Getting home from work on a Friday night is a lovely thing. It should be No.1 on the “1000 Awesome Things” blog. Stepping in the house, stroking the cat and then having a glass of pinot before 6pm (a well brought up lady doesn’t indulge till after six on a normal day, it’s just not the done thing)*.
A often mentions the phrase “Singapore Vermicelli” on a Friday night, within about half an hour of getting home. This is A’s favourite dinner from Oriental Express, our local takeaway. Problem is, I want to go out to eat, so a quick internet search identifies “Singapore Noodles” on the Thai Edge website. Now, can I sell this idea to A?
So less than an hour later, we were sat in Thai Edge. I have never been here before but I know it has been in Leeds for a few years now. Decor involves lots of bamboo and Thai statues. Despite there being only a few diners in a fairly large room, they were all squashed together in one corner – about six tables of people, and we were sat amongst them. What is this about? Are they trying to give the impression of a “buzzy” atmosphere when most of the restaurant is empty? Is it to make the service easier? Whatever the reason, it seems rather strange to be eavesdropping on other people’s conversation as a result of the tightly packed tables, when there is plenty of room to spread people out a bit. We are not New Yorkers after all, yelling at each other over our steaks! We are English and this means we are a reserved, private people, uncomfortable with sitting too close to others.**
Thai Edge only serves house wine by the glass. It is French and ok. Most restaurants offer a range of wines by the glass these days and my heart always sinks when I can’t order a glass of pinot. We were not intending to stay long and A was driving so a bottle is a waste.
We were asked if we wanted our starters and mains served together, or as two courses. A said separately, but then I asked for it all to be served together. (Parking is expensive in Leeds). I was duly ignored and the courses came separately.
Starters were Deep Fried Vegetables (don’t think it was tempura batter, though) and Chicken Satay. Both were good.
A ordered the Singapore Noodles and I ordered the minced pork fried rice. These were served in the middle of the table for us to share. The verdict – Singapore Vermicelli is usually a bit spicy – this wasn’t. The minced pork wasn’t minced; it was just pieces of pork. I am not an expert on Thai so perhaps this is what minced means, but it was slightly dull.
We had to ask for chopsticks, the table was laid with forks and spoons. On the plus side, there were some prawn crackers on the table with a lovely sweet chilli sauce when we were seated. (Free stuff always impresses Leeds Food Leads).
Thai Edge is nice for a quick after-work dinner or if you just fancy some Thai food. I probably wouldn't choose it for a special occasion, but it is handy if you are around Millenium Square. We didn't have a reservation on a Friday but this was not a problem. They need to develop their wines by the glass options and perhaps spread the diners out a bit when the place is quiet.
*Please note this rule shifts to noon on a Saturday.
**See “Watching the English: the Hidden Rules of English Behaviour” by Kate Fox.