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[Leeds, Headingley] Sukhothai

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It’s not often that I manage to get my ordering of asian meals so right. But, for this one, I managed the balance of flavours – sweet, sour, hot, salty, etc. And the food achieved this with some serious degree of finesse.

Som tum was the usual Thai salad of shredded papaya and carrot, tomatoes, chilli, lime juice and peanuts. It‘s a light refreshing start to a meal and, unlike a version I had recently, was not so searingly hot that I couldn’t taste anything for half an hour (which bollocks up your dining experience big time) . Here the spicing was more restrained. That is not to say that there wasn’t enough chilli to wake up your interest. There most definitely was. But it was balanced with the lime juice and fruit.

By way of contrast, pad mamuang himmaparn was a much more straightforward stir-fry of pork, cashews, pineapple, spring onion, carrot and mushroom. Nothing dominated here and it was perfectly balanced to work with the sticky rice. There was a little light dressing - hardly a sauce – fish sauce, coriander, a little citrus and that was about it. And nothing more was really needed by way of sauce. That said, I wouldn’t have minded a little background chilli note as the effects of the som tum had worn off.

Almost needless to say about a Thai place, service was friendly and attentive. Sukhothai is in a row of shops just away from the Headingley main drag – the row also includes Salvo’s – a much touted Italian which I had toyed with going to and will if there is another trip.

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  1. I might have to give this place another chance, as it gets a lot of positive reports. My sole experience was a very underpowered som tam (nowhere near hot enough) and a woeful pad Thai.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NorthernFood

      I was offered the som tum as "medium" or "spicy". Always an impossible question when it's a place you don't know. I went with "medium" which was as above and bang-on for my tastes. But then I don't enjoy very spicy food.