Thai classics that are worth traveling for: sweet and spicy grilled chicken with papaya salad
A Thai treasure in the heart of the New Forest – who knew? Tom is enjoying a lucky find
There is plenty to see in the small Hampshire village of Lyndhurst. The grave of Alice Liddell, inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. St. Michael and All Angels Church with stained glass windows by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. And for those less Victorian, two huge Ferrari showrooms.
But for me, Anissa's Thai cuisine is the biggest bait next to the New Forest and its nibbling ponies. For this is not your average Pad Thai palace; Rather, a joyous explosion of true local cuisine, the land that is a sibling of London's incomparable 101 Thai Kitchen, and a completely accidental find.
I walk down the main street and, as always, check the restaurant menu. Anissa not only attracts attention, it makes my heart pound with fish sauce. Nueau Papa Dieaw! Isaan grilled chicken! I book on site. Only later do I find out about the London connection.
Dinner is great as expected. Great Aunt Bee, doyenne with Mediterranean assistance, is in the kitchen this evening. Which means that everything in the world is good. We drink icy Chang beer and nibble on brittle shards of crispy chicken skin. And chewing that Nueau Dad Dieaw – fried, dried, flavored beef pulled through sriracha sauce. The evening is tight, heavy and damp. And for a moment I could be back in one of those late night Bangkok Isaan bars where beer is sold by the meter and a continuous flow of snacks assaults the tongue with salty, tangy self-confidence.
Kemon Gling Moo pork with lemongrass scent
Kua Gling Moo, made from well chopped pork, is dry-fried and beautifully brutal, the paste freshly pounded, the chilli heat that smells of lime leaf and lemongrass and rolls over the tongue in fiery waves. Hot and sour shrimp curry is suitable, with its fishy, foul-smelling depth, the bamboo shoot gives the dish this idiosyncratic taste. When the heat threatens to overwhelm, there is always a handful of sticky rice and, equally effective, a sip of lacy puffy, oily Thai omelette.
Som Tum Salat is crispy, pert and punchy, rich in chewy dried shrimp and a lime-soaked vim. And Poussin, honey and herbs marinated, grilled and then cut into quarters. Dipped in a sweet, hot jaew dip sauce, we gnaw the chicken until the bones are clean. The service is as good as the food, and we jump into the soft, sweaty Hampshire twilight, our tongues pounding, our spirits filled with sheer Siamese joy.
About 20 pounds a head. Anissa's Thai Cuisine, Lyndhurst, Tel: 0238 028 4974, anissasthaikitchen.co.uk
Put these reds in the refrigerator for 20 minutes for a gastro game changer, says Olly
Raoul Clerget Beaujolais 2019 (12.5%), £ 5, Morrisons. A cherry polished on a mirror, this refreshing red is perfect for relaxing and indulging – incredible for five pounds.
Sainsbury & # 39; s Tastes the Difference, Organic Organic Chilean Pinot Noir Gran Reserva 2018 (13.5%), £ 8.50. Demanding, rich. Decant, let cool in the refrigerator door and serve with grilled tuna.
Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes Thymiopoulos 2018 (13%), £ 10.95, The Wine Society. From one of the best winemakers in Greece, this one has a fruity and hearty frisson. Outstanding.
Lalama Dominio do Bibei 2015 (13.5%), £ 23.95, bbr.com. Breathtaking fragrance and clove-like depth with a bitter twist. Serve with sausages and giggle happily.
Ca & # 39; Viola Dolcetto D & # 39; Alba Vilot 2019 (13.5%), £ 15.50, hhandc.co.uk. As slim as a puma, finer than silk, this light, bright red has a wonderfully fruity sheen when it cools down. Irresistible!
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) home (t) you