Nottingham is blessed with a fair few solid Thai food establishments, but chief amongst them is Tarn Thai, the George Street mainstay that has been delivering consistently great food since it opened in 2006.
While the price jumps up a bit in the evening, they offer a lunchtime menu that provides great value for money. For £11.95, you can choose a starter, main, rice and tea or coffee which, for the quality of food, is pretty decent. I started with the Tord Mun Kao Pod, their deep fried sweetcorn cake that comes with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. Crispy, light, fresh and flavoursome, it was a perfect start to the meal, offering a tasty few mouthfuls without leaving you too full.
My curry came out as quickly as the starter which, considering how busy the restaurant seemed, was impressive. I’d decided to go for the Panaeng Tofu, their creamy red curry cooked in coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves, along with egg fried rice. The curry was deliciously rich, and came with just the right kick of spice in the aftertaste. They’d also used the perfect texture of tofu, not too silky so that it falls apart in your mouth, and not too firm so that it feels like you’re chewing old leather. It was a style of tofu that perfectly complemented the silky peanut flavour in the curry.
The price seemed more than reasonable for the amount and quality of the food on offer, and the service was fast, efficient and amiable. As I sipped my coffee, which was included in the price, I considered whether anywhere else in Nottingham offered as good an option for lunchtime dining. Nowhere better immediately sprung to mind.
Tarn Thai, 9 George St, Nottingham NG1 3BH