Eating out at brand-new Waterlane Boathouse
Words and photography by Lauren Entwistle
The newest addition to the triad of fashionable eateries from the people behind Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, Headrow House and Superfriendz – Waterlane Boathouse has some big shoes to fill.
Housed in what used to be a shipment warehouse and then a granary store, the Boathouse is now a “waterfront bar and beer garden.” Boasting lovely views of the Leeds Liverpool canal, the space has been opened up into an airy, modern plan – complete with copper bar and bare brick walls.
Upstairs features a similar open plan, with a tiny bar tucked away in the corner in lieu of bringing the full attention to the kitchen bar where ‘Small Victories’, the Naples-imported pizza oven sits.
We were treated to a taster menu which featured what Boathouse hopes to become recognisable all-star favourites, as Session Fries are to Belgrave and Ox Club’s restaurant grill is to Headrow.
First up came two pizzas, one without a traditional tomato base that was instead topped with prosciutto, pickled radicchio and mozzarella cheese. The second, which our server insisted was to be a big favourite, was a spicier offering of sausage, caramelised onion, tomato and mascarpone. Both were lovely, thin and crispy (the ‘Small Victories’ oven does its job well) – and are well worth plumping for if you’re unsure of what to try.
We were also served two salads, one being the Quinoa, Fennel and Kale salad and the other being an unusual selection of Watermelon and Feta with baby leaves, tomatoes and olives. Despite not being a salad person, the Quinoa and Fennel became a standout dish for me, feeling far from a rabbit food offering – and whilst we didn’t try the Watermelon salad, we were told it was an interesting combination! Try it if you’re feeling a little whimsical.
Next came the burgers. Again, competing against the limelight of Belgrave’s infamous Patty Smith burgers, Boathouse has a lot at stake. Our selections were the vegetarian Beetroot, White Bean and Fennel Burger, which was delicious with the fried patty not unlike that of an onion bhaji. The next was a more traditional version, being the ‘Small Victories’ burger with aged Yorkshire beef, bacon jam (which can also be tasted separately on the Sharing Platters) and all the trimmings such as pickles, lettuce and tomato.
This burger is easily the priciest thing on the food menu, coming to an eye-watering price of £11.50 if you want to add chips. Arguably, it’s gorgeous to look at – Instagram foodie lovers will be hankering to get a picture, but for penny-pinching diners it might be a little steep.
Food at the Waterlane Boathouse is undoubtedly very tasty, with our firm favourite being the pickled pizza (honestly, go and try it!) – and over time will no doubt birth a staple dish like its siblings. But as it’s still early days, the public have yet to make their choice and we can foresee it split into two food loving camps: Burger VS Pizza.
Personally, we’re Team Pizza – but that’s only because we’d probably struggle to keep coming back and buying the Small Victories burger!