“I spent £190 in a Michelin starred restaurant – it was weird and pot noodle has more flavor”

Lucy Marshall visited Yorkshire’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Michael O’Hare’s The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds city center, which usually gets rave reviews for its expensive food

Reporter Lucy Marshall spent £190 at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Leeds city center to assess whether good food was worth the high prices
Reporter Lucy Marshall spent £190 at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Leeds city center to assess whether good food was worth the high prices

Despite the staggering prices, Michelin-starred The Man Behind the Curtain restaurant is proving to be a hit with fans of fine dining.

Michael O’Hare’s Leeds city center restaurant receives rave reviews and live in yorkshire Reporter Lucy Marshall decided to give it a try. She says she’s a self-confessed admirer of fine dining with a “wide palate,” so she was curious to see what all the fuss was about.

Lucy said she’s been to some very fancy restaurants in her time and is a big fan of tasting menus so she can try new flavors and be a little more adventurous with her cooking. So she figured The Man Behind The Curtain would be right up her alley.

She was full of excitement and ready to dive in. She’d only had porridge and a cup of coffee that morning, so by 1:30 p.m. Friday, she was ready to feast. She walked inside to a grand marble staircase that immediately felt luxurious. Such was her experience.

When Lucy walked in she immediately felt at home and thought “that’s a little bit of me”. This was clearly a place of luxury and the setting made her feel like a rich woman about to indulge in the most opulent gourmet experience.

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Lucy said the atmosphere was ‘quiet and edgy’


Lucy Marshall/Leeds Live)

One dish was a shrimp served on an old telephone


Lucy Marshall/Leeds Live)

Outside the house was very perceptive and led Lucy to a seating area made up of fur throws and white sofas. She was then able to go through the cocktail menu – something that was “right up my alley” again.

The atmosphere was, in her words, “calm and edgy” and while she enjoyed looking at the cocktails, the prices were extravagant, with the cheapest being £15 for a single sip.

She settled on a Cosmopolitan and was shown to her table.

“I wouldn’t call that Masterchef quality”

Lucy says she was treated like a princess at the meal. The staff took care of her, even if she had to politely forego something from the wine list because of the high prices.

As she waited for the meal, Lucy spotted her first catch. She expected to get some free bread and butter while she waited as hunger set in.

Unfortunately she didn’t get anything until her first course came and the waiter handed her a fake white egg with a black star on it. There was no explanation from the staff about the ingredients of the meal so she had to stock up by breaking open the egg and finding it was inside her.

One of the cocktails is £15 for a single sip


Lucy Marshall/Leeds Live)

Inside she found tuna tartare with hot sauce. It was “nice and fine” but “didn’t overwhelm her” and she was still hungry, which meant the next course couldn’t come soon enough.

Next came a shrimp on an old-fashioned phone. Cool, extravagant and unusual, but Lucy also wondered why it was presented that way, saying “I wouldn’t call that MasterChef quality.”

A big fan of shrimp, Lucy bit into it after opening the shell. She’s usually a fan of seafood, but said this “literally tasted like it just swam out of the sea onto my plate.”

She wasn’t impressed with a pork dish that looked like a “campfire.”


Lucy Marshall/Leeds Live)

Tikka was said to be there, but Lucy couldn’t taste anything and wasn’t impressed at having to eat the shrimp with her bare hands. After this dish came a bowl of soup. But it wasn’t quite what she expected when she was served “this cold cheese thing with ice on it.”

Her hunger hadn’t abated and scallops soon arrived, which Lucy admitted to being “one of my favorites”. It was dressed in a “really nice” sauce, but it wasn’t as exquisite as she had hoped and she was still starving.

This was followed by cod in squid ink and she quickly realized that the restaurant really did have a fondness for fish. It came off her fork “amazingly” and was “beautifully cooked”. However, an “unappetizing” pork dish followed.

Lucy wasn’t impressed with the restaurant, saying she “just didn’t get it”.


Lucy Marshall/Leeds Live)

As Lucy described it, “Do I just think that food that looks like a campfire isn’t appealing? I don’t want to eat black food that looks burned. We want colorful, vibrant food that draws me in and doesn’t scare me away.” It was “really nice” to eat, but the presentation left a lot to be desired for Lucy.

She was then told she would move on to desserts – something that surprised her given the small amount of food she was given as a main course.

A mini tiramisu was served first, before being served a dark chocolate. She says these took a while to arrive, which left her excited, and “the saving grace” was four macaroons that came in different flavors.

“A pot noodle has more flavor”

After her experience, Lucy had some concerns. Though she thought the restaurant was “quirky” and unique, she just “didn’t get it.”

She said: “Even though the place looked beautiful, it was just really weird. Even the knife and forks were unusually small. When paying £190 for a meal I want properly cleaned expensive looking cutlery.

“As much as the interior looked sexy and fun and the dishes and glasses used were beautiful, the most important thing in a restaurant is the food and honestly I left super hungry, unhappy and unimpressed with the food.

“Half the dishes I could have made in my kitchen and I think a pot noodle has more flavor than some of the dishes that are placed in front of me. I would tell people to go for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a good and tasty meal.”

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