Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cheap Eats in Leeds: The Black Swan

D and I have a problem when it comes to eating out and it's called, "Can't-get-the-bill-down-to-two-figures-itis".  To remedy this we have set ourselves a challenge.  Can we find a series of venues in and around Leeds where two people can eat well for £30 or less?  The rules are simple: we each choose one venue a month.  It can't be a chain restaurant and it has to be possible for each person to have a meal and a drink for £15 a head.  Is there good food to be had for such a sum?  In an exciting new blog series, we're going to find out...

S's March choice: The Black Swan

I briefly mentioned this place when we visited the nearby Shears Yard - we popped in for cocktails and I fell in love with the espresso martini.  I was also very taken with the amazing looking pizza oven.  So my choice this month was clear.

The venue

The Black Swan, which I believe is a relatively new venue, is a three in one kind of deal.  They are a pub serving an impressive selection of real ales alongside the cocktail list, they have a downstairs pizza restaurant, which is in a room off the main bar, and an upstairs pub food bit (which we have yet to try but which looks excellent).  Sometimes these types of hybrids can get quite confused (or confusing) but the staff here are friendly and helpful and the operation seems to be quite slick - drinks we ordered at the bar were added to our food bill without any problems.

The order

3 pints of ale (D couldn't resist a second chocolate chipotle stout),
2 rather large and generously topped pizzas (pancetta, taleggio and capers and ricotta and spicy sausage respectively),
1 golden syrup creme brulee to share
The bill came to £35.50 - so slightly over budget, but if we hadn't ordered the dessert we would have been bang on.

The food

This was the best pizza I've eaten in a long time.  The sour dough base was crisp and charred on the outside with a beautiful flavour.  The toppings were generous and exceedingly tasty.  The menu itself was a delight for a true pizza lover - simple but thoughtful flavour combinations.  I will never again be likely to darken the doors of the Pizza Express just down the street when I have this little gem to visit.  I already can't wait to go back.

The Black Swan
37 Call Lane
0113 827 2349


  1. Mmmm love a sourdough pizza.

    Still intrigued by Empire roast chicken btw....


    1. This was a very good example of the genre!

      Empire roast chicken is a Jamie O thing - cross between a chicken and a curry. Although actually it's just a roast chicken that you marinade in Indian spices before you cook it and then you serve it with spiced potatoes. Very tasty it was too.