Lovely little Hipster Italian Restaurant serving traditional food as well as Italian Street Food. Food here is good and the atmosphere is quite intimate. Overall rating 7.5/10.
Another little Eat Out to Help Out visit for us this time in Leeds at Livin’ Italy, close to the train station. I have been wanting to eat here for a while after a number of friends said that the food was really good, so we decided to go with a couple of friends too.
Although the restaurant is fairly small, tables are currently distanced and everyone must sanitise their hands on arrival and details are taken (if you haven’t already pre-booked). We were seated upstairs in the nice dining area under the arches of the train station. The menu here is quite vast with a good choice of Antipasti, Small Plates/Starters, Street Food, Mains consisting of Pasta, Pizza, Meat or Fish, with Sides & Desserts available too. I found it hard to decide what I wanted as a starter as nothing really jumped out at me and a few dishes sounded quite similar, the main meals seemed more enticing. Maybe we’ve eaten at too many Italian restaurants lately? Haha.
Ben and I decided to share the Arancino from the Street Food menu between 2 of us – this was filled with beef ragu and mozzarella. When we have ordered Arancini at other restaurants a portion has been 2 risotto balls but there was just 1, which was presented to us in a paper bag?! Anyway we enjoyed it but I thought it was slightly cold, and not as good as the ones we have tried at other restaurants recently, such as Domo and Stuzzi.
My friends also shared a starter between themselves of Spicy Fresh Sausage Spread – ‘Nduja with creamy pulled mozzarella on crostini bread – they both said this was really nice and it was a decent sized portion to share.
For mains we ordered;
Classic Carbonara – made with pig cheek, Pecorino, eggs and no cream! – I decided to order the Carbonara after having it years ago and not liking it but wanting to try it again. This was served in a small shallow pan and was really tasty! It definitely changed my opinion of the dish and I’d happily cook or order this when eating out again. I think the fact that no cream and decent meat was used made the difference for me. It wasn’t a heavy dish and the portion size was just right, I ate it all (and still wasn’t overly full haha!)
Spaghetti with Lobster & Prawns – pasta sautéed with lobster, tiger prawns, flamed with brandy. Served with garlic, fresh tomato and parsley. Two people ordered this and both enjoyed and finished the dishes. It was commented on that for the price though there wasn’t that much lobster in the dish and the prawns were small, so I think it was a nice dish but didn’t wow anyone.
Slow Roasted Belly Pork Porchetta – Suckling pig filled with Italian herbs and garlic, sliced and served with roast potatoes and jus – the pork on this dish was a big, juicy bit of well-cooked meat that my friend was very happy with and it all got eaten!
Whether it was because my jeans were a bit big for me, or because the portions here weren’t over-facing, I really wanted to order a dessert too and I had been meaning to try a Tiramisu somewhere for a while since I have started to really enjoy the taste of coffee. So I ordered the Tiramisu which came in a little jar, Ben said he had had better but because I haven’t yet I thought it was delicious, so creamy and yummy! I could have had a second one to be fair.
My friend ordered the cannoli which was quite a large portion and filled with sweet ricotta and orange zest, she loved it and would get it again!
To say that were were using the offer of 50% off up to £10 each, the bill still came to approx £35 per person, but if you consider we had about 3 alcoholic drinks each, 2 starters, 4 mains and 2 desserts between us, that’s about right.
Overall we liked the food but wasn’t overly wowed by it, but I think Livin Italy is a nice cosy little place for a date or to go for good food with friends.
Check out more about LIVIN Italy and their menu here.
Please give them a visit and let me know what you think! Share your comments and photos with me across my social media and follow me now on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more photos, competitions, recipes and more!