I had previously criticised Thailand No.1 in Lincoln for being rather “generic pan-Asian” and not truly Thai. When dining recently in one of my favourite restaurants around, the Bangkok House in Oxford, I realised my previous comments may be slightly hypocritical, though to be fair Bangkok House is solidly towards the Thai end of the spectrum.
I also have to declare a slight bias; I have been coming here for nigh-on 15 years; this is a place of many memories and that, invariably, works in their favour.
In any event, you get the standard gruff Asian service; to me, this is all part of the charm of dining out in a Thai restaurant, however much it may irritate others. The mixed starter is standard asian fayre (sweet and sour chicken ball, prawn in filo, fish cake, satay), but very well executed with the fun of a little burner to chargrill your satay skewers on.
The array of mains is tantalising, though I’ve been having duck pad prik (duck in a chilli and ginger sauce) for nigh-on 15 years and wasn’t going to change; my friend had a chicken red curry and we shared rice and a pad thai – all of it was very well executed, full of meat (which makes it even better value than you’d consider on the headline prices) and very tasty.
All of that makes this a solid restaurant; but to this you have to add the stunning architectural features. Wooden beams and split levels with ornate bannisters and intricately carved tables;
In any event, this is one of the most solidly good Thai restaurants around and if you find yourself in the area, it is well worth a visit. But remember, this is a place for experiences, not just quick dining and the fun is magnified in groups.
P.S They have introduced towers of beer; essentially kegs at your table. This is one of the most awesome ideas ever.