Love Frome guest writer Alex Howlett visited the Thai Kitchen to find a menu of Asian Delights...
Thai Kitchen is tucked between Marks & Spencer and the Frome pet shop near the centre of town. It is an unassuming, small building with a lovely courtyard for warmer days. The restaurant is run by Puk and James; Puk is the chef, and James watches over front of house, making sure everything runs smoothly.
The setup is simple. The charm of Thai Kitchen lies within its familiarity - invariably you will be greeted by James, who is always warm and welcoming. However, the continuity ends here. Puk changes the menu every day and makes it fresh on the day. You can always be sure to find the classics like Pad Thai, but it is the ever-changing lesser-known dishes which are worth giving a go. I often head there with friends because it is one of the best places in the local area to go when you want to spend less money than you would in a chain restaurant, taste more flavours than you would if you stayed home for baked beans on toast, and experience more spicy heat than a Hollyoaks omnibus.
Recently, a group of ten of us decided to head there for a celebration, which turned out to be a great idea. We arrived with a bag of clinking wine bottles, and for the designated drivers there are alternative fresh juices which makes you mind a little less about having to stay sober. James brings over the menus, and will usually enthusiastically recommend a dish - it is always worth listening to him. Some of the dishes are spicy, however for those of us who are wary of spice, he will often tell you how hot the dishes are out of ten, so you can avoid any eye-watering surprises. It is these small details, which you perhaps wouldn’t find in a bigger restaurant, that makes Thai Kitchen unique.
Last time I went for the Khao Kook Kapi (fried rice with shrimp paste, garnished with sweet diced pork, green apple, shallots, chillies and slices of Thai omelette), which I did not regret. Despite the size of our group, our dishes arrived at the same time, and conversation significantly lessened. The food is good - so good, that you almost don’t want to be distracted by chatting whilst you eat. Keeping with the simple theme, the only option for dessert is ice cream. This isn’t ice cream that you will find easily elsewhere, with flavours ranging from green tea to red bean, all of which are (literally!) melt in your mouth.
A friend is coming home this weekend, and we will probably end up catching up over plates of Puk’s pad Thai and chicken satay. Thai Kitchen is a firm favourite with those who have visited, perhaps because it’s a restaurant which feels homely, with dishes that you won’t be able to make at home, or find in many other restaurants.