Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Banyan - The Leeds Launch

Banyan Leeds City Square


Oh I do love it when a bar I already love opens in Leeds! I’ve been a fan of Banyan in York for a long time so when I heard they were opening in Leeds, I was very keen to go try it out. Luckily for me, I was invited to a preview evening for bloggers to go try out some of their food and drink menus.

This is the kind of place which nails it no matter what time of day. Unlike a lot of bars in Leeds which are at their finest at a certain time of day, Banyan is great for all day dining and then on into the evening. Banyan is basically a crowd pleaser and the kind of place you can take your friends for brunch, you mum for dinner or your partner for cocktails. Or all three, feel free to mix and match those little scenarios. Also, Banyan is owned by Arc Inspirations who also own The Pit and Manahatta plus a load of other bars too.




My main experience of the Banyan chain to date was turning up over an hour and a half late to a first date at the York branch. My bad. Either way, having been to a few of the bars owned by Arc Inspirations, it’s safe to say that their cocktail game is strong. At Banyan Leeds, their range is extensive, they’ll go off menu and they even make their own flavoured syrups so you don’t have the insane sugar high headache that a lot of cocktails in other bars give you. We tried a few on the night including a cucumber cooler (which is gin based and dreamy), Rum and Raisin Mai Tai (something different but went down a treat) and a pea and mint bellini (prosecco meets sugar snap syrup, meets elderflower liqueur and it’s a yes from me).




Banyan is the kind of place where you could easily sit outside on a sunny afternoon and drink through the menu. I have a cocktail drinking day date booked in my diary with a couple of uni friends already and I think I’ll be making Banyan the last stop on our tour of Leeds bars as it’s so close to the station and somewhere to enjoy the evening sun. And if it rains, it’s pretty damn cosy inside too. Is it just me who’s already so ready for beer garden weather? I think now the days are getting warmer, we’ve started having meetings on the terrace at work and the ice cream man turns up occasionally, in my head it’s pretty much August. I actually got sunburn the other day. Hello lobster.




We tried a lot of different food choices on the night as well, with my favourites, as ever, being belly pork bites and duck spring rolls. There’s so much on the menu that I’d happily just order loads of sides to have tapas-style (which is my new favourite thing to do in case you hadn’t noticed). Though, saying that, I’m also desperate to go back and try their brunch menu as it looks SO good. They even put enough thought into the dishes that there are some which have perfectly balanced macros for an energising breakfast. Personally, I’ll be about a full English and deciding whether it’s too early for prosecco, but it’s nice to have the option if you’re that way inclined.








Whilst I’m sure my blog is a fairly good indication of how much I love eating out and drinking (LOL my Instagram makes me look like a bit of an alcoholic at the moment), Banyan is a bar which I’m genuinely so excited to have opened in Leeds. I think it’s perfect for the young professional scene and whilst it’s part of a chain, it doesn’t have that feel to it at all. 






As I was there with one of my work friends, Danielle, we’d decided within about 15 minutes of arriving that we definitely need to have our next off-site team meeting there. (Yes we have team meetings in bars, yes, you’re right to be jel).


So, who’s up for going to Banyan with me? Let me know in the comments and we’ll arrange a date.
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