My first exposure to Thai food was in Bangkok in the late 1980s. One fiery bowl of Tom Yam soup later and I was left sweating and incapable of speech by the chillis. My experience since then has been mainly limited to suspiciously samey green and red Thai curries and quite a few meals which are indistinguishable from Chinese food. Like Mexican food, and a fair few Indian dishes, Thai seems to have been watered down and adapted to suit the English palate: to paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men – you want Thai food? You can’t handle Thai food.
I have had some decent dishes over the years. Most recently at the Basement in Ashbourne I’ve enjoyed the apple and sea bass salad which combined heat with fresh flavours beautifully. Most recently I went for the second time to Suppatra in Bridlington. Its tucked well away from the sea front close to the railway station. In the daytime you could easily pass it by without noticing it: at night its a welcoming beacon on the street.
The menu contains some interesting choices – things that I definitely haven’t seen elsewhere. It also links to its location with crab and haddock on the menu too.
We had a selection of starters. I opted for the fascinating Sai Krok E-Sam. These are small round spiced sausages. The sausages themselves are very meaty and flavoured with chilli and garlic – very flavoursome in their own right. The trick is to eat them with some fresh ginger and raw birdseye chilli and then adjust the heat with some peanuts. This is street food and the sausages were great. With the chilli my mouth was zinging at the end but it was all under my control.
The spring rolls were a nice contrast – very crispy and more about texture than spice. The accompanying light plum sauce was a beautiful match.
My main course was Penang Neua (feature picture). This was a beef curry cooked in a rich sauce based on coconut milk, green beans and fresh chillis. The balance and seasoning was fantastic. The warmth of the chillis came through but in a belly-warming autumnal way. With jasmine rice it was perfect on a cold and rainy night.
Thai desserts typically mean banana, pineapple or mango and coconut rice. I tried coconut rice with logon (similar to a lychee) and it was just nicely salted to offset the underlying sweetness – basically the nicest rice pudding you can imagine with some toasted sesame seeds to finish it off.
All in all a very good Thai with excellent attentive service. This restaurant should be packed every night in a place like Bridlington. The meal for five with three courses, wine and beer came to just over £30 per head which represents top value for the quality of ingredients and the cooking.