“ Cusisne: Modern a la carte / Location: 1 Swinegate, Leeds City Centre, LS1 4AG / Tel: 0871 811 5093 „
I booked this restaurant a good few weeks in advance, to ensure a booking tor me and my partner for valentines day. I booked it online using tabletop.com. As I had never booked online before through a different site, I did ring up Malmaison too to confirm the booking. They then also rang me on the 10th of February to confirm booking.
On entering the restaurant, it was a little daunting, as it is a hotel too, you had to look around as there was no signs to tell you which way to go for either. So we had to take in our surroundings first. I must say I was a little disappointed at this, as when you go to a posh restaurant, you do expect to be met as soon as you get inside the door and led to the table, but I found this quite an unusual setting. You had to find the bar first. Then the restaurant was further down past the bar. But each area did look the same, so it was hard to figure out where to go.
The bar is a difficult one to judge, as the waiting times can vary. As they have the restaurant orders to deal with too, they did tend to take their time. We arrived 30 minutes early for our table booking. So decided to have a drink first. By the time we sat down with our drink we only had 10 minutes left before we were due to get seated in the restaurant part. So we did wait quite a while before we were served on our first drink.
After our meal we went back to the bar yet again, we had decided to have a nice relaxing cocktail before w
e left. It did only take him a few minutes to get served and was told they would bring the drinks to our table. My boyfriend went to pay and she said no as she would bring the bill over with the drinks. After our cocktails we went over to the counter to pay, and I really was not happy we was stood there waiting for quite a while just to do something he had already offered. I actually felt like walking out with out paying for the cocktails loll.
Well me being the impatient type that I am, I got fed up of waiting, so with all the manners I could manage to use I just asked the nearest person if I could pay so I could leave. Well let me say if looks could kill I would not be writing this review loll. I only wanted to leave, but they only seemed to be interested in serving more people. In my opinion they should have some people serving and one taking all the money in for the ones who are waiting to leave.
Apart from the woman above the rest of the staff were really nice and friendly. The restaurant seemed to have a lot more staff there than they did behind the bar, and you always had someone on hand should you need any help with anything. And they were always coming over to ask if you needed anything else, and to check that everything was ok.
On getting seated, we were handed a menu right away. Then 10 minutes later they came back to take our order. After placing our order for our starter and main, (you place your order for the desert after you ave finished your main). She then went away with our order. We waited about 15 minutes for our started to arrive, which I found pretty good.
As soon as we had finished our starter they came and took our plates away, and our main followed about 20 minutes later. Then she took those away, and took our desert orders. This took another 15 minutes to arrive then we asked for the bill, this was brought straight away, and we paid on the way to the bar. We was dealt with straight away there, unlike at the bar.
All through out a 3 course meal and a couple of drinks before and after we were in the restaurant around 2 and a half hours, which considering the waiting times at the bar is really good.
Well obviously i can not price everything up, but here is the prices of all that we ordered.
1 pork belly - £7.50
1 pigeon breast - £7.50
1 stout mutton - £15.95
1 game ballontine - £12
1 cheesecake - £5.95
1 apple crumble - £5.95
1 pint Kronenbourg - £3.85
1 magners - £3.80
The price of the meal altogether with two 3 course course meals and 2 drinks each cost £76.40, there was also a service charge on that for £6.25. All in all I don't think the meal was such a bad price for the both of us and it was a nice treat for valentines day.
Now obviously in this part I can only comment on my own food, each meal will vary.
Pork belly- I found the portion pretty small just a rectangle shape of pork belly, with 3 small prawns laid across it. And 1 yes 1 small piece if beetroot, and a few basil leaves, I think they were.
The pork belly tasted a little bit like smokey bacon, well actually that's all it tasted of, although it was very nice. The prawns and the beetroot were both very fresh too. The starter did taste very nice although it was greasy, but washed down with my cider I could have easily eaten more of it.
The main course
Stout mutton - This was very nice, the lamb was really nice chunks and really tender to eat and cut up. This was served with a sage mash which there was a good portion of and tasted very nice, with a nice gravy with stout in. I did really enjoy the main course and can not say anything bad apart from I would have liked a lot more meat loll.
Apple crumble - This i did enjoy but I found there to be too many apples and not enough crumble, the apples tasted very sweet, so this really is for a sweet toothed person. It was served with a caramel custard, that tasted ok but I found it too runny, it did need thickening up, it was a desert that I would not buy again, although it did taste good I have had better.
The food was good, although I do think the portions could have been bigger for the price paid.
Well on the site we booked our restaurant on, it did say that it was a romantic setting, I did not find it really romantic. The tables were all well set apart, so that you were alone. But the chairs were just normal kitchen chairs, nothing fancy about them, and also not too comfortable. If I wanted that sort of comfortableness I would have stayed at home.
The tables were nicely laid, you had a plate there for if you wanted bread, then your place mat and 2 sets of knifes and forks, for your starter and main. Then you had a decorative wine bottle in the middle of the table, I would have preferred a vase with a rose in. Then you had a candle in the middle, that gave you that little bit more light. Although they were fake candles, but they did look real. All in all the tables were set up nice but the seats could have been more comfortable.
The restaurant was very clean, and the tables were cleaned as soon as they were empty. All the plates were clean as were everything else, the cutlery floors and tables.
Where it is
This is based at number 1 swine gate, which is based just on the outskirts of town, just past the river aire on the corner.
Ways to pay
You can either pay by cash, or by chip and pin, which is how we paid, I find chip and pin an easy way top pay without carrying a lot of cash around with you.
I did like the restaurant but I would prefer there to be someone to greet me, as I enter as I felt a little lost with not knowing where to go. The bar also needs more staff, As a restaurant I find this really good, but without the bar part.
I do feel for the price you pay the portions could be bigger also, as I am not a really big eater but it did not fill me up as I would have liked. The staff were great in the restaurant part and did make you feel welcome and looked after, I just feel there are places that would be a lot better for the same price.
would I go back
I think the next time I go for a meal I would try somewhere different, but I would not put this place down too much. But I would say to try it, I may be just too fussy loll.