I had booked a table for early evening having had the early bird menu here before, knowing that it frequently changes.
You are seated with a drink in a bar area with the menu on a chalk board and and once youve made your mind up proceed to your table.
There were around 10 staters to chose from, i went for the - just been added - sardines on toast, my partner opted for her favourite - deep fried brie with a mango sauce. My partner was not dissapointed with her selection of failry standard - but none the less perfectly cooked fare. I was blown away by my sardines, from the buttery taost to the rich olivey tomato sauce (sort of puttanesca-esque), and perfectly prepared and cooked sardines - honelstly I have never tasted anything so perfect, the balance of the rich sauce, sweet olives and in yer face sardine flavour was spot on. Praise to the person who made this dish lead to our waiter promising to french kiss the chef!
Main course was belly pork for my partner and pigoen breast for me, the pork was a sucess - I think they steam the belly pork then brown it in a hot pan - which means the meet isnt dry and the fat not too jellified. My pigeon breasts were scrumptious and moist, i think they cook them quickly just on one just one side to keep them rare and moist, an excellent dish well cooked as sometimes pigeon can be rather tough. My partner was a little dissapointed she had not ordered the pigeon breast, not that there was anyhting wrong with hers belly pork just the pigeon breat was so good.
The portion sizes are ample and I have to say I was umming and arrring about being able manage a dessert but the food had been so good i did not want it to end.
My partner ordered a passion fruit tart with chantilly cream, which was a lovely refreshing end to a meal, a perfect pastry with a zest passion fruit egg custardy filling. I had the sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce, another sucess, a kiddies dessert cooked with sophistication, the pudding was very spongey (unlike the traditional 'sticky' english way), and topped with hazlenus, and the sauce did not have the sickly childish toffee sauce but a more grown up 'buerre noir' sauce, really good.
Ok the wine that comes with the early bird is not great, but I'm here for the food!!
The service is good and friendly, and the staff are very knowledgable about the food and wine menu. They will aslo have a laugh with you i teased the waiter who said the cornish sardines were local - and he took it in good faith. I do not like the curtrent trend of restaurants harping on about using local produce - as if that automatically means it is good - poor food is local to somewhere isnt it?
The thing about sous le nez is it blows other French restaurants in leeds out of the water. I dont know this - but I would bet my life that the chefs are French (along with thwe service staff) - in each fairly simple dish the aim is perfection and they come very close to that.
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