The Halal: Chicken, Beef, Lamb and even Duck are halal! There are no pork products used here but alcohol is served.
The Place: Situated in idyllic Winchester is the Bangkok Brasserie. A halal haven of scrumptious Thai cuisine. Be it weekday or weekend, this place is always full of loyal customers. The staff have embraced true Thai hospitality so rest assured that your meal will always be served with a smile. It would be nice to see some authentic Batik or wooden carvings dotted around the restaurant but they have decided to opt for a simple and contemporary interior.
The Food: Authentic and sophisticated. We started with sharing platters: The spring rolls were lovely and crisp. The golden parcels were fun little mouthfuls packed full of flavour. The fish cakes were moist and well-seasoned. The only disappointing thing was the chicken satay which was quite dry.
The Bangkok platter pleased us with its tender and juicy duck rolls. The chicken wings could have done with more of a spice boost. The dim sum was lovely and the prawn in blankets were delightfully crunchy.
For mains our eyes were immediately drawn to the House special: the Colin Firth Mango Chicken curry. I had to ask what this was all about. Apparently he is a regular customer and grew up in Winchester. The restaurant made this dish especially for him and he always orders it. ‘Does he eat here?’ I ask- slightly starstruck! ‘No- he’s the only person who we can do home delivery for’. Well played Mr Darcy.. The curry itself was a little too sweet for my palate but the pieces of fresh mango inside certainly provided that suprise factor!
The Basil Tofu was a stark contrast to the sweet tones of mango with generous amounts of chilli, sweet basil and garlic. The Beef Massaman curry had a deep meaty flavour of ground peanuts, peppers and onions. The Sea Bass was sharp and tangy with a lashings of lime! The contrasting flavours of these plates created a well-balanced meal.
Rice was a bit of a sore point- the sticky rice- packaged in a cute bamboo box- was far too sticky and verging on the wrong side of ‘al dente’. The egg fried rice on the other hand, was wonderfully fluffy and soft.
Most of us were too stuffed to venture into dessert territory but the sweet tooth amongst us opted for the Steamed Coconut rice with fresh mango. The mango was succulent and sweet. The rice was better than the previous sticky version but lacked the depth of coconut that was expected.
The Verdict: The Bangkok Brasserie delivers quality cooking with friendly service. I’m a big fan of Thai cuisine and the food here is easily comparable to the some of the best Thai restaurants in London. No wonder there’s never any empty tables!