Two music graduates chronicle the culinary delights of Leeds and London and explore the height of fine dining on a limited budget.

Good food is well punk.

March 14, 2010

I'll grease your spoon: Popina's.

Well, I mean. Anyone in Leeds knows it would be rude to ignore this place but, dear Student Reader, I hope you appreciate how hard a task this article is. A piece about Popina's is not the sort you want to get wrong.

It's always difficult to judge the best fry-up this side of the Aire as it is, as one of the prerequisites of entering Popina's used to be that one must be hungover. Eventually it came to replace breakfast and end up as the main nutrition for the day, but we'll come back to that later.

So, the menu. Apparently there's sandwiches and shit on there as well, but who would know really. Get the breakfast, it’s not for the faint hearted. For a mere £3.50 you get a sausage, a rasher of bacon, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, a hash brown, an egg, four slices of toast and a cup of tea. That's the sort of all-inclusiveness you can only rely on in the North these days. Pay an extra quid and you get another rasher/sausage/egg/coronary.

And you know what? It might be a fry up, of course there's grease, but you get lots of food and its quality is really not that bad. There's practically a religion throughout Hyde Park it's that perfect in the stupor of the next morning's semi-death. The eggs are runny and there's lots of toast for dipping, the sausages are fat and not too porky (who wants actual meat acknowledgement? That's what the bacon's for, and it's nicely salty as it is), and stuff like butter and sauces and sugar for your tea are heaped liberally in baskets and bowls on the table. The red tops are scattered around and the radio keeps on humming. There are plenty of stools for when the extra few friends decide to stumble in half an hour after everyone else has ordered. The staff keep the atmosphere relaxed and don't ever try to rush you; you just know that the turnover’s pretty darn quick.

Unless, of course, you're rash enough to attempt the Mega Challenge. The price goes up to £6.50 now; over a fiver means Serious Territory. As well as everything with the large breakfast, there's now also two slices of fried bread, black pudding and double the toast. You must finish everything on the plate (yep, that includes the one weakness, the slimy mushrooms) to complete the challenge. You won't be eating for the rest of the week, so no need to scrimp on this one. Get the meat out of the way first (because that shit's REALLY hard if left 'til the end) and mop the rest up with the toast. If you finish your number goes on the chalkboard on the wall and you get a keyring, huzzah! Only 23 girls had completed it last time I looked, plenty of catching up to the 200+ blokes to do…

Every time friends have come up from home, this is the first place we go to. It's a bonding experience with course mates, a rite of passage from halls to Hyde Park living. Every student must experience this place. It's marvellous, legendary, satisfyingly tasty. Possibly the first place I'll miss once I finally leave this god damn city.

31 Brudenell Road
0113 274 4944


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I do love that I can't help but hear your accent whenever I read your writing.

  3. Im gonna get that bloody key ring. I bet I could do it!

  4. BEST IDEA EVER: Leeds Grub v notafuckingfoodie Mega Breakfast Challenge. One morning, Popinas, the not-too-distant future. It's on.