|Entrance to Sukhothai, Chapel Allerton, Leeds|
|Interior of the restaurant|
At Sukothai in the Leeds suburb of Chapel Allerton, on a Sunday in July, we were met by an oriental lady in traditional costume who greeted us in the traditional manner with hands together and a slight bow. The entrance and the interior of the restaurant were beautifully decorated with carved wooden figures and statues and the food was very authentic too. I can vouch for this having been fortunate enough to visit Thailand myself and sample the food there.
My companion entered into the spirit of things by trying a Thai beer, quite a departure from his usual real ale, and he said it accompanied the food very well. What was available on the lunch buffet was probably a little less chilli hot than my Thai experience provided but this is a good thing, as what I sampled on my trip was a little too chilli heavy for my western palate. What was available here was absolutely delicious and comprised three help yourself courses.
From the starters prawn and pork dumplings were soft yet delicate with soy sauce and crispy garlic accompaniments, corn fritters were substantial and moreish with a chilli dip, sweet crispy noodles were delicious and crunchy and a surprising pinky red colour, a real highlight, and hot and sour soup with chicken and mushroom was spicy and fragrant.
The pick of the mains were beef and coconut curry which was sweet, spicy and creamy, a real stand- out, spicy stir fry seafood was also a hit with a plentiful catch of fish, squid and king prawn, and spicy thai salad was full of deliciously pungent beef, due to the fish sauce, and very refreshing. Also duck stir fried with chilli oil and sweet basil was so soft it pulled apart and there were more, too many to describe here.
The final course was not as stunning as the myriad of mains but it served to finish off the meal nicely. There were banana fritters and syrup but no ice cream, a creamy concoction in beautiful glasses finished with passion fruit pips and an abundance of fresh fruit, including my personal favourite pineapple.
This is a very different experience to the Chinese buffet we Brits have become so used to. Although superficially it may appear similar, the Thai flavours seem more delicate, a little hotter and the ambience a touch more refined which is probably a reasonable reflection of the cultural differences between these nations.
We were charged £9.95 each for the buffet although it says £12.95 on the website and I’m not sure if this was a mistake or if there has been a price reduction, either way it is very good value for the quality and quantity received. The site also recommends that you book for the Sunday buffet but we didn’t need to probably because we got there quite early, about 12.30 pm. However if you were a big group, booking is probably advisable as the restaurant was getting very full as we left.
CHAPEL ALLERTON: 8 Regent Street, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 4PE
Tel: 0113 237 0141
|Outside the restaurant|