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  • Winchester Eats

Tiger Thai

Updated: Sep 18

* Edited to Add.... In the few short days since writing this review, Thai Tiger is no longer at The Roebuck (it was a pop up all along apparently!)... In the hope that they "pop up" elsewhere, I will keep this review here for the time being...


And now the mystery has been solved! Tiger Thai is now Aroi Thai in Alresford!!


I don't know about you, but the weather over the past few days has reminded me of tropical climes. Yesterday afternoon's storm cleared to leave a balmy misty evening which reminded me of Thailand in rainy season.


Thai Food first became really popular in the UK back in the nineties, which is around the time we first visited the country. I don't think we had eaten all that much Thai Food before our trip and I remember being blown away by the (then) totally alien herbs and spices such as lemongrass and galangal, tiny chillis that deceived you by their size and completely killed your tastebuds for several hours, and many other new flavours that we are now much more used to.


I came back from that trip slightly obsessed with Thai red curries, lemongrass, and a few other dishes that I still judge a Thai restaurant by today...


We have eaten and enjoyed Shah's food before at the sadly departed Mannow Thai, and have been meaning to try the food at his new venture - Tiger Thai at The Roebuck for some time now. I was invited to try a few dishes off the menu in return for an honest review, and that's exactly what this is...



So the dishes I mentioned earlier - my measure of whether a Thai place is any good or not? First on that list is typically Thai Fish Cakes or Tod Mun Pla... These were good, full of holy basil, chilli and lemongrass - just the right texture too without being rubbery (I have had my fair share of rubbery Tod Mun Pla...). We also ordered the chilli squid with cucumber relish - because, Squid (I think I might have mentioned before that it would be on my Death Row Meal list?!?)!! This came in rings rather than usual squares, but it was fresh and crispy and met this squid fanatics criterion.



Two more dishes made up our first course - Tom Kha soup which was creamy and comforting and had just the right amount of sour and heat, and a Green Papaya Salad (also on my "is a Thai Restaurant any good list")... I have to say I haven't ever had a green papaya salad with cherry tomatoes before, but it worked, and it was fresh and delicious with a pleasant kick from the chillis.



Main courses were (of course!) a red (duck) curry which also passed the test with flying colours. Thai red and green curries must be featured on every Thai menu in the country, red typically being less spicy than green (which features the tiny dangerous chillis I mentioned). They can either make or break a Thai meal in my opinion, and I am happy to report the Tiger Thai red curry was delicious, creamy, and full of flavour with plenty of tender duck. I am looking forward to trying the green version now!



We also ordered a Pad Thai, which might not have been the prettiest, but was still pretty tasty. It's one of those dishes I fail miserably at making at home as I can never get the ingredients to mix through the noodles equally without everything sticking together, but the Tiger Thai chicken version was really good with the right balance of soy, tamarind and fish sauce (could have done with a few more chopped peanuts but that's my only complaint!)... Someone in the Tiger Thai Kitchen is very obviously a dab hand at noodles that don't stick. Apparently Pad Thai was created in the 1930's by the Prime Minister at the time using Chinese noodles. Thailand was then focussed on nation-building so he called it Pad Thai as a way to help strengthen nationalism. Not many people know that it's the national dish of Thailand...



One final dish that we ordered from the House Special menu was a vibrant and colourful Andaman Prawns. The prawns in this dish are enormous and come sauteed with spring onions in a curry sauce. For one split second after he had shoved one of the giant prawns into his mouth I thought that Mr W E had said they were awful. What he actually said was they were awesome, and I have to say I agree. This was the one dish that (especially with the hot balmy evening) transported me back to somewhere in South East Asia, sitting on a rickety table in a street market and enjoying some of the best food. A dish I would definitely order again and recommend 100%.


If I had any criticism at all it would be for the website which was slightly clunky to navigate and had me wondering whether I had booked a takeaway or delivery option, but I had absolutely no complaints about the food whatsoever. Thanks so much Tiger Thai team, we look forward to eating with you again soon!



*disclaimer - we were asked to review a meal at Thai Tiger in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are very much my own (as per usual!)...




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