Thailand No.1 – Thai – Nottingham
Friday night at 8pm and Nottingham was abuzz. A hot summers day had come to an end and as we strolled through the city bars and restaurants were packed. Well most of them were, but as we entered Thailand No.1 (there are too many potential spellings of this restaurant) it became apparent that we were the only people there. I had been before and was surprised that it was empty, had things changed since my last visit?
The service certainly hadn’t gone downhill, that same hospitality greeted us that you get in all Thai restaurants I have been to. Décor I would politely describe as classic, but would whisper that it is tired and dated. Everything is a bit dark with lots of linen, a bit like your Grandma’s house. It is also much vaster than the small frontage on Carlton Street gives away. The menu hosts the familiar dishes and one of my favourites, chicken in Pandan leaves where chicken is wrapped in the fragrant leaves before being steamed. The versions here stood up in flavour but were a little dry and could have done with a little less cooking. A couple of chicken satays resulted in murmurings of content from my dining partners.
I went for (probably) the most iconic of the country’s dishes for my main, Pad Thai. I opted for the version with prawns, and what prawns they were. Plenty of big juicy ones were a good start to an all-round accomplished dish. The flavour was certainly there in what sometimes can be a little bland but a good colour of the prawns and egg . The best Pad Thai I have had in Nottingham. We also shared a Thai red curry that was up there too, though not quite as good as Tarn Thai’s example which is my favourite.
The prices are reasonable too, for that amount of prawns in my main I was certainly happy to pay £9.50. Starters were £6 on average and none of the mains were over £10, though the curry would come in at around £12 with rice. So no explanation in my categories as to why Thailand No1 is not busy. My best guess is the recent success of the popular Zaap and Thaikhun have taken custom away from Thailand No.1. The new pretenders are certainly flashier but there isn’t too much difference in the food, if you fancy a Pad Thai here it certainly worth a visit. And you won’t have to book a table….
Restaurant website: http://thailandnumber1.co.uk/