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.

May 14, 2010

Good friends and good memories: A Quickie in the Dry Dock for old times' sake.

Well, final hand-in was a total anti-climax. No sunlight for a month plus sudden decrease in stress levels equals getting drunk off three pints and then falling asleep. Lame. Lunch the next day, however, became all the more real in terms of Life Stage Transgression Fun Time when we had to say goodbye to the only coursemate still with dreadlocks, Tom Cat T. Sob. Violins. It was so emotional we wouldn't have finished eating, except that I think B and I had both missed breakfast.

This is essentially a review of the Library as well as the Dry Dock as they're both run by the same chain, Scream. Both have their points of merit; the Library has long been famed for its comedy evenings (totally gutted I missed Alun Cochrane a couple of months ago) and as for the Dry Dock, no-one ever really gets over the novelty of drinking in a full-on boat.

Food-wise, there isn't much that can be said other than it's standard pub fare. In all honesty, it was pretty bog-standard, and not what I've come to expect from both places. T was happy with his Classic Burger, which came from the extensive burger menu and has always been on top notch form whenever we've eaten there, but was a little disappointed with the portion size when he saw how huge B's mixed grill was for the same price. This was an unusual complaint; the burgers are normally so huge they dig you a second stomach. Either Scream are shaving a centimetre off their burgers in These Troubled Times, or the cows were particularly small this year.

K, M and I had fish and chips, and while they honoured my request of garden peas instead of mushy (who even invented mushy peas? why would you do that?) they came out of the microwave pretty pebble-like. And there weren't that many of them. AND they appear to have stopped doing chunky chips; all our meals came out with shoestring fries, which had a nice sunflower oil-y crunch but are not what you want for the ultimate chippy experience. I also don't get this trend of serving fish and chips in paper on a plate. K made the point that, as the fish has come straight out of the fryer, it just sticks to the paper and you've got half your batter covered in it. It was good solid beer batter as well. The fish itself was perhaps a little overdone, but at least we could eat all of that.

B's mixed grill was absolutely huge, containing as it did steak, chicken, gammon, sausage, chips and several other trimmings... completely covered in salt. Everything bar the steak, however, was cooked very well. The chicken and the gammon especially were juicy and tender.

Overall, mixed bag. If you've been on a Sunday recently, let me know how the roasts are. I still have fond memories of the freshly minted lamb/thick gravy/three types of veg still with some flavour(!) and would love to carry on the idea that Scream bars are good at food. Hopefully we just went on an off day, coupled with the fact that emotions were running slightly higher than normal. Hopefully the memories of good times and good food won't have to be rose-tinted by student nostalgia...

Dry Dock
Woodhouse Lane
0113 391 2658

**PREVIEW** Next review is slightly off-topic in that there were eight courses in a much higher-brow establishment, but it was the best meal I've ever eaten in my entire life...


  1. Never eaten in the dry dock but it is top notch novelty factor with the boat!

  2. I used to think it was going to start swaying as we tried to finish our drinks (although this could well depend on how much had already been drunk...)

  3. I remember when the boat appeared.

    I was at the university at the time and tended to go to the Fenton along with all the Levellers fans with their dogs on bits of string, or more often just to the Old Bar in the Union.

    The Dry Dock did cause quite a stir, and for weeks nobody seemed to twig that it was destined to be a bar, because, well, that would have been completely stupid.

    Yet here we are, years later, and its still there, although that may be more to do with the fact that once you've parked a barge between a former polytechnic and a multi-storey car park, it must be slightly difficult to either move or re-purpose.