Koh Thai offers a warm, friendly welcome and food to make any occasion special, writes Sammy Milton
There’s an area of food that I’ve always felt Bristol can be slightly lacking in. Whilst I’m (fully) aware that there may be many restaurants that specialise in this cuisine, I haven’t really come across many. And that cuisine is Thai.
Now the nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air, you’re probably finding yourself hankering after something a bit heartier, more warming, more comforting. And that’s why Thai food is perfect.
Koh Thai is located on the bustling hub of the Clifton Triangle. We visited on a cool Wednesday evening to arrive in an energetic, exciting little restaurant, full to the brim with happy customers, winding down over steaming bowls of noodles and curries. Externally it’s gorgeous – properly decked out in true Thai style with detailed wooden panels, low lighting and exotic colours.
We were seated immediately by the friendly staff (the main man Kieran is especially lovely), and ordered some drinks whilst we looked over the large menu.
Koh Thai offers an excellent selection – specialty meat and fish dishes, curries, rice and noodle dishes, stir fries, salads, soups and Thai tapas. You could come here having literally no idea what you want and leave completely satisfied.
We elected for a selection of the Thai tapas, based mainly on the concept that we could simply eat more. And we weren’t disappointed. Thai prawn crackers arrived first, delicately fishy and deliciously crunchy, served with a hot sweet chilli dip. This was preceded by prawn toast (£6.00), deep fried to a delightful crunch, dusted with sesame seeds and full of piping hot diced prawns. Always one of my favourite starters, this classic held its own quite happily.
After this came duck and cucumber rolls (£8.50). Crispy parcels encased steaming hot duck and cucumber, served with homemade hoisin sauce. Whilst these weren’t my favourite of the dishes (there was too much cucumber for my liking), they were certainly a generous portion, and the hoisin sauce was superb. Thai fishcakes arrived (£6.50) – of a beautiful colour, they really do put our version to shame. The flavour of the prawns really came through, and the Bangkok-style spices were a hit with both of us. They disappeared quickly.
Special spicy squid (£7.00) was a particular highlight. The batter was crispy and fresh, free from grease and wasn’t cloying in the slightest – always a danger when ordering this dish! The squid was perfectly cooked and retained that springy texture, a proper delight. Dim sum (£6.00) was also good, the little steamed parcels full to the brim with minced pork, prawn and water chestnuts were light and comforting, and swam in their accompanying tangy soy sauce.
The real star of the show for us, however, was the 24-hour ribs (£9.00). These pork ribs were so tender and juicy, the meat literally slid off the bone and melted in your mouth. They arrived slathered in Koh Thai’s very own ‘secret sauce’, which is absolutely divine, and they fully completed what had been an excellent meal.
Koh Thai is a chain, and currently has 13 restaurants dotted around the south.
Their online reviews are excellent – and it’s not hard to see why. This is the perfect place for a late-night date or catch up with friends.
We even got to take our excess food home with us, where the leftover rib was used in a sandwich the next day. It was still delicious.
0117 922 6699