Thai Esarn

September 30, 2016

You’ve probably got your favourite takeaway. We don’t necessarily look to them for great quality, more qualities of convenience and reliability – I’ve been going to the Jebu Tandoori on Evington Rd for well over 30 years and the recipes have barely changed.

But if you’re looking for a change,  give the Thai Esarn a try. I’d heard several recommendations for this humble takeaway on Hinckley Road, Leicester (near the Police Station) and eventually gave it a go. It was lovely.

Run by a group of engaging Thai ladies, they delight in traditional home cooking  from North East Thailand and produce great-tasting, authentic food in an open kitchen that  they’ll make as spicy as you want. We had terrific starters of toong torng, crispy parcels of minced chicken, prawn and sweetcorn  with plum sauce,  and  fishcakes with a sweet chilli .esarn1

Main courses were tamarind duck and the beef dish “weeping tiger” and both were excellent dishes that highlighted the sweet, sour, salty and spicy layering of flavours. The duck was tender breast meat with green vegetables and cashew nuts in that  distinctively sweet-sour tamarind sauce.

The beef was so good it had me off digging up recipes that I’ve been trying at home – strips of beef marinated in the likes of lime juice, soy, fish sauce and sugar and with additional  dipping sauce. Mine was pretty good, theirs was excellent.

Coconut rice was good sticky comfort food, while a tom sum salad of papaya and finely sliced cabbage was a maybe a bit too drowned in dressing for my tastes but again was a great combination of flavours.

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Never been a huge fan of Thai food but I may not just have had very good examples – this has started to convert me.

There should be a full review in the Leicester Mercury tomorrow, Saturday 1 October.

 

 

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North’s Bar and Kitchen

February 11, 2015

north'sIt was good to attend a busy pre-launch party at North’s Bar and Kitchen on Hinckley Rd last week. Sited in the same corner building as the much-loved Entropy, it’s been smartened up outside and refitted inside, retaining the two-sided layout and (semi-)open kitchen, but extending the bar and upgrading the outdoor area at the back.

The food doesn’t try and replicate the high-end approach of its predecessor, but does promise simple, affordable British and European food, cooked onsite and with a commitment to local sourcing. So for the evening menu starters might be mushrooms with garlic and parsley or whitebait, mains parma-wrapped chicken breast or goats cheese and caramelised onion tartlet.

There’s bar, business, and restaurant experience in the management team and it’s good to see a stylish independent opening up here. West End folk will be pleased to see it retains an all day approach and there seems no reason why it won’t become a popular place to while away time with a coffee and sandwich, and for those lazy Sundays with the paper that turn into a meet-up with friends, a  late lunch and few glasses of wine.

 

 

 

 

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