Saturday, November 15, 2008

10. Thailand: The River Thai Restaurant

The River Thai Restaurant
45 the Broadway,
Haywards Heath,
West Sussex
RH16 3AS
01444 412731

Badgerman and I were in the Haywards Heath area on a family errand and Christmas shopping on a Saturday when lunchtime arrived and on recommendations from work colleagues, we found ourselves looking for the River Thai on The Broadway. We were greeted and seated politely and quickly. The interior is strikingly decorated; it’s an elegant mix of modern stylish patterning and traditional opulence.

The £6.50, two-course lunch menu available from 12:00- 3:00, Monday through Saturday brought us in. From the seven, varied starters we both chose Tom Yam Gui: hot chicken soup. It arrived quickly steaming hot, spicy, packed full of delicious chicken breast pieces, slivers of lemon grass, mushrooms and the best, the very best soup stock I have ever tasted! We shared our mains, choosing Gai Muang: chicken with cashews and dry chilli and Nam Man Hoi: stir fried beef in oyster sauce, from the nine mains offered. With the exception of the Pad Thai noodles, each main comes with your choice of noodles or rice. We chose noodles with the chicken and rice with the beef. Both dishes were just delicious. The cashews in the Gai Muang were toasted, complimenting the flavour of the perfectly cooked chicken and vegetables. The chilli beef also had plenty of veg. with it and was yummy, but the jasmine rice was a real treat. It was very small, fine grained, perfectly cooked with a delicate flavour not usually found in plain, accompanying rice.

Perusing the dessert menu, (£3.50 to £4.25) with tempting items such as passion fruit and mango sorbet, coconut ice-cream served in its shell and Thai pancakes; we were pleased that we had both left room. We both chose the caramel parfait (£3.50), caramel ice-cream covered in milk chocolate that was prettily presented with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. For a ‘brought in’ dessert it was really good, and had Badgerman and I unceremoniously scraping our plates to get all the last melty smears.

We drank pots of attentively replenished Jasmin tea, very crisp sparking water served with lime slices and I chose a refreshing glass of medium, white Monsoon Valley Wine (£2.80 for 175ml). The Wine list has an interesting array of New and Old World wines, some served by the glass and ranging from £10.90 –£22.50 a bottle. There are also Champagnes on offer if your tastes and pocket run that way.

We looked at the interesting Christmas menu priced at £30.00 a head for starters, soup, mains, noodles or rice, dessert and tea of coffee and thought that this would be an excellent place for a works do or for a gang of friends to visit. They also have a function room for larger parties and what are the cleanest restaurant loos I have seen for a while.

Our bill for three courses and drinks came to £28.75 excluding tip.

Ambience: 3
Food Presentation: 3
Food Quality: 4
Service: 4
Value for money: 3

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A return visit with a work colleague showed the food service and overall experience to be as equally good this time. If fact, maybe even better as the staff recognised me and were very friendly and talked more about the food and how it was made. Dec 2008