Thai Lotusland in FarnhamBy Sarah Andrews
April 19, 2010
Having undergone a total refurbishment during October and November 2009, Thai Lotusland in East Street, Farnham is now an increasingly popular Thai restaurant and is a firm favourite within the area.
Last week my family was invited to dine at Thai Lotusland and, as novice Thai eaters, we welcomed the opportunity.
We found the restaurant easily on East Street and we initially admired the grand style of the building. Upon entering the restaurant ,we were impressed with the modern décor with its traditional yet modern Thai art and sculptures, large wooden tables and stylish high backed chairs. There is also an original Thai Khan Toke area (pictured above) where you sit on a raised floor on cushions, but your legs arecomfortably lowered underneath the table.
We were seated by the staff and introduced to the owner, Mrs Phimchawee Elsing. After a brief introduction to the restaurant, we ordered a traditional Thai beer, a glass of house wine and a soft drink for the driver and sat perusing the extensive menu.
We all found the menu unusual yet extremely useful as it started by explaining Thai cuisine and its healthy eating benefits, with information about the quality and sourcing of the ingredients, the flavours and much more. Thai cuisine is a blend of Asian and European influences created through centuries of trade between continents. Continuing to read the menu, we next came to the range of set menus, each offering a different number of courses and a selection of Thai dishes, alongside an a la carte menu.
With little experience of Thai food, my mum and I decided to share one of the set menus. This comprised of the Lotus mixed starter, four main courses, rice and a dessert. My dad chose from the a la carte menu and took advantage of the fish dishes available by ordering stir fried scallops to start and a main course of Sea Bass in a creamy curry sauce with coconut milk.
As we sat discussing the menu and the selection of tempting dishes, we nibbled on prawn crackers and took in our surroundings. The high backed chairs made your table feel secluded and had a personal touch. The restaurant’s refurbishment had been done by the owner and all the tables, chairs, art, plates and cutlery were all flown in from Thailand.
Our starters soon arrived, beautifully presented and decorated with vegetable carvings - certainly a talking point! Our mixed starter comprised of spring rolls, chicken satay, fishcakes, deep fried minced chicken on toast and prawns wrapped in rice pastry. The helpful waiter then explained which dip went best with each dish and left us to enjoy the selection in front of us. My dads scallops also arrived with a impressive carved vegetable decoration and he commented on how fresh they tasted and how delicious the oyster sauce with garlic and pepper was.
Our four main dishes within the set menu were a Thai chicken curry, roast duck, stir fried beef and a mixed vegetable dish served with Jasmine rice. Each had a distinctive flavour which somehow complimented each other, which took us by surprise as they were all so individual.
Dad’s sea bass arrived as a whole, yet boneless, fish in a large fish shaped dish - again the presentation was first class. The creamy curry sauce was mildly spiced, as explained on the menu, and brought out the flavour of the fish without being over powering.
Suitably full from the starters and main course, we doubted whether we could fit in any desserts. However, after a quick glance at the menu we were all tempted and had soon ordered! My dad, not having a sweet tooth, chose a fresh fruit salad served with ice cream which was a refreshing end to his meal. Mum chose banana in coconut milk - a traditional Thai dessert which was sweet and delicious.
When my coconut pancake arrived I was initially taken aback by its green colour! Our waiter noticed my expression and was soon on hand to explain its colour came from pandanus leaves – used a lot in Thai cooking for both sweet and savoury dishes. One mouthful and I was in heaven! Fantastic... I’m planning my next visit for another pudding!
Throughout our meal the mood in the restaurant was relaxed and friendly and nothing was too much trouble for the dedicated Thai staff. - they were always at hand if you needed them but were not a bit intrusive.
On Thursday 15th and Friday 16th April Thai Lotus Land will be celebrating the Thai New Year with a special menu (regular menu also available) and a complimentary glass of champagne! Due to the popularity of the restaurant booking is advisable.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and experience at Thai Lotus Land and we are already planning our next visit with both friends and family.
For your own Thai experience or for further information on the restaurant please visit www.thailotusland.co.uk call 01252 716584 or call into the restaurant on East Street, Farnham GU9 7TH.