It was hubby’s birthday and it’s always a task and a half to think of something for him to enjoy his day. Far be from hubby to be a man of simple pleasures like his good wife who only expects a weeklong celebration (commiseration?) of the aging process, a weekend get-away, presents, some more present and so on. No, hubby wants a pair of fashionable socks (one of my life missions is to find out what that means) a good meal and unlimited amount of tasty craft beer. This year, as I again failed to secure any fashionable socks, I decided to let him tell me where he wanted to fill his belly.
For ages now he’s been raving about this place on Lower Bridge Street which he passes every day on his way to work so the choice was pretty obvious. Ruan Orchid is a Thai restaurant tucked between a funeral home (unnerving) and Oddfellow’s tea room. But don’t let that put you off. Inside this fairly modest exterior is a hidden gem that everyone needs to try!
Draped in traditional English beams and whitewashed walls, the cosy restaurant has an unmistakable exotic feel of a world far, far away. There are flowers everywhere and the music on the background sets the right tune for a getaway from a busy high street. Tables are laid in small nests on the lower floor and yes, it may look a little cramped, but in case you want to stretch your legs, they do have extra seating upstairs.
But what most speaks for this place is its food. In a word: delicious. And quick! We entered at a random time, around half past four in the afternoon, and the place was somewhat deserted, but I was still impressed how quickly the food materialised on the table post-order. It gives a whole new meaning to fast food – quicker, healthier and far tastier!
And you can’t argue with the price; no matter when I’ve passed this little restaurant, they always seem to advertise an “early bird” menu (hey, it’s 12 o’clock somewhere, right?) for £13.95 for a two course meal. And let me tell you, the food really deserves to raved about.
I can’t claim to be an expert in authentic Thai food, but as far as my limited knowledge goes, I’d call this the real deal. It’s light, tasty and fragrant, and packs such an amount of flavour it’s almost overwhelming. It’s beautifully presented, which is a definite bonus, even if it all is scoffed so fast there isn’t much time to admire the meal for the work of art it is.
Hubby as a chef can be a little fussy at times, and even he was impressed and is now adamant we should, nay, need, another visit post haste. I think we definitely should.