Last weekend I was treated to my first ever Thai! This may be quite surprising considering I spent almost a week in Thailand as part of my South East Asia adventure a few years ago. However, I wasn’t feeling great during that week and spent most of my time eating fresh fruit with the occasional bowl of rice with plain vegetables. So in my mind, I’d never tried REAL Thai food…
After looking through reviews on TripAdvisor etc, I narrowed my options down to three of the most popular Thai restaurants in Norwich:
- Lam Thai
- The Sugar Hut
After looking through the menus, we decided to book a table at the Lam Thai as they have a whole separate vegetarian menu with lots of ‘mock duck’ dishes which we really liked the sound of!
We took a taxi into the city, asking the driver to drop us at the Lam Thai. When he pulled over, we hopped out and were immediately seated at a cute window table for two. The wine menu was brought over and we ordered a bottle of the Pinot Noir. The wine was soon delivered to our table and we sat back to choose what we wanted from the menu. I flicked through looking for the veggie section, but soon realised it wasn’t there – there were NO mock duck dishes….WHAT?!
I started moaning about how unfair it was that the website advertised one menu but there was a different menu inside, when Emily looked up and gingerly asked, ‘are you sure we’re in the right restaurant….?’. The penny dropped and I realised we were in The Sugar Hut NOT the Lam Thai! The driver had dropped us at the wrong Thai restaurant, and having not visited either before, we didn’t realise. We had already ordered a bottle of wine, so I had to (embarrassingly) call the Lam Thai to cancel our booking!
REVIEW OF THE SUGAR HUT THAI RESTAURANT NORWICH
As we walked through the door, we could not have got a warmer welcome. We were the only ones in the restaurant at first, which can sometimes be a little awkward but we felt quite at ease tucked away in the window. When offered the wine lists, we were not harassed into make a decision quickly which can sometimes unintentionally happen when there is no one else in the restaurant. We opted for a Pinot Noir which was £16.50 for a bottle and was divine! Super smooth and light, yet fruity and full of flavour.
Looking through the menu, the options were divided up in to beef/ pork/ chicken and seafood. Both being veggie, we skipped straight down to the meat free options:
- Pad Khing – Tofu stir fried with fresh ginger and vegetables
- Prew Wan Pak – Stir fried mixed vegetables in sweet and sour sauce
- Pad Pak Jee – Stir fried mixed vegetables with tofu in a soy sauce
- Tao Hoo Tua Ngok – Stir fried bean sprouts with tofu in a soy sauce (all dishes £8.95)
There is also a separate list of dishes that can be made veggie by swapping the meat for tofu:
- Green Curry
- Red Curry
- Panang Curry (dry curry)
- Jungle Curry (very hot)
- Pad Thai (Also all £8.95)
We decided to stick to classic dishes and ordered the red curry and Pad Thai to share. Thai red curry is traditionally made with garlic, shallots, red chillis, galangal, salt, lime, coriander, cumin seeds, peppercorns, lemongrass and coconut milk, served with steamed rice. We chose coconut rice for a bit of extra flavour! We also decided to share a starter of tempura vegetables with sweet chilli sauce as we were both pretty hungry.
The starter arrived promptly – which you would expect as we were the only diners! There was a good selection of vegetables and a good sized portion to share. I love sweet chilli sauce, so I completely smothered each mouthful – we could probably have done with a bigger dish! There was a cute carrot flower decoration on the side too, along with some crunchy shredded veg. There was also another dipping sauce – a clear, slightly gloopy liquid which didn’t seem to have much flavour. I forgot to ask the waitress, so I have no idea what it was! By the time we had finished our starters, the restaurant was starting to fill up and the downstairs seating was almost completely full.
Despite the sudden rush of customers, our mains followed within 10 minutes and we were presented with beautiful traditional bowls filled with the red curry and coconut rice, a plateful of Pad Thai and a separate dish containing chilli flakes, crushed peanuts and fresh lime. I can handle a little spice but nothing crazy, so was a little worried at first that I would find the curry too hot. This was not the case; the curry was rich, smooth and creamy and if anything, not quite hot enough – I added a pinch of chilli flakes to my half! There wasn’t a strong flavour of lemongrass (if they used lemongrass), which was good as I’m not a massive fan, but you could taste the garlic, shallots and coconut flavours, which went perfectly with the sticky coconut rice!
The Do-It-Yourself Pad Thai dish is a great idea. You can decorate your plate of noodles, tofu and beansprouts with as much or as little chilli, peanuts and lime as you want. When ordering the Pad Thai, I didn’t realise it contained egg and there was quite a lot of it. I don’t eat egg but the chunks were pretty big so it was easy to pick out.
It all looked so amazing that we dived straight in before I remembered to take a photo.. ooops. We also got so excited that we made a complete mess of the table.. but you get the idea!
The whole meal cost us £21 each (including tip) which I think is pretty good for a starter, main and half a bottle of (delicious) wine! I’m keen to check out the Lam Thai next and their mock duck dishes, but I would definitely return to The Sugar Hut again 🙂