The Owl, Leeds
The Owl was a bit revolutionary when it opened as the first pub in the heart of Kirkgate Market in Leeds. I loved it for the oysters and Champagne, the fish pies and the doughnuts and lemon drizzle cake for pudding. Then after lockdown, Mark Owens moved to Lockside, in the cool, regenerated Mustard Wharf. The polished concrete, the cane lampshades with seats on the towpath make for a very appealing setting.
The menu has been totally reworked since its Kirkgate days. The fish pies have been swept away in favour of a menu of small plates and large plates or a two or five course set menu at lunch or dinner. It offers modish dishes like salmon tartare; beef sausage with onion marmalade or Whitby crab on a sourdough crumpet. Of the larger plates Owens offers fish and chips with curry sauce, pot roast partridge and goat’s cheese pasty. I’m happy to report that oysters and Champagne are still on the menu, best enjoyed on a sunny evening on the towpath.