I wish there was a simple answer as to whether this was a good or bad restaurant experience.

The ambience and setting were wonderful, with the refurbished Foundry building balancing bright neon lights with understated class. From the moment of our arrival we were warmly welcomed and the building was toasty too, which was pretty impressive considering that the restaurant is almost entirely exposed brickwork and glass. The team took great pride in telling us about the many changes to the building, and the work really has paid off. It is a beautiful setting. The furnishings were comfortable and yet simple, the wood tables are supported by heavy, metal bases. The chairs are comfortable and easy to relax in, and yet they don’t swallow you up, so you can easily get up later. The table wear follows a similar vein, it’s relatively simple and yet effortlessly elegant. Looking around, the care and consideration that has gone into this location was obvious.

The Concept

The menu has been carefully considered too with ‘snacks’, ‘small plates’, ‘larger plates’ and a ‘for afters’ sections. If you’re not too hungry but still have a hankering for something fancy, this could be the place for you. We didn’t try the full menu, but I’m happy to report on our findings so far:

The Small Plates

After an amuse bouche of steak tartare on a crostini, we received our first full dish: the Chilled Gazpacho with Whitby Crab and Avocado Cream.

Matt Healy x The Foundry

This was a fantastic opening to the menu, I can’t fault that. The Whitby Crab was light and tender, the gazpacho had a sweet hit of garlic that miraculously didn’t overpower the crab. The presentation of the whole thing was homely and gorgeous.

Matt Healy x The Foundry

For vegetarians, the crab was replaced with fresh garden peas, providing a brilliant colour contrast, and little fresh pops of flavour. With all of that said, after an amuse and (what effectively is) a starter, we were still quite hungry, more so than I’d expected.

The Large Plates

The smell coming from the kitchen was heavenly, and the anticipation was high. On rustic plates came little portions of chicken heaven. A baby chicken ‘kiev’ which oozed garlic butter came out atop a gorgeous duck fat potato and a portion of delicately roasted chicken. The flavours were beautiful, the natural highs of each ingredients coming through first and foremost. This was the running theme for all of our food experiences on this night, nothing was heavily altered, it was just allowed to be its very best.

Matt Healy x The Foundry

For the herbivores amongst us came beets, roasted and pickled with crispy leaves. The presentation was simple and vibrant, with the different beet variations providing all of the colour on the plate. Alongside this came 3 walnut halves, which though small, provided one hell of a bite. It was like the sourness of your favourite candy with the rich undertones that nuts naturally provide.

Matt Healy x The Foundry

With all of this said, the portion sizes for both the chicken and beet dishes can’t be ignored. The lack of carbohydrates in the vegetarian dish left us wanting more, and the chicken was only just filling enough. The flavours here are punchy, but I can’t honestly say the same about the plates sizes.

The Dessert

I couldn’t bring myself to title this section ‘The For Afters’. To me, even the healthiest dessert should feel like a naughty indulgence at the end of a meal. But, this wasn’t an indulgence, if felt necessary in order to feel somewhere close to full.

Matt Healy x The Foundry

To our delight, a delectable cube of sticky toffee pudding was on its way to us. A perfect 2 inch cube of Yorkshire’s favourite dessert with a quenelle of vanilla ice cream slowly melting down its sides. Small, rich bites danced across our palate, and filled that hungry hole we’d been worrying about. By the last bite this particular portion made sense, any more would have just been too much.


When it came time to leave, we were satisfied, but not stuffed. Each dish had looked and tasted worthy of a prize, I just lament the fact that there wasn’t more of it. Still, I implore you to try The Foundry at least once. Matt Healy has taken quintessentially Yorkshire ingredients and concentrated them to achieve something truly beautiful. To me, this is a perfect lunch, just maybe not the dinner you’re craving after a long, hard day.

By Parker, Restaurants of Leeds Share this story