What a find! on a sunny Thursday in Leicester we stumbled upon 19Gale, next door to the wonderful Curve Theatre. I say “stumble” only as we are not very familiar with Leicester City Centre dining, clearly this is not a “hidden” gem, it is actually a cavernous place hidden behind a stylish but fairly unassuming frontage. But it is indeed a “gem”. Despite the size of the interior (and it is vast) and the fact that on this sunny weekday lunchtime there was only 6 of us in a restaurant that must have 200 covers, it didn’t feel empty, in fact in felt calming, relaxing and welcoming. We could have sat there all afternoon.
As a cafe/restaurant owner myself, I tend to be quite circumspect about reviewing others, and very generous when I can see that some behind the scenes kitchen disaster has occured and the staff are desperatly trying to make things right in the face of unforgiving customers. I hadn’t intended to write an account of our lunch at 19Gale, but as it was so lovely, such a nice surprise and the staff were so fab, I felt the irresistable urge to blog about it.
19Gale is a bar (a huge bar!) and restaurant that offers Chinese/Japanese Fine Dining, and it really is fine. We were offered, by the lovely, friendly, helpful, front of house staff, two menus. One “for the locals” as she put it, and one for the Chinese/Asian clientele. In other words, an “a la Carte” menu with some, perhaps less well-known, but nonetheless more familiar dishes for the typical Western diner and a further, seperate and extensive menu of authentic and traditional chinese dishes, which included Rabbit, Perch, Jellyfish, Chicken’s Feet, Duck and Bull tongue and pig knuckle. What a joy to find! We wanted to try everything, well, almost everything…
We decided in the end on a selection of Four Season Sushi, with Japanese Mayo, prawn and seaweed powder for Spring, unagi sauce, yolk and eel for Summer, crab roe, spicy Mayo and smoked salmon for Autumn and chives, tuna and truffle oil for Winter. Garlic marinated Ribs, Deep Fried Shrimps with spicy salt, a Prawn and Mango and a Salmon and Avocado salad. Each dish was beautifully presented and totally delicious.
Prawn and Mango and Salmon and Avocado salad
Fancy something a bit more adventerous than your average Chinese dining? couldn’t fault 19Gale.