35 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BT | 0113 245 8400 | neoncactus.co.uk | @neoncactus
Type of Food: Mexican
Overall Rating: ***** AMAZING
I love Mexican food.
Hold on, let me just clarify that ... I LOVE Mexican Food.
By that I'm not talking about authentic Mexican food, not even authentic Tex Mex but the Tex Mex / Mexican food found in the UK. Nachos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas ... I'm not really bothered. I love it all preferably with large dollops of guacamole and soured cream on top. Leeds doesn't really have a shortage of Mexican eateries, theres Las Iguanas near the corn exchange (a chain but I do genuinely love it there) or ...escobar up by Millennium Square or even Barburittos (although this is fast food). Out of all of them, I think Neon Cactus is my favourite.
The Calls and Call Lane are known for their lively nightlife and their trendy bars and Neon Cactus blends right into the mix from the outside. Its very unassuming but once you walk through the door the atmosphere hits you! The decor is amazing and quirky and I must say I have never seen it too busy or too quiet. If you get there at the right time (around 6 if your planning on eating) there won't be a problem finding somewhere to sit.
It's a bar so table service is largely minimal. Find a table and go from there. For a cocktail bar, a trendy cocktail bar (is that fair?) the staff are very friendly. When I've gone in for drinks the bar staff are always suggesting something new and I really like that. Food is always really quick as well.
The drinks are just as important for me here as the food. I love tequila, in fact I think drinking here is one of the reasons I love tequila so much - now if thats not a compliment I'm not really sure what is! The cocktail menu is long and there is even a section for those who don't like tequila and if cocktails aren't your thing they have a good range of beers. My favourite drink is a Paloma. It's simple and refreshing. Tequila, Lime and Grapefruit Soda.
The thing about ordering Mexican food is deciding what to have. Neon Cactus remove that obstacle for me with their 'Feast Menu' which I heartedly recommend. Is a 4 course menu for two with Nachos, Tacos, an enchilada or quesadilla and fajitas. Portions are all great and it lets you have a little bit of everything. The quality is amazing as well. Perfectly cooked and beautifully flavoured and all for less than a tenner each?! The chilli on the nachos is a particular favourite of mine (then again chilli always is). Given that I am lucky enough to have had multiple visits here I can safely say that each time the food has been consistently high standard.
Neon Cactus probably takes the accolade for not only my my favorite restaurant in Leeds but one of my favourite bars too. In fact writing about it is making my very very hungry.