Oh. My. Gosh. I’ve found a fabulous Chinese restaurant in Leeds. It’s not something I’d really realised Leeds was lacking until the other day when I went along to the press night of Mans Market. After speaking to a few of my faves who actually live in Leeds they inform me they don’t even have a decent Chinese restaurant! I mean at least little old Retford has that!
However Mans Market isn’t just filling the gap, it’s much more than that! To put it in the owners Ray words ‘it’s not about an old skool, red carpet, fish tank, Chinese dragon type of place’ and it really isn’t.
The entrance is the first thing that got me- walking in under a sea of paper umbrellas greeted by a wall of cheap handbags and a wall full of lucky cats- this is intended to feel like you’re walking the markets of Hong Kong. Then you’re lead down the stairs into the ‘Lady Market’ (which in the real world is where all the good fake handbags are behind the scenes!). The bar is dark wood, with a casual vibe then your lead into a rather industrial seating area, with the private dining area designed to look like a shipping container. Everything has been thought of, and the only really chintzy piece of China is the sinks in the ladies room. I never thought it was possible to have ‘SinkGoals’ until that moment!
Anyway to the food. It aims to have a healthy slant, is msg free and has brown rice options too. Which speaking of rice, is blooming amazing. The best side of sticky with the ‘Mans Mountain’ dish which is covered in a sauce reminiscent of a massaman curry is the best rice dish I have ever had!
I also didn’t think calamari could be improved upon but adding a salt and pepper slant to it has done! Oh and they also do salt and pepper chips which are just amazing. Everything is that little bit different, from giant quaver looking prawn crackers to hanging derrick style sweet and sour chicken it all comes with a modern slant on the traditional.
We ate so much food it was unreal and every bit was delicious! I want to go back to eat more of the duck and the noodles right this minute. It’s also so affordable too so I’ll actually be able to afford to go there often- mains range from £8.50 to £12 with noodles starting at £6. It would also be a good option for a quick lunch as their ordering system is all very efficient! Just write your order on the ‘Feed Me’ card and peg it above your table- you can also do the same for drinks and the bill making it all a pretty swift experience!
Finally the desserts were fab, my fave was the chocolate pudding that I couldn’t stop eating. I mean I had about ten last spoonfuls! I have never in my near 35 years found a pudding I liked in a Chinese restaurant so this is just fantastic! Also the cocktails were also lush – and so well thought out- of course our fave of the night was this one, would you expect anything less from us bloggers?
As always writing this and looking back is making me want to go back already, but I’ve had that want since I left, I truly can’t wait to go back. I’d really recommend it, it’s next to WestPoint, so only five mins from Leeds train station as is worth the walk for sure!