Thai A Roy Dee review, Vicar Lane Leeds - flavourful food at fair prices

Thai A Roy Dee. Picture by James Hardisty.
Thai A Roy Dee. Picture by James Hardisty.

Leeds is becoming overwhelmed with Thai restaurants, which is hardly a problem for the cuisine is delightful, but does present the issue of which place sets the bar.

Thai A Roy Dee in Vicar Lane has proved popular among its diners for cheap and "authentic" fare, building up something of a loyal following in the city.

A colourful interior. Picture by James Hardisty.

A colourful interior. Picture by James Hardisty.

First impressions?

We're not waiting long before being seen to by a staff member, who asks us from across the room whether it's a table for two (it is). If she seemed rushed, it's probably because the restaurant was nearly at capacity - an impressive sight on a Monday evening.

The decor is, busy and, I think it's fair to say, somewhat dated, with multi-coloured bunting, posters, hanging decorations, synthetic flowers and plenty of other trinkets vying for your attention.

It's a "bring your own booze" place, reflecting the laid back atmosphere of the restaurant, so punters can come in with their own beer to enjoy.

What’s the menu like?

Extensive, dauntingly so for a while, though it's hard to find a dish that doesn't sound nice.

It offers a happy hour rate of two courses for £6.95 between noon and 5pm each day, but we sit down a few hours after that.

Starters, soups, main courses - you can choose between meats or vegetarian options for various prices - specials, fish dishes, "sizzling dishes", salads, noodle and rice options are all given space.

Now on to the food

To start, I had the Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes, £4.95), which came as deep-fried minced fish with green beans and spices, served with sweet chilli sauce, ground peanuts. The menu says it comes with pickled vegetables too, but mine had a few lettuce leaves. The fish cakes themselves were good, though. Fragrant with a slight heat, though I'd have preferred them a touch crisper.

My friend had the Chicken Satay (£4.50), thin strips marinated in spices, skewered, grilled on charcoal and served with peanut sauce. He said the dish was nice, though didn't take a lot of the sauce, which was apparently too thin for his liking.

For my main, it was a classic - chicken gang massaman (£6.95) - cooked with creamy curry paste, coconut milk, peanuts, potatoes, red and green peppers, pineapple and Thai herbs.

Frankly, this was delicious. A pungent pale orange dish which was sweet and sour - but not too heavily either. A brilliantly comforting option.

My companion has the Pad Kee Mao Chicken - stir-fried spicy noodles with veg (£5.95. Spicy but delicious, he tells me.

And the drinks?

We didn't order any, as we were happy to go with the BYOB rule, though we did notice a selection of spirits behind the bar area.

How much was the bill? Was it value for money?

All in it was £25.35, a great price (sans drinks of course). For a really tasty main and good starter, this really was value for money. I'd go again, but would advise those heading for the first time not to expect a dining "experience", but just to enjoy a casual, fuss free and flavourful meal.

Factfile

Address: 120 - 122 Vicar Lane, Leeds

Telephone: 0113 245 2174

Scores

Food 7/10

Value 8/10

Atmosphere 5/10

Service 6/10