The Man Behind the Curtain


Michael O’Hare cooks up bold, interesting and artfully plated dishes in a sleekly modern restaurant


The self-styled enfant terrible of the Northern restaurant scene continues to impress with his striking plates of high impact food. Served in a succession of tiny bites, Michael O’Hare’s 14-course tasting menu is arty and provocative (one dish is called Sex Wax, another Dali to Delhi), taking some of its cues from Spanish techno-emotional cuisine and including a notable amount of Asian influence.

O’Hare burst onto the Leeds restaurant scene in 2014 with a huge graffiti’d space on the top floor of luxury department store Flannel’s. The restaurant has since moved to more upmarket digs down the road but remains one of the country’s most singular and exciting dining experiences.

A dash of artistic pretension comes as something of a hallmark for the North Yorkshire-born chef, who made his name on Great British Menu cooking dishes including ‘Emancipation’, a monotone dish of squid ink-dyed fish and potatoes served on a canvas inspired by fish and chips and the industrial landscape of his home town of Redcar.

Dishes on the current menu – which is served in ’sequences’ rather than courses – include ajo blanco with an iced tomato consomme and vanilla; Iberico pork with garlic, egg and anchovy; and the delightfully colourful macarons ‘Damien Hirst’.

At the start of 2023 and in response to the current climate, O'Hare decided to make his restaurant more accessible with the introduction of a ‘menu rapide’. For significantly less than the £165 it charges for a Saturday dinner, diners can choose from a four-course menu at lunch for only £40 and a six-course dinner menu priced at just £60. Even more reason to go.


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