7 Thai restaurants to try in Norfolk
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Thai New Year is coming (April 13 to 15)- here are some restaurant recommendations to whet your appetite.
The Crawfish Inn, Thursford
You may have driven past this pub on the way to the Christmas Spectacular. In fact, you may have stopped in for a bite to eat. If you haven't, and you find yourself out this way on the A148 near Fakenham, give it a look. Regular visitors love the unfussy ambiance and menu of Thai steamed pork dumplings, popular Panang curry, and lightly battered cod fillet stir-fried with the chef's own chilli paste, beans, mushrooms, lime leaves and lemongrass.
Bann Thai, Cromer
Small but inviting, guests of this restaurant hold it up as a 'little gem', saying it's 'consistently good', 'exceptional' even. The kitchen team regularly go back to Thailand to ensure the menu takes into account any of the trends and changes happening in the ancient cuisine. Vegetarians will rejoice at the huge variety available to them, made with mock duck, tofy, Quorn or vegetables. And there are some more unusual choices too – check out the pastry parcels filled with brie, mozzarella and basil with plum sauce. Other recommendations are the crispy fried rice with homemade peanut sauce, and spicy salad of fried fish in a fresh chilli sauce with lime, mint, red onion, lemongrass and coriander.
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The Ordnance Arms, Guist
This freehouse near Fakenham is somewhat of an unexpected find, which diners say is 'gorgeous' and 'a very special place'. While some may find the interior a little garish, when it comes to the food it seems there is little to complain about. Fill up on boneless chicken wings stuffed with minced pork, glass noodles and mushrooms. Sample king prawns stir-fried with the pub's own blend of shallots, garlic, chillies, shrimp and palm sugar with long beans. Or play it a bit safe with the ayam perchick – marinated and char-grilled chicken breast supreme topped with lemongrass and coconut milk and served with a peanut sauce.
The House, Norwich
Centrally found near St Stephen's roundabout, this almost Scandi-feel restaurant is a perfect stop off for families wanting something a bit different for lunch in the city. There are various house specials you simply have to try. The weeping tiger, for example, pairs charred steak with a spicy Thai garnish on a bed of refreshing, crunchy pak choi.
Aromatic duck is served with crispy greens and a tangy tamarind sauce.
And baked king prawns and vermicelli noodles are accompanied in a Thai clay pot by ginger, coriander root and shitake mushrooms in a soy-heavy sauce.
Thailand Restaurant, Norwich
Our reviewer was here late last year, saying it was 'relaxed but special'. Thailand was the first restaurant of its kind when it was built three decades ago. It's won an AA rosette every year since 2007, and continues to delight diners with its romantic setting (think lots of greenery, wood carvings, candles and linen set tables) and excellent food.
Start with the kratong tong – a blend of chicken, prawns and sweetcorn sautéed and served in edible baskets. With this, how about Onuma's own special recipe of fried chicken and pork, beansprouts and clear noodles in spring roll wrappers with plum sauce? Spare ribs, Thai style, fall off the bone as you take a bite. And you cannot go home without sampling a daily staple of pad Thai. Eaten almost daily by many people in Thailand, this sees prime pork fried with Thai rice sticks, dried shrimp, egg, crushed peanuts, beansprouts, spring onions, herbs and spices.
Be prepared to dig deep – this place is at the pricier end of the market. Main courses will set you back an average of £13 to £18.
The Vine, Norwich
Get your chops around proper Thai food in the city's smallest pub, set just off of the award-winning market. Combine a pint of one of Norfolk's finest ales with nibbles of deep fried pork or beef with hot chilli sauce, or lightly battered calamari with garlic, spring onion, coriander, rice wine and chilli.
Tumrup Thai, Wymondham
'The best Thai around' and 'excellent' say reviewers of this place, which has new owners, and a wonderful array of both classic and modern dishes on its menu.
We were recommended the Thai dumplings of marinated minced pork and prawns wrapped in pastry, and the fishcakes of minced cod, red curry paste, Kaffir lime leaves and green beans. If you're taking a big appetite with you, prepare to feast on lamb shank, cooked Massaman style in a thick sauce of coconut, tomato, onion and cashew nuts. Or go for something a bit more delicate, with the bric-a-brac Tumrup Thai noodles - a tumble of seafood, beef, chicken and pork, spring onions, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts with homemade Thai sauce.