in the search for somewhere new, a cuisine i don't normally try and somewhere i don't usually venture, i thought i'd have a little peruse on tripadvisor. although living in the midlands means all the brilliant places of london are a bit of a trek, i'm lucky enough to live in a little pie of counties. leicestershire, derbyshire, warwickshire, west midlands, staffordshire and nottinghamshire are all just a short car journey away. mmm pie.
so long story short, i stumbled across this place which comes up as the numero uno restaurant out of 95 in burton on trent. (seriously go check out the reviews to see how much people are raving about it!) so did this become my "favourite thai"? well i can certainly see why everyone else loved it so much...
a friendly head waiter, who i came to find out was the father and owner of the family run restaurant, greeted us in traditional thai fashion with his palms together in a wai bow.
for starters, we went for crispy prawn won tons and spicy thai mussels.
the mussels were huge and just the right balance of spicy and fragrant. nicely presented as you can see and almost needed something to mop up the sauce. i can't get enough of the coriander and ginger combination.
moreish crunchy and crispy prawn rolls, with a must-have sweet chilli sauce. i always enjoy the shapes that restaurants sometimes make with veg, however sort of garish it looks at the same time. i really want to get better at making these as the best i've made is the end of a pak choi which is already pretty anyway.
this spicy carrot, peanut and sesame oil salad wasn't actually on the menu but we asked if they happened to make papaya salad and they rustled this up for us. a sign of a good restaurant i feel! they said if we fancied papaya salad another time to ring ahead and they would buy some in especially - even better :)
bring on the delicious, and again lovingly presented, mains. we went for the chef special seabass with sticky rice and tamarind roast duck with crispy noodles which i was told by the family's son that it is one of their most popular dishes. the fish dish had similar ginger, coriander and red chilli flavours to the mussels with a slight more lemony taste. i think plain sticky rice was great with this as not to effect the fragrant fish and soak up the delicious sauce.
my roast duck was beautifully crispy, almost like the coating of a katsu curry, with soft duck within. the noodles, which i'd never tried before, had an unusual texture which melted in the mouth like prawn crackers. they didn't really have much of a flavour but i didn't mind too much. again the family were really attentive throughout the meal and the father came to asked if we enjoyed our salad and what we thought of the popular duck dish. meanwhile, around five more tables were seated, half of which the family seemed to know by name!
in all, a stunning meal and a true little gem. favourite thai certainly lived upto its name and clearly has returning customers too. it's definitely made me consider using tripadvisor (alongside fellow foodie blogger recommendations of course) more often too :)
have you even been to favourite thai or are thinking of trying it out?