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Can't afford a trip to Thailand? Let Thai cuisine come to you
For some reason, I never expected the best lamb I’ve ever tasted to be served in a Thai restaurant.
Green curry is usually the only dish which springs to mind when I think of Thailand’s cuisine – perhaps because I haven’t been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful country.
But luckily for me, Thailand has come to us instead.
Bromley’s brand new restaurant, Nam Thai, prides itself in serving authentic, freshly prepared, top quality dishes.
And I can’t imagine the food tastes any better in Asia itself.
The eclectic menu offers an array of exciting options, from spicy fish cakes and soups, to soft shell crab and sirloin steak – it is worlds away from just rice and noodles.
To start with, we were treated to the Nam Thai Platter (£5.95 per person).
This colourful feast includes chicken satay, crispy spring rolls and fish cakes.
We were also given the papaya salad (£5.95), which is apparently one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, and it’s not hard to see why.
Refreshing and tangy, the shredded green papaya, lightly pounded with spices, had a real kick to it.
Designed to “waken the palate,” it certainly does that – in fact, it shocks it to life with an incredibly tasty bang.
One of my favourite things about Thai cooking is the zealous use of peanuts, perfect for adding texture to dishes.
As well as our zingy salad, nuts featured in the Pad Thai Koong (£6.45) and the best lamb of my life – but I’ll come to that in a minute.
Pad Thai is considered the unofficial national dish of Thailand.
A stir fried mixture of egg, rice noodles, bean sprouts, spring onions and prawns with crushed peanuts and lemon, this soothing favourite ideal to eat with a spicy main.
And there are plenty of healthy stir fries to choose from.
We tried one with chicken, mixed peppers, onion, chilli and spices.
I made the fiery error of crunching down on a huge piece of chilli – but the watery eyes and sweating brow could easily have been avoided.
The owner proudly told us the reason he loves Thai cooking is you can see pieces of chilli and choose not to eat them, whereas other world cuisine tend to use hot pastes more, from which there is no escape.
Hopefully, you will already be inspired to visit Nam Thai.
But if not, this should do the trick.
Not only did the Lamb Massaman (£14.50) look beautiful, it fell off the bone and melted like butter in my mouth.
The slowly cooked lamb shank in Massaman curry with peanuts, potatoes and carrots is one of the house specialties.
My friend and I are still talking about this outstanding dish nearly a week later.
Simply thinking about it makes my mouth water.
If I didn’t give a damn about my figure, I would eat it every day – but maybe it’s better to have an extra special treat to look forward to once in a while.
If you have a sweet tooth, a wonderful happy ending to this feast is fresh mango with ice cream.
Trust me, you can’t go wrong at Nam Thai.