Thai Edge has been open in Leeds for as long as I can remember. It's never really struck me as the place to go, no one really raves about it. That's until my housemate moved to Leeds and found out about their early bird two courses for £12 deal. Cue a birthday night for 17 people all trying to eagerly order food before 7pm. We told to rest assure by the waiter as he generously offered to let us order until 7.05pm. Very gratuitous.
Cocktails were ordered around the table, but I myself ordered a large bottle of Tiger to flex my masculinity. The Bellini's looked curious and rather than peach puree there appeared to be peach gel. That's new. It seemed to go down well with the Bellini drinkers.
The food menu is pages and pages long, goodness knows how anyone decides what they want to eat. Thankfully, I think, as we were dining on the early bird menu we were given a much smaller menu to chose from.
This resulted in most people ordering either chicken satay or spring rolls for starters. That would be exactly what D and I ordered.
My spring rolls turned up along side the others, and I began chewing down on them, they were okay as far as spring rolls go, although I'd be daring to say they aren't as good as my local Chinese takeaway. Is there much of a difference between a Chinese spring roll and a Thai spring roll?
D and I agreed to swap a spring roll and a chicken satay stick each. One problem. D appeared to be missing his starter. With 17 people I guess it's forgivable to miss one dish... but then again when the majority of dishes are either spring rolls or chicken satay...
A silver lining in D's missing starter, when the look of horror came across the waitress's faces as they realised they had missed one, when it did eventually make its appearance it was much bigger, fresher looking and more saucy than those around us.
Mains were a little more diverse. You can either chose stir fry, curry or noodles on the menu. At our end of the table we had some regulars, they warned us that the Jungle curry was very extremely hot, not wanting to put the loo roll in the fridge when we got home we avoided it. Although someone on the table didn't get the memo, ordered the Jungle curry and couldn't eat it. Consider that your warning from me.
I opted for the Panang curry with chicken, it seemed like the safest option. Plus it didn't come with pineapple, I'm not a fan of cooked pineapple.
As far as Thai red curries go it was good, there was a lot to it and I struggled to finish it. This was always my staple dish when I visited Thai restaurants... That is until I discovered other Thai food. To be honest I think it's a lot of people's go to Thai dish. That's not a bad thing if you're a newbie Thai food eater, it's a great way to start off your exploration. The broccoli was a nice addition.
D opted for the Chicken Teriyaki. I'm pretty sure Teriyaki is a Japanese dish, and I'm pretty sure they should probably leave this to the Japanese restaurants in future. I tried a piece and it literally tasted like chicken in gravy. Eh? D complained that it was dry and it was a bit odd that this was also served with sticky rice. The sticky rice was served up in big bowls dotted around the tables that we all had to dig in to and serve ourselves. More was provided on request.
I didn't see too much service, just a lot of waitresses wanting to take glasses as soon as they were done with. There was a nail biting moment when I realised everyone but myself had a plate as the waitress ran out of plates and the second waitress didn't notice and just walked off. Fortunately, panic was subdued when I decided I didn't need a plate anyway and just piled my rice in to my dish with my curry. I hope the pot washers were thankful.
It's a good place to take a large group, especially if you're feeling the pinch of austerity. Most will find something to eat on the menu and they do a range of drinks from beers to cocktails.
If you want to taste Thai food that is a little less westernised, I wouldn't suggest you go here. If that's what you love go here. Although I must note I can't speak for the main menu, only the early bird.
I love Thai food and I love that Leeds has some small independents serving a range of more authentic dishes, although their capacity for large groups is debatable and their drinks ranges aren't always so diverse. These places are still holding my heart and unfortunately I'd more than likely chose to visit them rather than go to Thai Edge again.