Ignore the 1 star hygiene rating, it's hands down the best Chinese restaurant in Leeds. With it's mostly Chinese clientele, and an authentic Chinese menu - complete with wonderfully stupid set menu names "First Date", "Courtship" and "True Love" - it should come as no surprise that the grub that is served up is deeeeelicious! And very good value for money too at that.
The only thing I'd knock it on would be the drinks selection, but with the above, and the great waiting staff and snazzy faux Chinese decor you'd be crazy to contemplate any other Chinese in the city centre.
Oh. My. Word.
If you're after decadence, this is your huckleberry. If you're after the cool slightly kitsch vibe, akin to Big Trouble In Little China, let's go Lopan hunting. (The weird columns with columns revealed underneath give me that impression.) If you're after a feast fit for warriors, modern ones who traverse the landscape of Leeds, then x marks the spot just here. I've been but the once, but that was enough to leave me yearning for more.
The occasion was a friend's birthday. Our initial options had failed us, and this was right there, so we chose to descend. Being about 3pm in the afternoon the place was entirely empty, so it was a little bit of an unusual experience. Even so, every member of staff was fantastic, and treated us beautifully. We ordered the Prosecco, as it was on an afternoon deal (I forget how much), and drank that whilst perusing the extensive menu.
Let me start by saying, if you're indecisive, brace yourself. There's hoards to decipher, and adventurous menu by all accounts, and even features frogs legs and birds nest soup. I was not so brave, and tried neither this visit, but as a personal challenge I think I should come back and give them a go. Our initial plan was to order several of the dishes under a fiver, and pick and mix. After listing about three dishes our waiter looked concerned and asked if we were still ordering more... We soon realised that four dishes was more than enough to feed a small army.
Forgive me for forgetting every single item, but let me attempt to describe them. We had a peppery fish soup, which was gelatinous and thick, and not really my thing. (Not a seafood fan, but my friend adored it.) We also had the salt and pepper chicken wings, which were plentiful, greasy, and really delicious. If you're watching your weight, avoid - napkins were used every time to clean off the oil from our fingers. We also had a delectable dish of mushrooms, that was incredible, and an unforgettable (I realise the irony of forgetting its name) dish of crispy spicy beef. This was the pièce de résistance - every mouthful was incredible, but eat it quick as it's tastier when it's hot.
Defeated, way before we finished, our lovely waiter asked if we'd like to take the remainder home - so never fear if you're one for waste not want not. Sadly, being as we were going for yet another birthday meal that evening, we couldn't take the food with us. On a more bizarre note, since the place was empty whilst we dined, it was curious that the waiting staff stood about 3 feet from our table during the whole meal. It didn't bother me, but I'm sure they could hear all the silly conversation we were having! Regardless, I imagine when full, this situation doesn't happen. (And as I mentioned before, they were all really lovely.)
In any case, once again I've written more than you could probably digest, mirroring my ordering style, so I'll leave it there. Essentially, this is a fantastic restaurant, with incredible menus, lovely staff, great lunch deals and really quirky cool décor. It's a new favourite, and I want to come back! Lunch, anyone?
Since this place hasn't been reviewed for a little while, I thought I'd post a review from my recent experience. I went on Monday night, and even though it was the day after the weekend and most people are probably hiding away at home, it was very busy--testament I think to how good the food is.
When we got there we got shown straight to our table. Service was good, they were always around if you needed them, and we got served our drinks nice and quickly (it had been a long day!). Now the menu. Be prepared if you are as indecisive about choosing food as I am ('am I picking the right thing?' is always running through my mind)--it is huge! Starters, cold starters, soups, seafood dishes, chicken dishes, beef dishes... the list goes on!
I *finally* (it took a while) managed to plump for the pork and prawn spring rolls, then GongBao diced chicken with peanuts and dried chillies with rice. My fellow diner went for the fillet steak rolls in sweet and spicy sauce and then braised sliced pork belly with preserved cabbage and rice. First of all, the food is amazing. I only wish my stomach was bigger so that I could have eaten it all!
Which leads me to my second point, the portions are huge. Be prepared, either order a bit less than you want (admittedly it's difficult to do that) or don't eat much that day if you're going! The waiter actually said to us that often one main course is enough for two.
Prices aren't cheap necessarily, just standard for Leeds, but great value for money considering the amount of food you get. They even brought us orange segments and hand wipes after our meal which I thought was a nice touch!
Overall, if you haven't been before, go try!
With a rather snazzy flier and a brilliant selection of food, Red Chilli is an Indian Takeaway just south of Armley on Lower Wortley Road. Sampling many an Indian takeaway in the area after moving away from the student area, trying this place was one of my better experiences.
With one of the greatest set menu displays I've ever seen, instead of having your meal planned out for you, you can choose your own main dishes, all they do is throw in a couple of drinks, 2 naans and rice and a tandoori mixed started, all at the brilliant price of £14.50. Everything is catered for and if you d the maths, it's a brilliant deal, and as I said, you need not surcome to the meals they choose just for a good price!
Peeking into the foot-level windows from the street outside, Red Chilli always felt a little "off-limits", like it was too secretive and cool for the likes of me. When I decided to go, the decidedly authentic menu put me off and I went elsewhere; on that night I was after some quick noodles before a gig, not a heaped portion of offal.
Now, finally, I have eaten at Red Chilli. And it was incredible.
The restaurant looks incredible from the moment you walk past the bar and tills. Dark, decadent and inviting, our party of 7 was seated at a circular table with plenty of room, still close enough to chat and share (courtesy of the lazy Susan).
The menu is varied and lengthy, with something for everyone, but maybe have a look online first if you're indecisive. It really is vast! Many of the meals are very authentic, but I stayed away from the various animal organs on offer.
I shared a starter with my girlfriend - a mountain of salt and pepper squid. I'd highly recommend this: they were cooked to perfection, really well seasoned and there's more than enough to share. Everyone who had a starter to themselves struggled! Just make sure you have a drink with this one!
I had a main course of crispy beef which was incredible and once again mountainous. My girlfriend had a great pork dish with pancakes, which I also tucked into. Hardly anyone on the table could finish their colossal portions, and that was without really touching more than a small bowl of the shared pot of fluffy rice on the table.
My only real complaint is that we had to ask literally FIVE TIMES for a jug of water for the table. It was so difficult to get the free water, but they were quick with any paid drinks. Maybe I'm cynical, but that seemed intentional. Additionally, the Chinese beers on the menu were out of stock, so it was Corona all round!
The staff were lovely, the surroundings were gorgeous and the food some of the nicest Chinese that I've ever had. Definitely recommended.
If you are looking for an authentic Chinese, then this certainly fits the bill! Absolutely fantastic food, with an extensive menu that caters to everyone. Plenty of meat, fish, vegetarian and side dishes, nobody will be going hungry here.
Fully recommend it, and will definitely be back!
Red Chilli has to be one of the best and most authentic Chinese restaurants around. I've been to plenty, some in the deepest hearts of Liverpool, Manchester and London's Chinatowns and Red Chilli is up there with them all.
It's a classy place, great location, good service (even though they don't take bookings for tables of two), superbly varied menu and most importantly - delicious.
It's not a cheap place, but it's also not overly expensive. Put it this way, I've never left feeling as if I've been hard done by.
Definitely in the top 10 restaurants in Leeds.
Proper tasty food. I was won over when I had a look at the menu online cos it listed everything in chinese too (that's got to mean it's good, right?).
We've just been for their set lunchtime menu (£8 for 3 courses, £11 if you have the 'executive' one, which means with king prawns or duck or fillet steak). We had the £11 one, and got a mahussive bowl of soup each (I had the chicken and sweetcorn), some spring rolls that were crispy and hot and delicious and not greasy and soggy like you'd expect, some delectable salt and pepper ribs, and then duck with black bean sauce and fillet steak with black pepper sauce. The only thing that put a downer on it was that we were in a hurry and forgot to mention that when we arrived, so we had six minutes to eat our mains. We'll be coming back with the rest of our department for a night out though as it was delicious and the decor was pretty swish too.
The Red Chilli Chinese Restaurant website says they have a mission: 'to enchance (sic) your experience in Chinese food, looking after your pocket, stomach and soul'.
I wouldn't say they did exactly that but it was my best Chinese food experience in Leeds.
The food was fine definitely better than average for Chinese in Leeds. However, I have to admit I had a bit of an upset stomach afterwards. Too many dumplings perhaps? Or maybe it was the squid? Or maybe it was just simple overindulgence!
Contrary to many of the other reviews, the service was fast bordering on too fast. There were a lot of service staff on the floor and they were very quick to take our orders and clean up our plates. I couldn't help feeling that my every move was being watched, but maybe I'm just paranoid about my haphazard chopstick skills in plain sight.
I'll probably be back but not in a hurry.
We went for:
Salt and pepper squid big serving for an entrée and quite tasty too
Beijing dumplings not bad for those in need of a dumpling hit
Guotie dumplings fried dumplings and very greasy
A chicken dish with chilli and peppers I've forgotten what it's called, but it was quite tasty
Quality authentic Mandarin chinese food (not the anglocised rubbish we're used to).
Fantastic food and reasonable prices
The most delicious Chinese food that I have ever tried in the UK. It's easy to find the restaurant. Also the service is nice. We ordered some traditional spicy food and had a very good time.
It's pay day so another excuse to go lord it about around the city again. So what have we got here near the clutches of the Electric Press. Oh nice, it's red Chilli.
There are so many different types of cuisines on hand in Leeds, it's hard not to eat around the world. So Beijing and Sichuan dishes sound like a plan to me, Stan.
It's a great venue especially for a gaggle of loud, over bearing girls. Not saying that's what my friends and I am but hey if the Yorkshire cap fits. With a nice traditional feel it's splattered with lots of red, black and mirrors to feel really cosy.
As for the menu...it's MASSIVE. When I say big, I'm not talking your fisherman's it was this big, I'm talking really really gigantic.
Delicious combinations of foods I've not really had before and even mock fish!?! No it's not a kipper impersonating a pig, it's vegetarian fish and oddly lovely.
You can set menu it up. A nice touch is their first date and courtship titled meals. Not sure they have one for nine pints of lager and a bit too drunk though.
The main selections of food expand and expand so you'll be able to go back and try something new for quite some time. Excellent service, cracking food and brilliant wine. What's not to love.
You people of Leeds are so lucky to have tis place on your doorstep. My friend took me here when I went to visit her one weekend and she knows about Chinese food. She speaks Mandarin and has lived there and pops back there from time to time (she is in fact there right now). She loves this place. So do all the members of the Chinese Department at Leeds University. So, you don't have to take my word for it.
We ate like kings!!! We had the best Chinese food I have ever had. Yes, the service is slow but it is charming and we had lots to talk about, so it didn't matter. The portions are sizeable - be warned. Try something new. I was just lucky that my friend knew the dishes on the menu and I left it to her.
And now I'm talking about it, I want to make arrangements to visit her again and take another trip to this place.
The place is dark with soft lights down on the tables, which would make an ideal place for a romantic evening.
PS Servings are massive, so go canny with the ordering!
I love Chinese food and this has to be the best place in Leeds for it! The dim sum is also very good and I love that the menu is quite traditionally Chinese instead of straight off a take away menu. No black bean sauce instead some interesting spicy sauces and whole prawns. Good atmosphere and well worth the money.
I have been here on 2 separate evenings, trying to give it a chance.
What struck me first is the amount of chinese people eating here. I took this to be a good sign. The menu is very chinese, not something i'm used to. Our order took a long time to come, both times, and we seemed to be servrd a lot slower than anyone else.
The food was very nice, and if you're not in a rush and don't mind poor service then go here!
One Saturday night I find myself wandering around Leeds at 9pm with my partner trying to find somewhere we can get a table. Leeds city centre is heaving and we should have made a reservation but somehow we have ended up in this situation. By chance we pass Red Chilli just to see if they could squeeze us in. We were in luck as they put us in the bar with a drink then came up 15 minutes later to show us to our table. The restaurant is downstairs in the basement and seems to have a tardis like quality, with mirrors strategically placed so I'm not entirely sure what is restaurant and what is reflection, although a couple of glasses of wine was probably contributing to it. My partner has this phobia of under ordering at restaurants and this was no occasion. Partially down to the menu being huge and partially down to being a bit pissed we ordered enough food for six. The portion sizes are huge and the food is really tasty we waddled out with a doggy bag with enough left over for lunch for three the next day.
Top Chinese restaurant for all you people who can eat spicy food! You can ask them to tone it down if you wish. The restaurant is nice and clean with a great atmosphere. The lamb and coriander dish is my favourite!
Red Chilli 2 used to be my favourite chinese restaurant. Notice the words 'used to be'!!!! While the service is and was never very good - the waiters and waitresses are efficient but always miserable - the food was always unusual, very tasty and well made. My partner and i visited a week or so ago to treat ourselves, only to be serverly let down! Since our last visit and the one previous, it seems red chilli have drastically reduced the quality of their ingredients - the meat had a lot more gristle in it to the point that my jaw ached from chewing, the satay sauce had changed from a genuine peanut sauce to some type of cheap 'day glow' concotion! All this, and they still expect customers to pay the same high prices and put up with thier moody staff. I won't be wasting £80 here again.
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