Remember I told you that a couple of weeks ago, Erica and I went up to see Laura in Leeds for a little culinary tour? Well, I promised to tell you a little more about a couple of the restaurants we ate in and I can’t wait to tell you about one of our favourite stops: La Rambla Tapas & Wine.
The restaurant is right in the heart of Leeds City Centre on East Parade – we literally walked there straight from the train station. It’s in a beautiful old building, and as you walk in, you could literally be walking into a tapas restaurant in Spain. I love these floor tiles in the bar area.
We were really lucky to meet and chat with Head Chef, Vivi, who is absolutely lovely and SO dedicated. We decided that Vivi would just bring us out a selection of dishes to try – a kind of tapas lucky dip, if you will.
We started with pintxos made from toasted bread with deliciously sweet home made tomato jam, goats cheese and roasted pepper, plus crisp-coated, soft-in-the-middle croquetas with chorizo, and a tortilla with courgettes. SO GOOD!
Next up: crunchy, savoury patatas bravas with an incredible smoky, spicy sauce and slow cooked chorizo al vino. I don’t usually do chorizo, only because even though I like the flavour it somehow doesn’t agree with me, but this sticky, sweet salty sauce was so nice I couldn’t help myself! Vivi insists on her method of slow-cooking the chorizo so the fat leaches out and you’re left with tender, spiced chunks of sausage. It definitely worked for us.
Erica and I were both a bit nervous about the octopus, but when it came out and we tried it, it wasn’t at all what we were expecting: served with chickpeas, potatoes and a sweet pepper sauce, it’s tender, very meaty and with a sweet, smoky flavour. We were instantly converted. Look how pretty it is too (top). Vivi explained that it started out life as a special, but it’s been so popular it’s never been off the menu since. We could totally see why.
Another huge hit were the rollos de pollo: chicken breast rolls with bacon, cheese, caramelised onions and brandy sauce – they were so tender they fell apart and I could eat them all day every day. Yum. Last but not least: Gambas al ajillo – tender prawns in olive oil and garlic with guindilla hot peppers, still sizzling from the grill and with all that delicious garlicky oil just begging to be mopped up with chunks of crusty bread.
We were so full at this stage that we even had to pass on La Rambla’s famous traditional Spanish churros, but if I get my way, I’ll definitely be back. We actually did pop back later on just for a quick drink at the bar and it was absolutely buzzing in there.
Top drawer. Do seek it out if you can, we highly recommend it. And thanks so much to Vivi, Jesus and Andres for your hospitality. You can find La Rambla at 9 East Parade, Leeds.