Though a series of Siberian winters and pathetic summers have dulled any recollection of it, in 2006 Great Britain had a heat wave. The temperature in Nottingham at the time, however, was already on the rise with the opening of a new restaurant, Tarn Thai. Despite being 5931 miles from Bangkok, this restaurant, nestled in George Street, provides anyone with an appetite for authentic Thai cuisine with the opportunity for indulgence.
No sense will be left neglected; the welcoming smell of exotic spices and lime is testimony to the decades of experience the Thai chefs here have accumulated. The scenic interior, adorned with art and water features, successfully captures some of Thailand’s natural beauty. Soothing music and chairs with silk linings and cushions ensure a state of perfect relaxation. Staff are impeccably dressed and their constant presence is reassuring – your water glass will never be empty.
The menu is quite extensive, to the point that it will provide even the most decisive of diners a few moments of self-doubt. The lunchtime deal provides two courses and a choice of tea or coffee for only £7.95. Of twelve starters, a real favourite is Gai Hor Bai Teuy, which translates to ‘marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves’. It’s fun, messy and tastes exquisite.
For the main course, the menu divides into sections of beef, pork, chicken and duck. There are also a number of vegetarian substitute options. Each is accompanied by sticky white rice shaped in a heart or flower, and a mini salad with rose shaped carrots. The effort is very touching; I can’t think of any better form of art than an edible one. Flavours are so meticulously balanced that you can taste the individual ingredients, and even the fussiest of family palettes won’t fail to appreciate the delicate fusions of flavour.
A little advice regarding desserts: skim the options advertising funny banana and rice pudding concoctions and choose three scoops of ice cream. Silky texture and incredible flavour aside, they are presented with fruit, pink sprinkles and extra cream – an unexpected and absolute delight. For a graduation meal, whether you come with friends or family, for lunch or dinner, if you want to sample the finest, best value Thai food, book Tarn Thai.