This chain has a number 1 rating from the Thai Prime Minister so hopes were high and we weren’t disappointed when we sampled a takeaway from the newly opened St Albans branch. We suggest that diners take note of the ‘chilli rating’ system, and fans of large portions should be aware that the emphasis is very much on quality not quantity.
Ready for collection in under half an hour (on a weekday evening), the food from a varied and interesting 126-dish menu was fresh and well prepared, with distinctive flavours and more than a ‘kick’ of chilli in some dishes. Mixed starters of satay, spring rolls, fish cakes and dim sum were delicate and very tasty, leaving us wanting more than just the one sample of each per person. Mains of thinly sliced sirloin and stir fried sweet and sour pork with egg-fried, sticky and coconut rice were delicious. The tasty red curry with chicken – with a 1 chilli rating of ‘slightly spicy’ – was just at the limit of our fiery food tolerance level.
Which is where we came unstuck. The promising wok-fried sliced lamb, which sank beneath an unappealing layer of orange oil, was an unfortunate waste of £12.95 as its 2 chilli rating of ‘medium spicy’ was an understatement, in our experience. It was so fiery that the ingredients couldn’t be appreciated.
We suggest that food lovers used to a three-tier rating of mild, medium and hot assume that Thai Square’s one chilli symbol equates to ‘medium’ and 2 chillis to ‘hot’. The Thai Square website gently suggests that ‘diners with a more European taste need to ask for their favourite dishes with a less spicy flavour - we will be happy to oblige’. This key piece of information was omitted from the menu but we’ll know next time. [Oct 08]
01 Oct 08