Winner Best Oriental in the Westside Restaurant Awards 2016
When it comes to dining out, Ecclesall Road is perhaps one of the most competitive streets in the city. You’ll find everything from pubs to pizza and burgers to barbecue as well as some well-known national chains too. So, to consistently stand head and shoulders above the best in your field is no mean achievement.
Take a bow Patoo Thai.
The popular and authentic south-east Asian eatery was opened six years ago by Jariya Sancunakorn and has been chosen as our Best Oriental Restaurant for the last three years. That’s some feat given the growing number of Asian restaurants in the city.
It’s not just the food or the service that make Patoo Thai stand out from the crowd, it’s the whole package as well as those all-important little details that often get overlooked. For example, proprietor Jariya regularly travels to her home country bringing back not just ideas but the delightful hand-painted tea sets and crockery you’ll find in the restaurant. The elephant-shaped teapots – filled with delicious jasmine tea – were just fantastic.
Jariya was a more than amiable host and, rather than go down the tried and tested route, we were happy for her encouragement and advice when it came to choosing what to eat. She pointed us in the direction of their specials, which change every couple of months.
Starters of duck spring rolls (£5.50) and a spicy scallop salad (£6.50) were well-chosen and washed down with Thai Singha beer (£3.50). The long spring rolls were meaty and moreish while the scallops, served in their shells, were deliciously fragrant, tender and well-complemented by a chilli sauce with just the right amount of heat.
Jariya insisted we try a yellow curry for mains, which gets its colour from the addition of curry powder. Apparently the green version gets its colour from fresh green chillies, red from the use of dried chillies – something I didn’t know beforehand. The chicken version (£9.95) had all the hallmarks of a good Thai curry – fresh, sweet, spicy – while the accompanying pad Thai gung (£8.95) and jasmine rice (£2.40) were just as they should be.
The stand-out dish was the Weeping Tiger (£14.95) – is there a better name for a dish? – tender slices of sirloin steak served on a sizzling platter in a sticky, sweet sauce made with coriander, garlic and black pepper. It smelled amazing and tasted just as good too.
Desserts often get overlooked in Asian restaurants but the Thai-inspired ice creams from Yee Kwan (£4.50 for two scoops) were just right. My wife particularly liked the lychee version.
Jasmine tea served in one of those wonderful elephant teapots was the perfect way to end a meal.
Patoo Thai, 607-609 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8PT.
Tel: 0114 266 8196 or 0114 267 1616