- February 12, 2019
How lucky am I to get to eat so much and so often. This week it’s at Lucky Khao which has just opened up in Red Roaster and serves northern Thai food. I invited my old friend and colleague Ms M to join me, we both have food issues in that we simply love it, cooking it, eating it and talking it!
Northern Thai differs from the Thai we might know, I find the flavours are earthier, deeper and by being less familiar rather exciting. The format is relaxed and modern, dishes are listed by size rather than by course and geared towards sharing. I like that, and I hasten to add that there is little that I would describe as small as in small plate, this is robust stuff and all the better for it. We started with a cocktail, well it was Friday so what the hey! Mine an interesting take on a negroni but with bourbon, almost a Manhattan but not. Ms M had a take on a mojito, which was fragrant with cucumber.
We pooled our thoughts and ordered, first out the Thai hot dog. Now I’m no lover of hot dogs but this was something else, spicy, sweet and all in a sweet roll with lots of delicious topping both creamy and crunchy. I will be having that again for sure. I am obsessed with aubergine and the aubergine dish we choose was simply divine, I love that soft creamy flesh and that it carries flavours, there was lots of it too, enough to not fret about taking too much when sharing. On the side we tucked into a platter of herbs and chillies and garlic with fabulous sauces of herbs and of tamarind.
I had been given the nod that the sea bass was unmissable. That nod was right and it was perfect for sharing. It was flash fried in a crisp coating of salt and spice so that the skin crackled but the flesh was steamed to a pearly perfection. The bed of vegetables beneath was dish in it own right too.
We ordered belly pork and could not believe how amazingly tender it was or how judiciously spiced. Ms M is no lover of fiery heat but she embraced all of this with relish. Our final savoury dish was a smoked brisket curry in the Chang Mai style which was amazing, a slab of tender and tasty beef in a rich sauce with both soft and crispy noodles, it was quite brilliant and summed up what I meant about earthy flavours.
We ate a lot and when offered the dessert menu felt that it might be a dish too far, but on reading realised that it had to be done. The coconut ice-cream sandwich was fab, Ms M declared it a posh arctic roll. The pandam trifle was topped with Italian meringue rather than cream and was a gooey pot of heaven with that unusual but quite delightful fragrance of pandam leaf.
Service from Ray and the team was exemplary, relaxed and welcoming and hats off to a sound system that plays music but in a way hat does not intrude on conversation. I loved it and will no doubt be back.
1d St James St, Brighton BN2 1RE