You’ve probably driven past this pub and Thai restaurant - but what is its food like?
- Credit: Lauren Cope
After five months of eating at home, I’ve dipped my toe into the world of dining out (not literally, I’m not sure that’s Covid-friendly).
And having driven past The Kings Head in Blofield plenty of times, it felt like high time to give it a try.
The pub is pretty hard to miss, sat by the road at a well-used junction, and with a big beer garden it’s a popular spot for locals.
Work commitments meant we booked an early weeknight table, and for much of our meal we had the restaurant to ourselves (very Covid-friendly).
It’s a fairly concise menu of curry, stir-fried, noodle and ‘sizzling’ dishes, and in the interests of variety we chose the Spice Merchant set menu, for £21 a head for at least two people.
It kicks off with a sharing platter of four starters, including goong chup, crispy tiger prawns in tempura batter and breadcrumbs, which were fresh and meaty.
There’s also satay gai (skewers of grilled chicken) and popia jay (vegetable rolls), ideal for dipping in the mildly spicy peanut and sweet chilli sauces.
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But the highlight was the muk chup (battered salt and pepper squid), which was light, well-seasoned and tender. No gnawing through rubbery squid.
Our main dishes arrived soon after, plates piled high with noodles, rice and vegetables - kaeng daeng goong (Thai red curry with tiger prawns and pineapple), pad krapraw gai (stir-fried chicken with green beans), pad broccoli (stir-fried broccoli with shiitake mushrooms), steamed Jasmine rice and pad Thai chicken (stir-fried noodles with egg, chicken and crushed peanuts).
The red curry was creamy and spicy, the pineapple giving the welcome sour tang, while the broccoli was incredibly smokey (I’ve had barbecued food which was less smokey) and very moreish.
The pad Thai noodles were silky soft, in a slightly sweet and sour sauce and finished with the flavour and crunch of peanuts, and the stir-fried chicken was spicy, salty and with the aromatic flavour of Thai holy basil.
Thai food is known for its spice, and some of the dishes certainly had a kick to them, but they weren’t overwhelming (for context: I’m a ‘medium’ Nando’s order).
The Kings Head does do desserts - they had options including crème brûlée and apple crumble - but we decided against it.
I tried to think of a more eloquent way of describing The Kings Head, but it does feel right in the middle of a traditional village pub and a Thai restaurant - a nice mix of cosy pub and a special meal out.
We ate early - work commitments meant we booked at 5.30pm - but a family did arrive as we were eating. I’d like to return on a busier evening for the atmosphere.
Social distancing has clearly been made a priority - each table has a hand sanitiser dispenser, there are signs on the wall asking for contactless payments and the floor is marked out with one-way systems.
Good value - our bill, including two drinks, cost £48, which for the quality and portion size felt reasonable.
It’s a pub, so there’s plenty to choose from. My partner had a half of Woodforde’s Wherry and I had a medium glass of Merlot, which was fruity and full-bodied.
Clean and fine, with social distancing measures in place.
It’s a big space and there are no steps to get in, so it is accessible. For vegans and vegetarians there are tofu options for most dishes, and for youngsters who might not be as keen on Thai dishes, there’s also a selection of English options.
There’s a large car park at the pub.
Friendly, but they kept a distance, appropriate given the climate.
The main dishes really were jam-packed with flavour. If I had to pick one again, it’d probably be the broccoli or the pad krapraw gai.
I’d love to revisit when it’s a bit busier and there’s more of an atmosphere - our need for an early bird booking meant it felt fairly quiet. It’s a welcoming space and the food is excellent, so I can see why it’s become so popular with locals.
The Kings Head can be found at 39 Yarmouth Road, Blofield, Norwich NR13 4LE
• Three things to try
Muk chip - lightly battered salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli sauce (£6.25 on its own)
Pad Thai - the traditional Thai stir-fry dish (£9.50 on its own with prawns, £8.95 for chicken and £8.50 for tofu)
Pad broccoli - Shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and ginger in soy sauce (£7.50 on its own)
• If you liked that, try these
Thailand, Ring Road, Thorpe St Andrew
Norwich’s first Thai restaurant was opened by the Kidd family in 1986. It’s an upmarket Thai restaurant which is perfect for a special occasion.
Ordnance Arms, Fakenham
You’ve probably passed this spot on the way to Fakenham, but it’s a Thai restaurant and pub which receives rave reviews.
The Green Dragon, Wymondham
If you’re after a popular local with a decent-sized beer garden and good food, you won’t go far wrong with the Green Dragon.
Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited.
The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer.
The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications