Thai food hasn’t always been at the top of my list of restaurants to visit, after dining at a couple of small street style thai places I quickly developed a taste for this South East Asian cuisine. Sukothai has been on the Leeds food scene for many years now, with branches in the city centre, headingley and Chapel Allerton, Sukothai has firmly established itself as a fine dining Thai restaurant. That said, I had never tried Sukothai until this weekend. So on Saturday Sam and I headed over to their Chapel Allerton restaurant to find out more.
The meal was booked for Saturday evening at 7:30, however, we were both feeling rather peckish and the restaurant kindly change our reservation to 6:15. It became quickly apparent throughout the evening why the restaurants are so highly thought of.
Upon our earlier arrival, the restaurant was already filling up quickly. We were greeted and promptly shown to our table and given the menu to look over.
The staff took our drinks orders, a Singha beer for myself and a diet coke for Sam. Our waiter also brought us some prawn crackers and a selection of dipping sauces, whilst we looked over the extensive menu.
It was nice to see a selection of dipping sauces rather than just the usual sweet chilli dipping sauce . There was also a very moorish peanut sauce and a hot chilli oil. The peanut sauce was definitely my favourite and seemed to go down a bit too well as it soon ran out. Although the staff did quickly notice this and kindly brought out some more.
To start with the Tong Kam Special mixed starter for two, did catch my eye, however as Sam had her sights firmly set on the Scallop Gratium Prik Thai £7.95 (stir-fried scallops with garlic and pepper), I opted for the classic dish of Satay Gai £6.95 (marinated chicken skewers, grilled and served with peanut sauce) instead.
The Scallops were served with a hot carrot and pepper salad in a soy dressing with shredded Chinese cabbage and lettuce. The dish was well presented and the carrot and pepper salad worked well with the scallops. The flavours balanced well with the delicate scallop taste. Sam did mention a smaller portion of the salads may have worked well so the scallops weren’t ‘lost’ amongst the other ingredients in the dish and to allow the main item of the dish to be showcased more.
I was impressed by the chicken satay and the first thing I noticed was the very healthy portion size (perfect if you were feeling particularly hungry like I was)! Whist the starter remained refined it was nice to see, the portion size still remained fairly generous, yet in keeping with the fine dining tone.
The chicken was cooked well and was tender and succulent. The chicken satay was served on a bed of shredded lettuce and the peanut sauce was served separate, allowing you to add as much or as little as you like. As you might be able to guess, after the sauce went down so well with the prawn crackers, none of it got wasted here either!
For main course I wanted to try something other than my preferred choice of chicken and decided on the Gang Ped Phed Yang £10.95 (roast duck, cooked in thai red curry with coconut milk, tomato and pineapple). Sam also slightly differed from her go-to thai option of a thai green chicken curry and mixed things up slightly with the, Gai Tod Prik Gang £10.95 (sliced chicken breast, dusted in flour, deep-fried and smothered with a creamy red curry sauce, topped with basil and lime leaf).
For side dishes, I opted for the sticky rice and Sam went for the Thai Jasmin rice.
Sam’s main came out first and she looked pretty impressed by her dish, as were the diners at the next table who all leaned over to ask what she had ordered and wanted to order the same. The dish remained light despite the chicken having been fried, to which the crispy chicken added a nice texture into the dish. The sauce was rich and creamy with a slight kick of chilli.
I was unsure what to expect from the duck, having never tried it in a curry in the past. The duck was cooked well and the pineapple added a nice sweetness to cut through the rich dish. Personally, I did think the flavour of the duck was perhaps a little too rich for the dish, and maybe the lighter flavour of chicken might have been more suited. Saying that I really enjoyed it.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Sukothai. The staff were attentive throughout the evening, from ensuring our drinks were always topped up to clearing the crumbs from our table between courses. It was clear to see why the restaurant has earned its strong reputation in the heart of the Leeds food scene. The food couldn’t be faulted and I would be happy to return here. I already have my eye on checking out on their cookery courses on offer.