Dining Out: Thai Thai, Chesterfield

Touchdown in Thailand…without leaving town!

When the food is nothing short of magical, it is rare for the ambience to leave a lasting impression as well – but such is the case with the Thai Thai Restaurant in Chesterfield.

First appearance is deceptive, as the entrance on Lordsmill Street is close to a garage and busy roundabout. But this superb restaurant should not be overlooked. Once you’ve walked up to the restaurant, a dreary Chesterfield November night ebbs away, and a beautiful and sunny Thailand comes into sharp focus – at least for the duration of your visit.

Aromatic, fragrant smells and the opulent décor immediately greet you on arrival. Authenticity is at the heart of everything. The artefacts, the eclectic wooden carvings, the staff in their traditional silk, the customary paintings, the majestic murals, the khantok-style dining area, and the plaster sculptures make you feel that you’ve landed in the far away Land of Smiles.

New owners, Chairat Kongkasmut, Tuschara Kiewpukdee and Master Chef, Kai Supawavee, have created a welcoming fusion of cultures in which to enjoy authentic Thai dining in a cosy environment.

Chairat, who worked at the restaurant previously and has a vast wealth of experience, is clearly passionate about the new venture. “We aim to deliver a unique and superb dining experience, in authentic surroundings, where customers will be met with the very best of Thai hospitality and service!” he said.

This haven-like Shangri-La has a beautifully-appointed restaurant, which certainly lives up to the promise. The team of genuine Thai chefs, headed by Kai, begin weaving their magic and bringing a taste of Thailand to the table. 

Fusing culinary imagination with fine Thai cuisine, the restaurant’s new menu delivers a sophisticated edge to Thai dining, by offering a mix of eclectic and contemporary dishes inspired by the tastes from across the Thai regions.  

Soon the aroma of succulent Thai cuisine and the profusion of exotic flavours and fragrances takes over.

After sampling Thai rice crackers and dips, my colleague and I embarked on our sharing starter – a vegetarian mixed platter, which comprised vegetable spring roll, sweet corn cake, vegetable parcel, deep fried beer battered vegetable and crispy noodles, all served with a variety of sauces. Rather refreshingly, the extensive menu has a good choice of vegetarian options. Customers familiar with Thai food will be delighted with the selections and if you have not yet sampled this type of cuisine you simply owe it to yourself to try it – you will not be disappointed! 

It’s soon apparant how well authentic Thai cuisine artfully combines all tastes and aromas, skilfully balances the sweet, salty, hot and sour and therefore fully deserves its reputation as one of the best cuisines in the world.  

For main course, we were treated to a wide variety of dishes, including chicken red curry (Gaeng Daeng), pork jungle curry (Gaeng Pa), Prawn stir curry (Kung Pad Karee) and Chicken Pad thai noodles (Guay Tiew Pud Thai Kai). 

The juggling of different ingredients to create a harmonious finish was at the heart of all these delicious dishes. There’s a magical Thai tendancy to blend contrasting tastes – sweet, sour, spicy, salty and even bitter textures, that balance of sweet and salty, sour and bitter, heavy and light, cooling and heating, fresh herbs and fermented soy, summer and spring, the yin and the yang, and the all-powerful curry pastes. The result was a delicious and robust taste with delicate undertones and lots of personality, all freshly cooked to order; flavours to relish with aromatic herbs and spices that entice; personal creations of unforgettable Thai food. 

Kai uses combinations of garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chillies, kaffir lime, galangal, fish sauce and coconut milk in her recipes to ensure that each dish is an explosion of intoxicating tastes. From Tom Yam Hed soup and Pad Thai noodles to stir fry meat and red curry, these classic dishes offer a well-balanced mixture of fiery exotic flavours and fragrances unlike any other in the international fare spectrum. There are a ton of Thai places that may boast a menu full of true Bangkok tastes. But at the Thai Thai Restaurant the proof really is in the pudding!

Our truly memorable dining experience was rounded with (just!) three desserts – banana fritters, lychees and sticky rice ice cream. A perfect finish to a perfect meal!

The Thai Thai restaurant caters for everyone, including couples, groups and families. The restaurant is open for lunches and evening meals, seven days a week, apart from Monday lunchtime, and is fully licensed. As well as the ‘al a carte’ menu there is also a choice of set meals all of which represent great value for money! 

There’s also a take away and delivery service. 

Chairat and his team are also delighted to offer a unique and wonderful sensory experience every  Wednesday evening at their “Thai Thai Curry Night”.A mouth-watering array of curries are available from different regions across Thailand. They vary from traditional curries to less well-known ones unique to this restaurant. Reasonably priced at only £16.95 per person,  you can eat as much as you like. 

For opening hours, menus and reservations visit: www.thaithairestaurant.uk

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