Monday, June 22, 2009

20. Thai: The Swan Pub, Falmer

The Swan Pub
Middle Street
(near Brighton)
East Sussex
01273 681842

On the eve of Mid-Summer’s Day, Badgerman, King Blim, Mrs F., Cherry-eye Bob and I ventured to the Swan Pub in the north side of the A27-bisected village of Falmer in search of Thai food. Mrs F. and Cherry-eye Bob visit Thailand for at least two months a year and came with us in search of holiday memories. We navigated the many doors through the Saloon and Snug bars to the main pub and settled ourselves for and evening of food and chat.

The modestly presented menu listed a huge array of dishes: 10+ starters and 18 types of mains that came in six different meat or veg ways. Starters ranged from £1.90 for vegetable tempura to £3.80 for mussels and there are two mixed starter platters for two people priced £6.00 and £6.80. Being the social lot that we are, we chose to share a Mixed Seafood Starter (pictured left) Sesame Prawn Toast, Vegetable Tempura (pictured right) and Vegetable Spring Rolls. All came in good time. The Seafood Platter was yummy with filo wrapped prawns, mussels in tempura, spicy squid, fish fritters, sesame prawn toasts and flavoursome seafood crackers. All was well cooked and the tastes and textures complimented each other; I especially liked the spicy squid.

With the success of the starters on our palettes, we eagerly awaited the arrival of our main courses. Soon they arrived. Mrs F. really enjoyed her Vegetable Massaman Curry- coconut creamed curry with potatoes, carrots, onions and roasted peanuts priced at £4.20 (pictured left). She thought that is was very authentic (we later discovered that the Chefs are two Thai ladies) and it had her longing to be back in Thailand. King Blim and Cherry-eye Bob had the Chicken Red Curry with its coconut milk, sweet basil, palm sugar and piquant spices (£4.70). King Blim thought it was just a bit two spicy and Cherry-eye Bob would have preferred more spice; they will know to order it to their tastes, as mentioned on the menu, next time we visit. They did, however, very much agree that the Red Curry was very tasty and well prepared with good quality ingredients, as were all our dishes. Craving noodles, Badgerman ordered the Chicken Pad Ke Mao noodles and thoroughly enjoyed them. I would gladly return to have the Prawn Chuchi again (pictured right). It was creamy and spicy with loads of succulent, large prawns. All our dishes, with the exception of Badgerman’s noodles, were served with a mound of excellently cooked, fragrant rice. As delicious as our food was, I though that the presentation could be improved by replacing the bits of iceberg lettuce garnish with slices of cucumber or something similar.

The Swan serves good pub food every day, but serves Thai food on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There is plenty of parking and Falmer Station is a short walk away.

Our bill, excluding tip but with a round of drinks, came to £12 a head- excellent value! I love Thai food and kick myself when I think of the thousands of times I have passed below on the A27 but have taken so long to venture into the Swan.

Ambience: 2
Food presentation: 2
Food quality: 3.5
Service: 2
Value for money: 4

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