Review: Reds True Barbecue – Leeds

As a celebration of my new job I decided to treat Mr CK to lunch, he chose Red’s true barbecue in Leeds. We arrived just before 12 (when they open) and there was already a small huddle of people waiting. We are glad we got there early as the place soon filled up.


The room was light and airy, the decor shabby industrial, a look that seems to be everywhere right now. Service was fairly brisk and we were given plenty of time to choose. We decided to share a BBQ rib taster as a starter, this was very good, meat falling off the bones, but still moist, some of the sauces were a bit sweet for my taste, but this was soon remedied by dipping them into the hot sauce that was on the table. Mr KC really got stuck in, this is not delicate food, the napkins and wipes were needed to clean our sticky faces and fingers.


For mains Mr KC had The pitmaster s’wich (£12.90) brisket, pulled pork, cheese & jalapeno smoked sausage, South Carolina BBQ sauce, tangy slaw, fried pickle and fresh jalapenos in a brioche bun. He chose to have Mac’n’cheese with this. He said it was a meaty joy, everything had plenty of flavour and was cooked well. The mac’n’cheese was just that, it was nice, but not special, we both decided the cheese used just was not punchy enough. As he is a strange one who does not like pickles, I got to try that.


I chose the pulled pork ‘n’ slaw plate (£9.95), a 14 hour slow cooked pulled pork mixed with KC style sauce. It was nice enough, I did not detect any of the bourbon pickleback salt crust, but I guess when cooking up a huge hunk of meat there is only so much crust to go around. The slaw was really good, light and tangy. It said coriander slaw on the menu, but I could not detect any. I’m not usually a slaw fan, I find mayo versions too much, this one was really tasty and worked well against the sweet meat. The crackling was good, but it was a solitary crackling, not cracklings as advertised on the menu. I chose fries and onion rings as my sides. The fries were crispy and hot and delicious. The let downs were the onion rings and the pickle, the batter on both was way too thick, the inside of the batter was still raw, these definitely need some work, especially the pickle which had gone limp and a bit slimy. Not nice at all.


For drinks I had a sauvignon blanc (£6.50 a glass) & Mr CK had a hedgerow honey bourbon (£7.50) – Wild Turkey American honey bourbon, fresh backberries, lavender syrup, lemon & lime. It tasted just like Lush smells, I found it a bit odd, but he liked it. He also had an apple & elderflower martini (£6.95) – Beefeater gin, The Bitter Truth elderflower liquor & pressed apple juice. We both really loved this, so much so we have bought ingredients to try and recreate it at home.

This was a fab meal, we will be back as I really want to try some of the bbq beef dishes next time. The portions are quite large, so do go hungry. We were famished when we got there, but left so full we did not have room for dinner that evening.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.