We visited Chino Latino in Leeds on a cold February evening. The restaurant is part of the Park Plaza Hotel and is accessed through a separate door just across the road from the train station.
We opted for a drink in the bar before dinner, then were seated about 7:30.
PHOTO: Chino Latino bar area (overlooks City Square)
The restaurant was lovely, nicely decorated with reds and blacks. The waiting staff were smartly dressed, polite and friendly. We tried sake too for the first time, following advice from the staff, we opted for a hot sake (Uragasanryu KokaHonjozo) which arrived in a little flask. I enjoyed this, we drank it before the food arrived. The sake was described as being smooth and easy to drink. I’d go with that, and I definitely preferred it hot.
After browsing the menu, we opted for the Tasting menu for two, but we asked to substitute the Tuna salad and were given the option of the beef salad instead.
PHOTOS: Crispy soft shell crab California roll | Beetroot, yuzu cream cheese, port reduction | Beef fillet, coriander, mint, chilli, shallots, cucumber, red onion
I loved all these starters. The beef was delicious, every mouthful had a burst of flavour. The salad was made of three layers (two generously filled with beef and the top with leaves and dressing) between lightly fried crackers (not sure what the actual name is for these). The California roll was perfectly rolled and I really liked the sushi ends at the edges with the crab protruding. The beetroot was definitely the surprise here – the beetroot went so well with the cream cheese, it was quite refreshing (although awkward to eat with chopsticks!)
PHOTOS: Grilled scallops, yuzu aioli and wasabi peas | Pork, crab and glass noodles samosas, green pepper yogurt dipping sauce
The scallops were fab, very meaty and the yuzu aioli very creamy. The samosas were packed full of filling, but they were my least favourite part of the meal, they seemed to be a little bland compared to the rest of the food.
PHOTOS: Sirloin steak on hot rocks, soya, mirin, garlic | Barramundi parcel, lime lemongrass oil, grilled asparagus
When the steak arrived, the waiter poured soya sauce over it which created a cloud of smoke with a gorgeous aroma. I loved it – the garlic was delicious. The barramundi was presented in a lovely way with the asparagus skewered over the top. I wouldn’t have ordered this from the menu because of the asparagus, out of season it doesn’t always taste great, but it was actually ok.
I’d already been wowed by other peoples desserts and I wasn’t disappointed when ours arrived. A little dry ice adds a bit of theatre!
PHOTO: Dessert tasting platter at Chino Latino
On the platter was (if I remember correctly): lemon meringue shot, passionfruit cheesecake, fresh fruit, rum&raisin ice cream, lemon sorbet and chocolate marquis. This dessert is on the main menu for £14.50. What a great end to the meal. I know some people aren’t fans of dry ice, but it certainly made me smile!
Set menu for two
Maki rolls and Salads
Crispy soft shell crab, California rolls
Tuna salad (subbed for beef)
Pork, crab and glass noodle samosas
Sirloin steak on hot rocks
I was asked to visit Chino Latino to write this entry. All the opinions are my own. It’s somewhere I’d look to go back to, I enjoyed the experience and the service was excellent. If we had visited away from this invite, we probably wouldn’t have ordered the set menu. However, having tried it – I’d go back and order it again!