Everyone knows that one of the UK’s favourite dishes today is a good old Chicken Tikka Masala. Since those first curry houses started to make an impact several decades ago, Indian curries have had a place in both our hearts and our kitchens. Now though, there’s a new kid on the culinary block… Thai cuisine.
Up and down the country Thai food is now regarded as a firm favourite. If you stroll around any food market on a Saturday afternoon you’ll see great pots of bubbling Thai curry. The fragrant dish is always guaranteed to draw a crowd as it looks and tastes spectacular.
Even in supermarkets now you’ll find Thai curry pastes and all the herbs and spices needed to cook up a storm in your own home. The exotic ingredients such as lemon grass and that pungent fish sauce which not so long ago would only have been found in specialist shops are as easy to buy now as cornflakes.
So clearly there’s something about Thai cuisine that has made an impression. If you’re not a fan just yet or you haven’t got round to trying it then you’ve got a lot to look forward to. Prepare your palate for curries that are as hearty and hot as Indian curries but that tend to have a much lighter, more fragrant feel to them. Get ready too for such exciting dishes as Pad Thai, a stir-fried dish not a million miles off a Chinese Chicken Chow Mein, but with chilli, lime and peanuts to give it a very different character.
The best introduction to Thai food is of course an authentic Thai restaurant and in Birmingham we’re lucky enough to have plenty to choose from. Sabai Sabai has branches in Harborne and Moseley and can boast numerous awards such as Best Oriental Restaurant 2016 from the Birmingham Food and Drink Hospitality Awards. A restaurant and wine bar, the menu here is fantastic from start to finish. The starters include Papaya Salad and an excellent Soft Shell Crab that comes with apple and mango. The main courses cover classics such as Thai Green Curry and Beef Panang and there are some lovely fish dishes here too such as Seabass with Garlic and Pepper.
Over in Aston The Barton Arms also has some impressive Thai cooking on offer. Their Tom Kha is a rich soup made with coconut milk with a nice level of chilli heat- enough to wake you up a bit but not so much as to cause you any discomfort. As a main dish Nam Mun Hoi is a nice vegetable option or Tamarind Duck is a treat with its roast duck that is beautifully crisp.
If that’s got you excited then get out there and give it a try. Or if you’re already an expert on all things Thai then try this for more inspiration.