Where I ate:
Thai Boulevard, South Street, Brentwood
Formerly known as Thai Orchid (which I blogged about here), the Thai Boulevard is by far, Brentwood’s best-kept secret and I’m so lucky it’s on my doorstep! I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d want to spend my birthday, so my parents treated me – and my brother and Jake came along too!
It’s under new ownership, with a new menu and website – and it’s undergone a makeover too. Gone is most of the old dated decor, the tatty staircase which was falling apart and the interior is now a lot more light and airy; there’s even a decent atmosphere. To say I was excited was a total understatement. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
What I ate:
The Thai Boulevard platter, followed by Pad med mamuang himmapam chicken, Kang kiew wan chicken, Weeping tiger, Pad Thai chicken and jasmine rice
My dad always has soup to start and so the four of us shared a couple of platters, which were accompanied by sweet chilli and satay dipping sauces. We dug into vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay, prawn toasts, Thai fish cakes and bags of gold (similar to wontons). As always, there was something for everyone – and as Jake doesn’t like seafood, he had extra satay and spring rolls. Good job prawn toasts are my mum’s favourites!
We chose a number of dishes for the main course, to share between us. The Weeping Tiger is a favourite of Jake’s and mine and it didn’t disappoint. The steak was cooked perfectly, the sauce wasn’t too spicy and it was nice to have some onions and peppers to accompany it.
I chose a chicken curry, which had to be green (anyone else as fussy as me – red = beef, green = chicken). There were lots of veg to bulk the dish out and the sauce was amazing – not too sweet, nor hot. It smelt so good too, really authentic and packed with flavour. The curry went so well with the fragrant jasmine sticky rice.
My brother loves chicken and cashew nuts, so he chose a dish from the wok section – stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, pineapple and pepper in a soy and oyster sauce, with chilli. Like every other dish, it was delicious – and soon disappeared!
You can’t have Thai without a plate of Pad Thai and we had to have chicken as Jake doesn’t like prawns. The best thing about the dish was the fact we got to garnish it ourselves – I sprinkled the chilli and crushed peanuts just before serving. This meant they still had their crunch by the time we ate. Such a good idea.
As amazing as the food was, the service was pretty much spot-on. I have to give a special thanks to Amy and the team for their hospitality. Earlier in the week, I tweeted to say I was excited about my birthday and the celebrations and as she knew it was my birthday, she brought out some banners to decorate the wall behind our table. It was a really unexpected but thoughtful touch, which made the evening that little bit more special. I felt more famous than the TOWIE boys sitting on the next table (ha). Amy even spent a lot of time at the table, chatting away and it was lovely to hear how passionate she was over the food, transformation and business.
Thai Boulevard have a lunch set menu and deliver takeaways on Friday and Saturday nights – I definitely need to experience both. And if you’re looking for somewhere to eat one evening, away from the high street, I couldn’t recommend this place enough!