Sat proudly for over a decade in Worthing’s Bohemian ‘West End,’ Lemon Grass Thai is one of the seaside town’s best kept secrets. Locals flock to this contemporary restaurant, be it for a casual lunch, birthday celebration or romantic meal for two, all safe in the knowledge that whatever the occasion, they will receive innovative Thai cuisine with exceptional service.
Since the opening of this gem in Worthing’s culinary crown, the chefs at Lemon Grass Thai have spent years developing the exciting menu offered today, where old favourites sit side by side signature innovations.
Our visit to Lemon Grass Thai was a family affair lunch on a Bank Holiday Monday. I was joined by my husband and daughter – her very first Thai restaurant experience at the tender age of 18 months. The welcome we received was that of a long lost friend; warm, friendly and very helpful. Nothing was too much trouble, a high chair was ready and waiting for us, space had been allowed for the pram and a good portion of prawn crackers (a firm favourite now) was ready to greet us and pacify the youngest diner.
The restaurant is bright and airy, with pale hues creating a relaxing and calm environment to dine. The waiting team are helpful but never intrusive, willing to guide you in your menu choices, but leaving you space to enjoy the experience for yourself. We started our lunch with a smorgasbord of traditional Thai staple starters, known as the Lemon Grass Mixed Platter (for 2 people) at £11.95. This selection of vegetable spring rolls, prawn tempura, chicken satay, prawn toast and fish cakes, served with a variety of sauces is as much a feast for the eyes as it is the mouth. Each element of the dish was cooked to perfection, with crispy tempura, moist chicken in a comforting stay sauce and the fish cakes tasting fresh and infused with herbs and spices that sing in your mouth.
When it came to choosing our mains, we were happy to be guided by new owner Saidur Rahman, who is a mind full of information when it comes to his beloved new project and the cuisine he has a clear passion for.
The main courses on offer are as diverse and delicious as the starters. Ranging from traditional stir fries and curries to exquisite seafood dishes, this is where old meets new. Particular dishes of notoriety are the ‘Gaen Phed Ped Curry’ a chef’s speciality roasted duck red curry consisting of delicate slices of roasted duck in a spicy red curry sauce, coconut milk, tomatoes, lychees, sweet basil and lime leaves and the popular ‘Hoy shell pad kra prau’ (Hot and spicy stir fried scallops with fresh chilli, basil leave, garlic, onions, red peppers and long beans).
We decided to opt for a whole selection of dishes to enjoy between us. The ‘Gaeng mas-sa-man’, a beef Massaman curry made with new potatoes, simmered in coconut milk topped with cashew nuts and deep fried shallots, was simply divine. The beautifully tender beef in a comforting and fragrant sauce was enjoyed by the whole table, accompanied by a side of fresh broccoli doused in oyster and garlic sauce and the obligatory serving of Jasmine Rice. This is food that is well portioned and extremely well presented with carved vegetable sculptures adorning the plates, but what sets it apart from the rest is the freshness of the ingredients used. You can identify every herb or spice in each dish, lovingly fused together to create mind-blowing sauces and marinades. Additional dishes selected were the Thai classic ‘Chicken Pad Thai’, ‘Laab Kai’, a minced chicken salad with a feisty chilli kick and ‘Pad Prik’ (Stir fried beef with fresh onions, red peppers, spring onions and chilli). I’m a Thai food enthusiast and have worked my way round many a Thai restaurant, but these dishes were on another level. The chefs at Lemongrass are master craftsmen and this is so evident from the plates they produce.
Lemon Grass Thai offers a lengthy wine list that includes over 10 different bottles of red and white wines, suiting all budgets as well as traditional Thai desserts that provide the perfect finale to the theatrical and simply delicious gastronomical adventure.
In order to meet demand, Lemon Grass Thai are now open 7 days a week, for both dinner and lunch and offer both the a la carte menu as well as a special ‘3 Course Meal for Two’ deal for £21.95, which consists of a Mixed Starter for 2, plus any main from the a la carte menu and rice or noodle accompaniment (seafood, chef specials and grilled are £4.50 extra).
For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.lemongrassworthing.co.uk