Phranakhon review: a hidden gem of the Leeds food scene serving moreish Thai tapas

I only had myself to blame as I descended the stone steps into Phranakhon on one of the brightest evenings August in Leeds has to offer.
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With a more thorough glance at Google I would have learned that the basement restaurant prides itself on its cosy, intimate vibe.

Truthfully, though, I saw the concept ‘Thai tapas’ among some of the top-rated Asian eateries in the city and was instantly persuaded to try it - and I’m so glad that I did.

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I love tapas food, its communality, its freedom, the opportunity for experimenting and combining flavours - with an incredibly large selection of small plates on offer, divided into pork, greens, curries, sides, fried dishes and ‘Phranakhon delights’, you can guarantee that no two tables will enjoy the same meal.

My companion and I kick off proceedings with a Thai staple - a cold Chang beer, which we drink straight from the bottle - often my preference regardless, but it soon becomes essential as our table is stuffed with delicious bites.

Priced between seven and eight pounds, the food is neatly presented with colour and attention to detail - glimmering limes, crispy onions and sprinkled nut garnishes.

Our favourite dish is the crunchy wings - sticky, sweet chicken cut through with an invigorating chilli - and neither the thai red curry or pad thai disappoint.

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We order six dishes to share between two, but five would have been enough as the portion sizes are generous. It’s hard to stop picking after we are full as it’s all so moreish, but the wonderful waiters - attentive, efficient, with beautiful smiles - are happy for us to take our leftovers home.

Phranakhon is the perfect spot to celebrate an occasion - on our visit, the sight of a sparkler-laden cake prompted the restaurant to erupt with a jolly rendition of ‘happy birthday’ - or for a lovely weekday meal with a partner or friend.

Surrounded by exposed brickwork, warm wooden furnishing and light fittings that are nothing short of stunning, it was easy, in the end, to justify swapping out a hot summer evening for the cheerful embrace of the restaurant.

Wedged between male grooming centres and estate agents on York Place, the underground restaurant is a little off the beaten track but a real hidden gem of the Leeds food scene.

Address: 11 York Pl, Leeds LS1 2DS

Telephone: 0113 244 2111

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, noon-10pm

Food/drinks: 9

Value: 8

Atmosphere: 10

Service: 10

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