I’ve been hearing good things about Mantra Thai for a while so decided to give it a go on Thursday night with the Husband before seeing the Nick Cave film (which is AMAZING btw).
Thai food is often a good option for vegans as they don’t use a lot of dairy products so you can usually have most of what is on the veggie menu and Mantra Thai’s veggie menu is vast with dishes to cater for all tastes. I spent ages trying to decide what to have as I actually wanted it all, and just when I was about to order the fried aubergine the waitress came over to say that we could have anything on the menu with tofu. Imagine that a whole menu to pour over! (Andy had decided what he wanted in about ten seconds flat so was not as enthusiastic about this as me).
Eventually we ordered the papaya salad and the BBQ tofu skeweres to share as our starters and we both went for the panang as a main, Andy ordered it hot with butternut squash and I ordered medium with tofu.
The food came quickly and the portions we big. The papaya salad was beautiful, it had a light lime dressing which was deceptively spicy. Both me and Andy found it to be very hot but not in an unbearable way. The spice crept up on you until you were a bit giddy with a streaming nose and a tingling tounge but unable to stop pushing more in your mouth. I will definatly order this the next time!
The skewers were also a delight. The tofu was crispy on the outside and soft and silky on the inside (how do you do that? I can’t even get tofu out the box without it falling apart). We got four skewers so they are perfect for sharing. They were light and the bbq sauce was flavoursome without overpowering the gentle flavours of the vegetables. Lovely!
We ate everything on our plates including the side salads in almost complete silence, just the occaisonal negotiation about how many tomatoes we had left.
Then our mains arrived. Oh happy days!
Again the tofu was cooked to perfection and the portion size was just right, we shared a Jasmine rice which was exactly the right amount of food. I tried Andy’s butternut squash and though it was well cooked, I’m not a fan of butternut squash, so I’m glad I got the tofu. I was also pleased I ordered medium rather than hot as my tastebuds needed a bit of a break after the papaya salad. The curry was tasty without being overpowering and just the right amount of fat.
We still had some time after our meal before the film so I ordered one scoop of the mango and passion fruit sorbet and Andy got a coffee. I was impressed by the sorbet which had pieces of real fruit in it and was the right blend of tangy and sweet.
The whole bill came to £51.75 including 3 beers (between us not each) which I felt was reasonable for the amount we ate and the level of service we got.
I will definatly be returning to Mantra Thai to sample the rest of the menu!