REVIEW: Lemongrass Thai Restaurant Leeds

My all time favourite Thai restaurant has been shut for nearly half a year now. Thai Aroy Dee is supposedly going to open at the other side of the Grand Arcade but it's been so long now I am not sure when it is supposed to happen.

Thai Aroy Dee was a convenient and cheap place I could go for a nice quick meal and I think I tried to go there whenever I had a chance. So, with this place gone and me having cheap Thai food withdrawal, I have started to look for a temporary replacement to fill that empty whole in my stomach heart.

Disclaimer: I, myself, work in a Thai restaurant in Harrogate and this is not a personal attack against anyone. This review is based purely on my opinion as a customer. Due to this blog being about how I am looking for another Thai restaurant that is as good as my formal favourite, I will occasional compare the two together rather Lemongrass and Sukothai (where I work).

First impression 2/5

The placement itself of the restaurant is in the remote area and I feel like if you didn't know it was there you would walk straight past it. I did not take any photos of my own of what it looks like on the outside but if you were to search them up you'll see what I mean. However, I didn't particularly wanted to judge based on outter appearance because Thai Aroy Dee didn't have the best looking appearance but they were popular and were always busy.

Have a photo of my little sister looking all beautiful and shit
When we step inside, there never ever seems to be any customers around. It looks all casual, like there are friends dining out and helping each other manage the restaurant. They are always stood around the table and talking to each other and the workers don't seem to have a uniform or anything. When I was with my sister, there were about 3 or 4 other tables (I'm not sure if one was a customer or another friend or something) and I said, "Wow, this is the busiest I've seen this place."

The waitresses doesn't ever seem to be able to speak English well and I got the vibes they were used to getting mainly Thai customers or something. The service was bland and like they didn't try at all but I shall get onto that later.

Inside, it looked like the sunlight finds a hard time at getting inside and the lighting in general of the restaurant was dingy, so apologies for the crappy quality of the photos!

Taste and quality of the food: 3/5

I have gone to this place around 4/5 times and every single times I have been, there's always been something that wasn't right with the visit. They either get an order wrong or the food isn't how we've asked it to be.

Me working in a restaurant myself, I understand the standards the food and services should be so I do have a certain level of expectations. However, maybe the standards for this place may be set a little lower?

We wanted to go get coffees afterwards so we didn't want to spend any more money on drinks then we need to, so we  got water rather than fizzy drinks. Being winter and extremely cold, the water we received was lukewarm. I'm being horrible, aren't I? Criticising the water, aha! But in all honesty, how about some ice?

My sister ordered their lunch meal deal where she got chicken satay and a chicken pad Thai for £6.95. Her verdict was: the pad Thai tasted good but the chicken was cold and tough.

I ordered a tom yum prawns soup and a beef pad thai. The soup was warm. I don't know, soups are supposed to be piping hot when you get served them, right? Mine was warm and I had asked for it to be extra spicy because I love spicy food. It wasn't spicy in the slightest and bland.

This is what I absolutely detest about most Thai restaurants: they are too westernised. They think we cannot handle spicy food so even when the menu states it being a 'hot' dish with three chillies, it will come to you tasting like they didn't even put a single chilli in. Maybe it was because I spoke English so they assumed I can't handle spicy food but, regardless of who we are, if a customer specifically asks for something for their meal then I think you should oblige. If they do not like it or if it's not for them then at least it'll be their fault..

My beef was cold and also tough to chew, like my jaw started to hurt. In the end I couldn't finish the dish and left it,

Presentation 3/5
The inside of the restaurant had cushioned seats which was nice. Out of all the Thai restaurants I've been in I do have to say Thai Edge has the best decorations and presentation despite me not liking the place much because I used to work there and had a bad experience with the people, but I guess that's irrelevant.

I was going to give this a an average of 2.5 but I feel like maybe I've been super harsh already so I'll give it a 3.

Quality of service 2.5/5

I am actually so upset at how poor the service was. Honestly, Thai Aroy Dee had some pretty crappy service and the waitresses seriously didn't seem to give a crap about the customers or our dining experience but the quality of their food honestly made up for it.

The waitresses were no where to be found and we were not taken care of at all. No one came to ask us about the food and when we finished and were ready for the bill there was no worker in sight, my sister honestly had to get up and go hunt for one and ask for the bill.

Speed of service 3.5/5
Gibing this a 3.5 isn't a bad score I'd say but it's not good. With it being so empty all the time I don't understand why it has to take so long for the food to arrive. Moreover, the food we order rarely ever do arrive at the same time.

There were moments where we were like, "Ugh, ok where is our food?" But never to the extend where we were extremely upset.

Value for money 3/5

For the quality of the food they give us every time we visit the price is actually rather high. Plus, they charged me extra for the pad thai. I know I ordered beef but it was nowhere stated in the menu it would cost me (and it shouldn't). It says it costs £5.95 on the menu but I was charged £6.95. I honestly could not even be bothered to say anything about it so I paid and left with my sister.

Her personal verdict for this (she is a lot less picky than I am) is that the food seems to be a lot nicer when we have our mother with us as she can speak thai to them.

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