9 Thai restaurants to try in Suffolk
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It’s Thai New Year from April 13 to 15 - here are some local recommendations to whet your appetite.
Kwan Thai, Ipswich
A family-run business set within an atmospheric, historical building on St Nicholas Street. This place has many regulars who’ve been visiting for years, travelling for beautifully presented, flavoursome dishes made with an authentic hand. We recommend the starter of fried chicken in Thai red wine sauce, which has an exotic (and addictive) almost sweet and sour flavour. The scallops stuffed with minced pork and prawn in a chilli, onion and garlic sauce is another favourite. This one’s eye-wateringly hot but absolutely delicious. If you visit at lunchtimes take advantage of the special two course set menu - £11.95 per person.
Sing Tong Neeyom, Halesworth
Chef Piek has decades of experience cooking Thai cuisine and this restaurant is one of only a few in the region given the Thai Select Award from the Thai Government for its authenticity. Found in the former police station, there’s nothing arresting about the menu, which is a blend of well-loved and recognised dishes and chef specials. Try the minced pork, garlic, pepper and egg, wrapped in omelette and served with a spicy peanut sauce. You might want to unbuckle your belt a notch for the giant king prawn dishes. And if you have room, there are homemade desserts too, ranging from sticky banana rice with black bean and coconut cream, to apple crumble and banana toffee flan.
Khobkhun Thai, Newmarket
Elegant, soft, candlelit surroundings, with golden relics on the walls, await diners heading here. On Sundays there’s an all you can eat buffet (£15.99 for adults and £9.99 for children), including duck rolls, crispy squid, satay, massaman beef, stir-fried aubergine and more. If you’d prefer to choose your own dishes from the a la carte, we recommend the chicken wings stuff d with minced pork, mushrooms and Thai herbs with chilli dipping sauce, and the duck roasted with honey, served with a garlic, sesame seed and Thai whisky sauce.
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Set lunches are priced from £7.95 to £9.95.
Manor House, Wortham
In many ways this is a typical English pub. Comfy seats, local real ales, a beer garden. But the menu at the family-friendly eatery, tells a different story, because (apart from a few English classics) it’s all Thai. So if your other half would rather have cod and chips or a steak than tuck into a green curry, or chicken cooked with peppers, onions and pineapple in homemade sweet and sour sauce, you can go right ahead.
A kids’ menu for younger diners is available.
Aqua Eight, Ipswich
Sweeping the Asian sub-continent, Aqua Eight takes influence from multiple cultures and countries – including Thai, of course. This restaurant, with its funky lighting, cocktails, fine wines and high-end spirits, is perfect for date night or special occasions. Presentation is exceptional here, but it’s not a case of style over substance as this award-winning spot is well-known for hitting the nail on the head when it comes to flavours too. We recommend the huge tiger prawns with red chilli and curry leaf, the delicately sweet and creamy Thai Massaman duck curry, and Thai green curry of aubergine, potato and physalis.
Vino buffs will appreciate the wine flights, offering four 125ml measures of different wines – one for each course. These are priced at £18.95 or £24.95.
Nana Thai, Bury St Edmunds
A lovely, humble, small family-run restaurant where you can feel the heart that goes into every single dish. We especially like all the beautiful bowls and plates the food is served on. Tried and tested favourites are the puffy sweetcorn cakes with red curry paste, amazingly tender and crunchy salt and pepper squid, and the tender, very creamy Panang curry, heady with basil, lime leaves, coconut milk and peanuts. Perfect with a side order of sticky rice.
Eliza’s at DP’s, Aldeburgh
From the springtime onwards, this Art Deco bar on Aldeburgh’s high street opens up its courtyard for a Thai street food pop-up (the Thai Street Café). It’s certainly different. You can watch as your food is cooked. And ingredients include fish landed on the beach just a couple of minutes walk away. Last year’s menu included freshly-caught Aldeburgh cod in tempura with lime sauce, crispy Thai style pork belly, chicken cooked with cashew nuts and sweet potatoes, and a daily changing Thai street curry filled with cod, vegetables, chicken or mixed seafood.
Call ahead for opening times.
Chang Chai Thai Kitchen, Mildenhall
“Amazing” and “highly recommended” say previous visitors to this restaurant whose speciality, strangely, is its cream-topped Thai iced teas – not readily available in this part of the world. A blend of tea, spices and condensed or evaporated milk, this drink is not to be missed if you want the ‘full experience’.
Beyond that, there’s a very keenly priced menu, with many dishes priced at only around £9, including rice.
Try the slow-cooked crispy pork with Thai garlic and chilli gravy, or roasted duck fillet with crispy noodles and cashew nuts in a creamy tamarind sauce.
It’s cash only so fill your purse/wallet.
Bangkok Heightz, Ipswich
If you can get over the spelling of the restaurant name, you’ll find here a place that many diners are saying is quite a find. “I wish more people knew about it and would come here,” one person lamented.
Set in what was the Vanilla Pod, and before that Scott’s this place is open seven days a week and proudly states it doesn’t add MSG to its dishes.
Typical examples from the menu range from minced prawn and coriander dumplings on lemongrass sticks, to prawns cooked in yellow curry sauce with onions, potatoes and crispy shallots, and marinated, butterflied whole sea bass with Thai herbs, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled.