It’s absolutely no secret how much I love Smokey Phi Phi’s Thai Street BBQ at The Railway, which is why they are in my handpicked squad for 2018. I’ve sung their praises in a blog post before which you can find here, but hell, when a place is this good, I feel I need to do it all over again…
For a little while, they played with having a menu that changed almost daily, but they’ve settled now on a more permanent fixture - changing with the seasons – featuring a fantastic range of small plates, large plates, salads and sides to suit everyone. And I mean everyone. I’ve sent many people here off the back of recommendations: date nights, family gatherings, groups of friends, a girly lunch, a birthday dinner or an after-work feast, it’s a great place for everyone and for everything, unless you don’t like Thai food of course, but…whoooo?!
Sorry to those avid readers of my blog (hi Mum!) if some of this is a bit repetitious from my first post, but to those who aren’t (hi everyone else!), here goes…
This is proper Thai food. Not the stuff you find in every other Thai restaurant and takeaway across the country, no, this is the real deal. Unless you’ve eaten at The Railway before, I can guarantee that as you look down the menu, the majority of it will be new to you. And new means exciting, right?! Damn right. At least it does here.
So, the menu consists of small plates, large plates, salads and sides. You could look at that being starters, mains and sides, but err on the side of caution as food comes from the kitchen as soon as it’s ready, so I think it’s far better, much friendlier and fun, to just order a feast. And when I say feast, I mean FEAST! Go round the table and shout out anything that takes your fancy, add a few sides to it and order the lot. As it arrives at your table, in no particular order, just pop it in the middle and dive right in. When you order the right quantity, even non-sharers can be converted into liking this place.
I eat a lot, so I don’t feel I’m a good one to recommend quantities, but I would personally order a small plate, a large plate and a side dish per person - plus some (perhaps a salad for the table and maybe a few extra roti bread, you get the gist, just pig out and enjoy).
Everything on the menu is fantastic, but my personal faves are…
The chicken satay sticks to start with a proper peanut dipping sauce, I think I then went on to dip ANY leftovers in it! The crispy pork belly with a hot fish sauce makes my mouth water just thinking about it. If you’re a fan of pork belly and hot sauce, you’re going to love this. It’s like the Thai version of pork scratchings, I could sit with a drink and keep tucking into them all day long – or at least I’d like to try!
As for mains, I honestly couldn’t call it, they were all spectacular. We tried the marinated pork shoulder chilli and lemongrass salad which is one for the spice heads. It’s zingy, deep, fresh and delivers a kick all at the same time. The BBQ chicken northern styled yellow curry is one to try and grab from the centre of the table and eat all to yourself, as is the Panang BBQ pork shoulder Bangkok curry. Both are best devoured and then any leftover sauce mopped up with roti bread at the end. Usually when you order a curry, it consists of a few chunks of meat in a vat of sauce, but not here, the meat is very much the main event. Something Kingsley was very happy about.
Now, just to give you the heads up, there aren’t any desserts, so if you need something sweet after a meal like me, just pack a choccy bar in your handbag. And then, enjoy the last few weeks of summer with a few drinks out in their beer garden, whilst all that delicious food goes down.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu?