As a self confessed foodie, Newton Abbot has never really been on my hot list of places to dine, with my last notable dining experience in the town coming from a lovely Italian place that is now long gone. That opinion soon changed after an evening at Tean’s Thai Kitchen.
As we approached the impressive restaurant front it was obvious from the outset that the owners wanted to make a statement. This restaurant would have no problem standing out in any major city or town in the UK, but it stands out even more so in Newton Abbot because there is simply nothing else like it in the area.
This positive first impression was enhanced further when we walked inside and were warmly welcomed by Tean herself and our friendly waitress who looked stunning in traditional dress. We both immediately felt immersed in an authentic Thai world which added to the excitement of the authentic Thai dining experience we expected – and we certainly weren’t disappointed. An incredible amount of thought, love and attention to detail has gone into creating the decor of this restaurant and it came as no surprise that Tean and her husband Sean have been collecting various ornamental pieces for five years to put in the restaurant. It is obvious that there is a genuine love of Thai food and culture, and the atmosphere in the restaurant is greatly enhanced because of this.
We were seated at a lovely table where we were offered drinks and given complimentary prawn crackers to enjoy while browsing the varied and interesting menu. My wife and I opted for Tean’s Thai Kitchen Ruammit (Serves two £12.50) to start, which consisted of chicken sautés, spring roll, prawn toast, spare rib, and fish cake. Each component of our starter was expertly prepared with just the right combination of herbs, spices and contrasting flavours which balanced perfectly to make every mouthful delicious. The dipping sauces that accompanied the first course worked beautifully with each of the dishes to enhance the flavours.
For the main course I relied on the knowledge of our waitress and ordered her suggestion of the Goong Yai Sauce Makahm (£12), giant king prawns in tamarind sauce with roast shallots, dried chilli and coriander. The dish was absolutely beautiful and the combination of sweet and sour flavours was simply stunning. My wife chose the Khang Kheow Whan Gai (£8), a Thai green curry with chicken cooked in coconut milk, green curry paste, bamboo shoots, green beans, red peppers, lime leaves and basil leaves. This dish is also available with beef or pork. We also shared Khao Ob Krati (Vegetarian £3), steamed Jasmine rice with coconut milk and Khao Nhew (£2), a sticky rice. Both rice dishes and the curry itself were cooked to perfection and she said she would definitely have the same dish again. The flavours were beautifully put together and she commented that she had a lovely after-taste for some time.
I have run out of ways to explain how delicate and perfectly balanced the flavours were, but it sums up every dish that we had. We both agreed that it was the best Thai food that we had ever had the pleasure of eating and that Tean’s Thai Kitchen will become a regular family favourite for the whole family. We can’t wait for our next visit!
13 Queen Street, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2AQ. 01626 367563.
Visit Tean’s Thai Kitchen online at: www.teansthaikitchen.co.uk