Kamthai, Whitby: Thai spices spring nice surprise

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The first thought of visitors to Whitby may not be to stop off for a Thai meal.

Fish and chips still rule the roost for the average day tripper but those with taste for something a bit more spicy could do a lot worse than seeking out Kamthai.

On a cold night and ravenous from 90 minutes of windswept football I was in need of some good food to fill the sizeable hole in my stomach.

Kamthai in Church Street is warm and inviting with a very crisp and clean layout, far removed from the terracotta nightmare of the Italian restaurant that used to occupy the building.

As we sat down we were greeted with a complimentary bowl of prawn and spiced crackers. While a nice touch, crackers can be very dry on their own and a bit of dipping sauce would not have gone amiss.

My partner and I opted for the Mix Kam Thai Platter (£3.95 each) for two to start.

It consisted of two chicken wings, spring rolls, prawn toast, chicken satay skewers and crispy noodles, with a trio of dips – satay, spicy chilli and a fresh salsa.

My girlfriend, a lover of prawn toast, said it was some of the finest she has ever had, the spring rolls were packed with vegetables and the satay skewers were packed with a tangy peanut flavouring.

The chicken wings were chicken wings but the crispy noodles were an unexpected treat. Cooked in a chilli sauce and tightly packed together, they offered a different texture and balance to complement the other starters.

For the main course I went for the Pad Kee Mao (£8.95), a noodle dish with peppers, bamboo shoots, chilli and garlic, that the menu boasted would be very spicy, to which I chose beef from the options of beef, chicken and king prawn.

My partner opted for the chicken Pad Nam Mun Hoy (£6.95), which came with oyster sauce, mushrooms, garlic, onion and broccoli. As her dish did not come with noodles she opted for the side order of Pad Mee (£2.95).

My dish was a treat, the spicy nature not too overpowering but still leaving your mouth in no doubt that it had been put to the test. The large flat noodles were well cooked, as was the beef, and the sauce sticky and fragrant.

The Pad Nam Mun Hoy was delicious, according to my partner, but did not come with a lot of chicken, six relatively small pieces of meat lost amongst the mass of onions.

The noodle side dish was supposed to come complete with beansprouts, carrots and spring onions but only two small slithers of orange could be found in our serving and was quickly replaced free of charge when we queried the lack of vegetation.

Desserts are not Kamthai’s speciality, consisting mainly of five ice creams and a rice pudding. The ice cream is nothing special and I imagine many people will prefer a walk down the seafront with a 99 instead.

It does boast a sizeable wine list and decent selection of draught and bottled beers, alongside spirits.

There is no doubting that the owners of the restaurant are telling the truth when they boast of fresh, authentic flavours and it would be a real shame if more people did not discover this hidden jewel just up the coast.

Ratings out of 10

Food 8; menu choice 7; service 9; decor 8; ambience 7.