Words by Anya Zervudachi
As I stepped though the doors of Street Thai in Brighton Square, out of the thoroughly miserable cold, wet British evening, had I shut my eyes, I could almost have believed I had been transported back to Thailand. Although, not entirely, due to the interior of the restaurant but by the exceptionally warm, and genuine smile that greeted us. We were welcomed into the restaurant by the familiar Thai greeting ‘Sa watdee ka’ and the delicious sweet and savoury smells that filled our senses.
The restaurant was beautifully warm and dimly lit, with candles to set a lovely relaxing atmosphere. As we reached our table and offered a selection of menus to browse, our damp jackets and scarves were taken and we found it warm enough to sit happily in our t-shirts.
Both my guest and I have spent a huge amount of time in south east Asia and we happily discussed how we could easily have been on Koh San Road, despite the freezing cold rain outside.
We admired the selection of traditional Thai condiments on our table and ordered a Chang beer to enjoy to get into the spirit of things.
We ordered some prawn crackers to sample whilst we browsed the menu, which were brought immediately. Perfectly crisp, well flavoured and served with both peanut and sweet chili sauces, which were an ideal accompaniment to the prawn crackers and went down only too well along with to our cold beers.
Street Thai offer a fantastic deal of 2 courses for just £8.95, but as we had both noted some of our old favourites on the main menu we decided to go all out.
To start we ordered Yum Mamuang Koong Pao (£6.25), a delicious green mango salad with grilled tiger prawns, toasted coconut flakes and cashew nuts in an aromatic dried chili sauce and Pad Pak Boong (£4.60), which is stir fried morning glory with chilies, garlic & soya bean paste in oyster sauce.
For our own mains we ordered Guai Teaw Tom Yum Gai (£6.75), a Spicy noodle soup served with grilled chicken and Pad Kra-Prao Gai Krob (£7.30), stir fried crispy Thai holy basil leaves with chicken, green beans, pepper, chilies & garlic.
We decided it only polite to sample some of the authentic cocktails they had on offer whilst we waited for our meal. I went for a classic Mojito, a combination of white rum, fresh mint, sugar and soda. My guest decided to go for something with slightly more Thai influence, a Lemongrass Lawan, made up of Mekhong Whisky, fresh lime and lemongrass.
Both cocktails were served long over ice, with the typical sweet and sharp flavours, and were deliciously refreshing. As our starters arrived both my guest and I were amazed with how authentically the dishes were presented. We were in no way disappointed, as the flavours in both dishes lived up to the presentation remarkably well.
The bitter green mango was crisp and fresh and the succulent king prawns char-grilled to perfection, the coconut adding a perfectly well balanced sweetness in to contrast the warming chili in the dark soy sauce.
I was aware that the stir-fried morning glory is more of a side dish than a starter itself but baring in mind the two courses I had to come, and this dish being one of my favourite Thai classics, I couldn’t resist ordering it. I would recommend it to go along side a meaty starter such a chicken satay, or to accompany your main meal. The morning glory was fresh, crunchy and perfectly cooked, served in a light sweet, garlic and chili sauce, a true flavour of Thailand.
After our starters were cleared we took our cue to order another cocktail. We both decided to go for a White Lady, which was a refreshing citrus inspired Martini style cocktail combining gin, Cointreau and lemon juice. I would recommend it as the perfect accompaniment to a curry dish as it had a beautiful sharp citrus tang that would cut through a rich curry exceptionally well.
Our mains arrived and again were a perfect tribute to true Thai cuisine. The noodle soup had a very clean fresh flavour with rice noodles being served in a light and spicy broth. It certainly felt like a more healthy option, combined with the grilled Chicken and wilted greens. The stir-fry, combining some of my favourite flavours of fish sauce, thai basil, fresh chili with moist chicken breast, fresh green and green peppers and green beans.
Despite both my guest and I insisting we were far too full to enjoy a dessert, we decided to have a browse and round off our meal with a delicious a liquor coffee whilst we admired the selection of desserts. After another half an hour of deliberation, we decided it only polite to share a little something, so ordered Lamai Green Tea Cheesecake (£4.50), which came served on a coconut base served with vanilla ice-cream. The cheesecake was sweet and creamy with a perfectly crunchy buttery biscuit base.
One thing I must mention that particularly stood out throughout the evening was the level of service at Street Thai. We were checked on regularly and all members of staff were exceptionally friendly and attentive. Overall, Street Thai exceeded all my expectations, we had a wonderful evening that left us feeling warm, satisfied and well looked after, easily comparable to an evening spent in Thailand. I will most certainly be going back next time I need a little break and can’t afford a flight to the real place.