gets very smokey over the course of the evening. I wasn’t too bothered by it but it was irritating others.

All in all, I had a good night, but I think that was mostly due to the free cocktails! The food is great and I would love to return but not with the music. I can’t think of anyone who I would recommend it to. I suppose if you are looking for a party atmosphere even while you eat then this could be the place. For me, it was so uncomfortable, I couldn’t wait to leave. Unfortunately, we were there for around three and a half hours in total due to all the waiting. I was over an hour late to the bar I had booked for after my meal. Luckily the bar were fine about it and we could all relax in a peaceful atmosphere once we got there.

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Atmosphere 2/10
Quality 8/10
Service 8.5/10
Value 8/10
Unique 9/10
Overall 5/10

Vice and Virtue, Leeds


A recent trip to the theatre gave me the perfect opportunity to visit a restaurant from my ‘On my radar’ section, Vice and Virtue.

Blink and you miss it, Vice and Virtue is situated in a building in the Northern Quarter over the road from Sandanista. The building used to be home to a strip club and although they have done their best with it, there are still some reminders left behind in the bar, such as the stage and the rope barrier.

That said, the bar is cosy and well stocked. The cocktail list is good, varied and creative. We had a strawberry and basil gin cocktail and a rhubarb flavoured gin cocktail, which was called Yorkshire Lass. Both were dreamy! The barman was very friendly and enthusiastic and offered to make us whatever our hearts desired.

Being pushed for time, we moved quite quickly to the restaurant upstairs. The friendly barman happily gathered our drinks and carried them upstairs to our table for us. The dining room was also cosy and well laid out. It was pretty quiet as we were the only people there, but it was only 5.30pm. The staff upstairs were just as friendly and enthusiastic as the barman downstairs. We were presented with several tasting menus at various prices to peruse. They do an extremely reasonable pre-theatre menu at £23 per person. I was, however, tempted by the classic menu at £35 per person. There were also two other more ‘prestige’ menus available.


Let’s start with the food -tastes great, looks great, creative, exciting. I love it when a meal surprises me (in a good way!) and this didn’t fail. The amuse bouche paired quails scotch egg with a blackberry coulis. Egg and blackberry you say? together? but wait…it works! Smoked oyster – delicious. The first dessert came with half the plate covered in red powder. I fast reverted to a child and had to dip my finger in it and taste it. I was smacked in the face with a blast of zing raspberry, just delightful. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Thyme ice cream but it was actually really nice and went well with the treacle pave. The pave itself I wasn’t that keen on. It was well executed but just not for me. The orange curd was absolutely gorgeous.

The staff here really stand out as being friendly, passionate and creative. I wanted a gin and tonic and asked the staff to surprise me with which gin they brought. The waiter immediately took on the challenge and with a look of excitement expressed that they relish the opportunity to get creative. I was assured that they were working on something special for me at the bar. Moments later I was presented with a beautiful copa glass of Old tom gin with rose liqueur and elderflower tonic, decorated with a rose head and petals. It looked and tasted absolutely beautiful.

I really liked it here. It’s different and it’s creative and it has a good vibe. Furthermore, it has potential to be even better and I would bet that the staff know that and embrace the challenge with passion and excitement. I’m looking forward to seeing how this place develops. My only concern is that it’s not somewhere you would walk past and drop in so it relies on people actively seeking it out. I’ll be doing my best to recommend it to people, I’d love to see this place a bit more busy.

Atmosphere 8/10
Quality 8.5/10
Service 10/10
Value 9/10
Unique 9/10
Overall 9/10