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Sandinista Restaurant & Bar, Leeds

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by Bryony Smithers (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer currently reading Classical Literature and English at Leeds University. I hope you enjoy!
Published January 23rd 2015
Spicy tapas, refreshing cocktails, and a view of rainy Leeds
Head down a drab Leeds street, and at its base the unexpected can be found. Nestled beside Belgravia, one of Leeds' well-renowned hidden gems, can be found another; Sandinista.

Sandinista is small and unassuming, trying to get inside is a mission but once this hidden gem is unearthed you will come back time and time again. Upon entering you head back in time; old school music hums from the speakers, old fashioned mahogany high-backed stools line the bar, and on the multi-level floor are scattered low mahogany tables. Rich woods meld into exposed brick-work, and behind the bar is a rugged bar-man with an 'edgy leeds' beard serving delicious cocktails.
Old-fashioned bar area
Step back in time

While the delicious cocktails are simplicity at their best, they are all intended to be drunk beside a plate of tapas.
Traditional cocktails
Which one will you pick?

Like the cocktails, and the surroundings, Sandinista's tapas is renowned because they serve rich, mouth-watering classics without trying to be too fancy. With student friendly prices with plates averaging 4.95, everyone can afford to do tapas properly and buy a few dishes to share.
Which tapas dishes take your fancy?

We chose a selection which included classic nachos, smoked sausage and prawn jambalaya, salt cod croquetas, chorizo asado, patatas bravas and the not so classic rump steak.

The salt cod croquetas were a new dish for me; a crisp shell disguised a soft salty interior, and with a squeeze of lime your taste buds came alive.
Salt Cod Croquetas
A taste sensation

But the Salt Cod was at its best when combined with the chorizo asado. The rich paprika combined with a hit of spice was perfectly complimented by the salt cod.

We followed this with a gigantic portion of nachos with lashings of sour cream, salsa, and spicy jalapenos.
Traditional classic

While, if you can say tapas can have a main course, then our smoked sausage and prawn jambalaya and Rump Steak with a side of patatas bravas was it. The prawn and sausage jambalaya was rich and tangy with the sticky rice perfectly complimented by a dash of paprika, a hit of spice, and the underlying smoky flavour of the sausage and the salty hit of the gigantic prawns.
Sausage and Prawn Jambalaya
Smoky sausage and delicious King Prawns

Add to that perfectly cooked medium rare rump steak with garlic spinach and a scattering of sea salt, and sweet potato patatas bravas with a rich spicy tomato tang, the three were the perfect finale to a delicious meal.
Rump Steak and Patatas Bravas
A meaty classic, with a traditional Spanish hit

Sandinista is the perfect place to sample the best of Spanish tapas in calming surroundings, a cocktail in hand, as you look out upon Leeds.

Opening Times:
Sunday-Friday: 11am-3am
Saturday: 10am-4am
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Why? To mentally escape to the sunny climes of Spain
When: Whenever you fancy delicious tapas
Phone: 0113 2430395
Where: 5 Cross, Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP
Cost: 10
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