Whether you’re after cheap and cheerful eats or prefer a more formal affair, there are plenty of places in the city to get your fill of good food. And when it comes to fine dining in Leeds, who would have thought that a search for fancy plates would take me to a department store? Cue Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie, the luxurious Briggate dinner destination and shopping spot in one.
For those who want their fancy fix on a more reasonable budget, the restaurant’s winter market menu has the best of both worlds with premium ingredients used to create carefully crafted and well-presented dishes at the affordable price of £23 for three courses plus a cocktail. It’s our first time visiting the Fourth Floor and we're surprised at the ambience and décor; with soft lighting, big gold mirrors and turquoise blue accents, there’s a premium feel that you don’t expect from a department store or the restaurant within.
The first cocktail, Spiced Pomme Le Goose, is a tall glass of vodka, cinnamon, lemon and apple. It’s a little too heavy on mulled spice for me, but perfect for anyone who wants to revisit the spirit of Christmas markets. The second cocktail, Crush of Margarita, is a refreshingly sour raspberry margarita that goes down way too quickly.
To start, we order potato and truffle terrine, complete with broccoli, hazelnut dukkah and goats cheese bonbons, alongside a portion of Jerusalem artichoke velouté with chicken. Neither of these dishes looks as I expected; terrine is the smallest aspect of the plate, with the broccoli, dukkah and bon bons stealing the visual limelight. It’s delicious, though… I could eat it ten times over, which is in equal parts a testament to its taste as it is to the portion size. The Jerusalem artichoke velouté is, to my surprise, a stunning soup paired with fried artichokes and fancy nuggets. Who’d have thought?
For mains, we opt for pan-fried hake with almond mashed potato, cauliflower and caper dressing, plus the braised pork belly with savoy cabbage and pancetta and shallot crumb. I’m adamant that the almond mashed potato contains aniseed, as it's giving off strong Sambuca vibes which I find slightly off-putting. But the fish is well cooked and a lovely dish overall; the pork belly is soft and tender pork with a crispy crackling shell, red wine jus is outstanding and the accompanying mash (Sambuca-less) is fluffy and lovely. A strong choice all round.
Despite the small portions, we’re getting quite full. The menu has an option for two courses, so you can stop here if you’re not feeling dessert. We persevere for the chocolate brownie ice cream, which comes complete with charred oranges and a glorious little cake. The ice cream is crammed full of brownie chunks, and orange slices add a fresh burst of flavour. Now that’s a next-level dish.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie is definitely one of the fancier places to eat in Leeds and has a price tag to match. Luckily for us, the seasonal set menus are an affordable way to try the food here or simply treat yourself to a fine dining meal without breaking the bank. Especially when each plate looks and tastes so good.
Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie is located at 107-111 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6AZ. For more impressive places to eat, check out our guide to the restaurants in Leeds city centre.