Let's set the scene for a date night - long term relationship, or for the first meet. A night for just the two of you, with beer, cocktails and something to entertain. Not the standard, to ensure there's conversation, not too out there to make things awkward. Heading up the stairs in the Leeds Roxy Ball Room is like entering an adult play centre. The place is sectioned off into ping pong, beer pong, pool and dining, with a mini golf set-up upstairs.
A drink in hand is near mandatory in each area, all of the games to pick from on the night. Graffiti lines the walls, with street art taking place on the bigger spaces and scribbles of colour directing you around the place. For first dates, it's an endless source of conversation - with an A+ soundtrack if talk does dry up. For the long termers, it's an easy place to switch-off and get your competitive streak on the go.
I was invited down to try a bit of everything they have on offer, starting with the (new to me) mini golf, always one of my favourites. The course was laced with graffiti, the vibe of entering a New York side street to nail a hole in one. It's a nice alternative date night in Leeds, still keeping it casual but it's something not the usual. There are nine holes to work your way around, scorecard in hand, we began our competition.
There are obstacles to amp up the game on each hole, something that I'd always claim to be brilliant at, but in reality, not so much. The most difficult game of the night being a ramp up to several holes, each leading to a different exit for the ball to escape. My ball made it up the ramp, slotted down one of the centre holes and re-appeared... nowhere! It seems there's a clog in one of the pipes as it captured a few balls before we could find ours, the staff handed us a replacement, but it didn't stop the same thing happening to the two teams behind us.
On tallying up the scores, I added everything up... Then did so again another few times to make sure I was doing it right. The results? We had a bloody draw. Who draws at mini golf?! I was marginally disappointed to not have a clear win to gloat over, but after a great game, I guess I can't complain 😒
That sheer competitive process had us ready to work through the menu back downstairs. We picked our highlights from the menu. Me, sticking with my part-time-veggie lifestyle, him, the complete opposite. To start, always my fave, the mac & cheese balls - served on our night with a garlic aioli, not the jalapeno dip as on the menu. That outer crunch was dreamy, breaking into elbow macaroni with a jack cheese sauce. Always a classic and always great.
Matt went with the buffalo chicken wings, always his favourite, this time pretty average.
For main, I continued my unintentional veggie burger tour of Leeds (have any favourites? Tell me in the comments!) with the quinoa burger, served with regular fries. I added a smear of the garlic aioli to amp it up a little, but it was really tasty. Not dry (which is so easy with a veggie burger) and a perfect end-of-game eat.
For him, the goats cheese and red onion burger - a meat patty topped with those just mentioned. An oozy topping of cheese finished this off perfectly and it was really tasty with that red onion cutting through the richness of the cheese. The fries were upgraded to sloppy joe fries, a basket layered with gooey goodness.
The food was great and such a perfect serve for the place. It's reason enough to head back for an easy bite to eat, especially on a weeknight. And while I'm fully here to nominate Roxy's for a date night, the competitiveness needed in beer pong is ideal for the starters of a night out out with friends, take your pick on your company.
Oh and if you are heading down, for any of the above or for something different, the drinks are on me! Until the 29th August 2018 you can get a free cocktail in any Roxy Ball Room venue, just download your voucher and show it at the bar. Cheers!