Thursday, 16 April 2015

Cheap Eats in Leeds: Red Chilli

(A very special guest post today from my partner in [calorie] crime!  For previous Cheap Eats in Leeds posts see here and here...)

Hi, D here, I'm being allowed to say a few words with regards last night's "failed" cheap night out.

The plan was to take S to Nation of Shopkeepers which is my current favourite place in Leeds for a burger; the less said about Leeds List's top ranked New York Burger Kitchen the better - or maybe it's a story for another time, who knows.

We arrived a little later than we would normally have supper (look at me being posh, I'm Northern so normally I'd say tea when I obviously mean dinner for most people) but not so late as to...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

So we arrived at NOS and I sent S to find a table while I ordered the drinks which was both a smart move and a mistake because once they had been served I proceeded to make my food order and...

Barman: "I'm sorry, the kitchen closed early tonight."
Me: "!!!"
Barman: "Did you only come in for the food?"
Me: "Yes we did."
Barman: "The drinks are on us then."
Me:  "Are you sure?"  (Free drinks!  Living the dream!)
Barman: "Yes."
Me: "Thank you,"  (Result!)

Of course now we needed to work out where to eat.  We contemplated Almost Famous which is situated next door and the burgers looked good apart from that "Shut Up America" abomination (Oreo ice cream sandwiches are NOT burger toppings) but as I was determined to get S to try the NOS burger first I thought something else made more sense.

And thus it was that we made the short trip over the road to Red Chilli, somewhere I'd visited previously.  I must admit that we didn't keep the cost under £30 (the self imposed limit for Cheap Eats) but we could have managed it if we had shared a single main which would have been more than enough for the two of us.  As if was, S took a lot of hers home in a doggy bag.

Anyway, the waitress came over to take our order and S went for salt and pepper squid to start followed by a Beijing style tofu main.  Then something happened that I have never encountered before.  I asked for a portion of duck tongues to start and the waitress said no!...

Waitress: "You should have the chicken dish," (pointing to the item next to the duck tongues.
Me: "I'd like the duck tongues please."
Waitress: "Have you had them before?"
Me: "No."
Waitress: "They're cold and bony."
Me: "I'd like the duck tongues please."
Waitress.  "They're not really for you.  There are other dishes that you might like."
Me: "!!" (Is she saying they're only for Chinese people?)

Now I should tell you - there are ways of getting me not to do something but telling me that I can't do it is not one of them.

Me: "I'd like the duck tongues please."

At this point she finally took my order and didn't seem to have any quarrel with the mutton dish or the egg fried rice that I ordered for us to share.

(I'm sorry, this was supposed to be a few words and I've already written quite a bit, perhaps the editor will cut some of this out (Ed:  Nah, people are plenty used to me rambling on...)

So the dishes arrived and the duck tongues turned out to be both fiddly to eat and delicious.  There is no easy or polite way to despatch them - I was covered in duck juices, fat and hot sauce.  The sauce was tasty but fiery, and it was a cumulative kind of heat - my mouth was tingling by the end of the starter, and for a good while afterwards.  If you don't mind eating like a caveman and enjoy heat than I can recommend these wholeheartedly.

Duck tongues
 Meanwhile, the salt and pepper squid was a fine example of the genre, nicely peppery and cooked to perfection.

As for mains, the tofu dish was OK but I prefer our own black pepper tofu which is actually a Yotam Ottolenghi dish.  My mutton was lovely so all in all I think that I preferred my dishes - man like meat as S might say.

Mutton, tofu
We settled up and then headed for home with very full stomachs to watch Masterchef (which we both agree is not shaping up to be a vintage year).

The End.

Thanks for letting me say a few words....


(As for my two penn'orth - I love this place.  The menu is so interesting with a variety of dishes that go well over and above the usual suspects.  I can't tell if it is genuinely authentic - I've never been to China - but it doesn't seem overly Anglicised.  As D said, it is easy to do cheaply as well - the portions are such that one starter, one main and one side would feed two people pretty easily.  Highly recommended.)

Red Chilli
6 Great George Street
0113 242 9688

1 comment:

  1. Hi D!

    I would rather eat tofu than ducks tongues - and my own arm over those two (cold and bony *shudder*)! I credit you for bravery and salute your stubbornness!