The diminutive space that was The Old Steps and which for the last nine months or so has been My Thai @The Old Steps, has a strong connection for Leeds-based journalists, myself included, in that most of the leaving dos (of which there have been more than a few in recent years) used to be held there.
The reason was it was co-owned by a former hack and what can I say, we all know how the world works…
That’s not to say journos were its stock-in-trade. The place had a formidable French chef who used to knock out tantalising bespoke dishes from the tiny kitchen.
Anyway, all that is water under the bridge because now its under new ownership and where previously it was a bar with a restaurant, now it’s a restaurant with a bar. My Thai has opened up the kitchen by knocking out one of the walls.
Aside from new snazzy cushions and sundry oversized jars of eastern produce on the shelves, everything else is pretty much the same.
The menu is nice and compact, they have a decent selection of beers, although none on draft when I call, a Tuesday around midday.
So, I order a Chang for around £3.30, which has a nice rounded flavour and good depth.
Food-wise, I ordered Kra Pow Moo Krob: spicy crispy pork with holy basil over rice (£6.50) and topped with a fried egg for an extra £1.
The food was ready within minutes of ordering and piping hot, aromatic steam billowing up from the bowl - perfect.
With some Thai dishes, it’s sometimes a game of ‘hunt the meat’ but not here, there were nice crispy bits of pork in just about every mouthful, plus peppers and basil over rice which was done just right, having a slight stickiness to it, having taken on some of the sauce.
For around ten minutes, I was the only one in the place but toward the end of my stay, it busied up, with a group of three having reserved a table and moments later a group of seven students arriving, so, obviously, the word is already out.
My Thai is a great little restaurant and certainly ticks the ‘quirky’ box. It’s intimacy is one of its strong points, as is service and I had no complaints about the food.
Downsides: well, the draft beer wasn’t on when I went and they have a minimum £20 spend on card, which meant I was forced to ‘upspend’ to the limit, which meant them giving me three more beers to take away.
Overall, for small venue it’s one to keep on your list of easy-going, fast, efficient places to visit and the matire’d is obviously on good terms with her clientele, judging by the banter she was having with some of them.
My Thai @ The Old Steps
Address: 26 York Place, LS1 2EY
Tel: 0113 2450482