Koh Thai Tapas
If you’re in the mood for feasting, you can’t do much better than tapas – and if you fancy a twist on the traditional Spanish cuisine, you’ve got to get yourself down to Koh Thai. The menu features a huge range of different taster-size titbits, as well as plenty of salads, rice and noodle dishes, and curries, all of which can also be ordered in smaller sizes. If you’re not sure what you want, or you think you might want a bit of everything (no judging) then it’s the perfect place.
The recently-redecorated Koh Thai in Bath is a beautiful little space – squeeze past the dark wood bar with its softly-lit fretwork panels, and you find yourself in the restaurant, beneath a beautiful lantern-light in the high ceiling. A narrow staircase leads up to a smaller, more intimate space below the eaves for large parties to share. On the night we visited, the restaurant was buzzing, with every table filled, but service was swift and friendly – a great start.
If you’re not an expert on Thai cuisine (which we weren’t) then Koh Thai offers a great option for you – for £20-£25 per person, the serving staff will conduct a quick interview to find out what sort of thing you like, and then bring you a selection of dishes to share and try, which is the perfect way to discover new things. We started with some signature cocktails while we were waiting – a Kohtini for me, with homemade lemongrass syrup, lychee liquer and vodka, and a Pina Kohlada for my dining companion, with rum, lime, pineapple and coconut cream.
Next, the serving staff opened a bottle of very nice Malbec for us and started loading up our table with fabulous delights – tempura prawns with a sweet chilli sauce, Thai grilled pork on bamboo skewers, and sweetcorn cakes. I must admit that I’m not a sweetcorn fan, so I never would have ordered the last one, but I really enjoyed it – the fritters were beautifully light, but packed with flavour from fresh spices and zingy lime. The prawns and the pork were less of a surprise but still completely delicious (I’m a sucker for a good tempura prawn).
Next, we were brought a selection of more substantial dishes – vegetarian Phad Thai (noodles stir-fried with egg, peanuts, spring onion and bean sprouts), red curry with prawns, and battered sea bass with a fiery chilli sauce. I’ve got to confess that the last dish was a little too hot for me, but the fish was beautifully cooked. Phad Thai isn’t something I’ve tried before and it was completely different to what I was expecting – surprisingly rich, with a great contrast between noodles and crunchy veg. My dining companion is a veteran of many a Phad Thai, having spent a lot of time travelling in Thailand, and she pronounced it one of the best she’d had. The curry was definitely my favourite though – beautifully creamy with just the right amount of heat, and big juicy prawns cooked to perfection.
We were properly stuffed by this point, and the dessert selection was slight, so we decided to end our meal there, but I must say I’d definitely recommend Koh Thai, especially if you want somewhere to go with a group of people for a great sharing meal. The menu option we chose is a great deal (you’re guaranteed to get more for your money than if you were to buy individual dishes) and an awesome way to explore a new cuisine.
Images Copyright Sal Godfrey / Sal’s Kitchen