02 Apr Minn’s Munchtime – Laynes Espresso, Leeds
When I started Minn’s Munchtime, I didn’t expect to spend much time writing about breakfast spots for gigging musicians. However sitting feet up in my less than glamorous Ibis Budget bed what I craved was a sensational brunch to set me up for my homeward journey to London. An unsatisfied stomach when travelling is a big no-no in my book!
Browsing maps and menus I whittled down the list to Laynes Espresso. Here they promise enticing breakfast/lunch plates with happy making vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options in abundance.
At a leisurely 10am I strolled down New Station Street. I nearly missed the entrance, its unexpected vibrant orange hue more Halloween than hipster café, but fabulous nonetheless! The counter area displays pastry concoctions alongside humming coffee machines. Slate and wood tones complete the chilled out yet smart design. I spied business meetings occurring alongside coffee-nursing train travellers and yummy mummies meeting up for a chat. In a cosy corner window seat out of the way, I people watched as my brain and body gradually woke up.
I had high expectations for these sweet buckwheat pancakes. Recently I’ve been a pancake fiend, using Madeleine Shaw’s easy recipe for banana pancakes (mix 1 egg, 1 mashed banana and 4 tablespoons of oats. Cook like normal pancakes. Done!). The jasmine tea arrived first, lovely loose-leaf tea with an excellent teapot – nothing worse than a sad tea dribble. You get the feeling they really take care to source their ingredients and keep quality at a high standard.
Finally the anticipated pancakes appeared – gloriously stacked with cinnamon steam rising from its pillowy layers. You absolutely get more for your money when you go North. In London three buckwheat pancakes let alone toppings would take you up to £10 at least, but here it’s £6.50! The soft pancakes ooze with syrup when coaxed with a spoon, stewed apples and clementines draped on top, surrounded by a fairy circle of pistachios.
The first bite didn’t disappoint. The warm, cosseting mouth feel is just what you need as a comforting travel blanket. My spirits definitely lifted! Despite the syrup, there was no sogginess involved and not overly sweet. Who’d have thought clementines and apples stewed together could work so well? The combination results in a wonderful citrusy caramel tone. It also added an element of Easter, like a hot cross bun with its fruity peel, very appropriate for this time of year! The beautiful colours of bright emerald pistachios, autumnal russet apples and deep burnt orange sang when juxtaposed against the soft grey plate. 100% Instagram worthy!
One of Laynes Espresso’s core values is providing the highest quality of ingredients, which in the beginning was centred around coffee. While I’m not a coffee drinker, I imagine aficionados would be more than pleased with the offerings here. The café owner continues that enthusiasm into supporting others interested in setting up their own coffee shop businesses, offering training and consultancy. I think it’s a clever idea to grow a community and nurture ideas with fellow entrepreneurs in the industry.
Back to the food – I’d be so bold as to say that these are the best buckwheat pancakes I’ve ever had. Everyone loves steaming pancakes, the nostalgic childhood memories associated with them just warm the heart and make you smile. Next time you’re in Leeds killing time waiting for a train, go and find this orange beacon of pancake heaven – you won’t regret it!
Nearest venue: Leeds Town Hall
Total receipt: £9.10
1x Sweet pancakes (no crème fraiche) 6.5
1x Jasmine tea 2.6
Rating: 10/10! Destination Brunch