Dinner At Tom Yum in Belper
It’s been an absolute age since I last had Thai food, mainly because there isn’t that many of them around. However a kindly blog reader came up with the suggestion after I had posted for somewhere to take a friend out to dinner, and so we all trooped out to Tom Yum in Belper. What a great setting! For those of you who haven’t been, the restaurant is set in one of Strutts Mills, which are exceptionally striking buildings from Britain’s Textiles heyday.
The restaurant is located in the cellar and as such has those glorious arches to the ceiling and amazing exposed stone and brickwork in abundance, which have been worked with sympathetically. The colour scheme has been kept very subdued with pale sage green table linens, carved wooden masks on the walls and other Thai artefacts in whites and gold. This gives the restaurant a very relaxed tranquil feel that is conducive to savouring food.
There is an extensive selection of both meat and vegetarian dishes to choose from, and I also spotted a child’s high chair tucked away in the corner, so it’s suitable for younger family members too. They offer set menu options for various size groups as well as a la carte for those that like to choose their own combinations. The boys had a speciality Thai lager to kick things off and I had a Gin and Tonic. We also ordered a bottle of wine from the list to enjoy through our evening.
For our starters we had the Thai Fish Cake with Sweet Chilli Sauce, Steamed Chicken and Prawn Dumplings with Sweet Chilli and Ginger Soy Dip and the Crispy Duck Filo Parcels with a Sweet Chilli Dip. They arrived at our table looking like works of art with sculpted vegetable garnishes adorning the plates, and the food itself tasted like works of art too, all 3 were absolutely delicious.
The main courses were no less impressive. We had chosen all 3 dishes from the Tom Yum Signatures section ; I had the Steamed Sea Bass in Lemongrass and Lime dressing, His Nibs had the Flaming Weeping Tiger ( Sirloin Steak) with Oyster sauce , sesame oil, Soy sauce, Garlic, Mushroom and Spring Onion gravy, and our visitor had Grilled Tom Yum Sizzling Pork. I opted for steamed Coconut rice with my fish and the gents had Sticky Rice with their dishes.
Each dish had its own piquancy, but because Thai cuisine has what I would call “clean, fresh“ spices you don’t seem to be overwhelmed by the heat quite so much as you can be with Indian food. The portion sizes were very pleasing and with our dishes ranging from £9.50 to £15 we feel they represent excellent value for money. My fish was moist and had retained its texture, and both the Steak and Pork were superb quality cuts with a nice variety of vegetables in the dishes too.
As always we rounded things off with pudding, I had the Voodoo Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream (I opted to not have the accompanying Whisky), The Man had a scoop each of the Toffee Apple Ice Cream and the Lemongrass and Lime Sorbet and our friend went for the same sorbet but had Vanilla Ice Cream.
Our server was an absolute delight throughout our visit and the premises are spotless, the food was piping hot, of great quality and the toilets were very clean too. I can safely say that Tom Yum should be on your list of places to eat dear reader, you won’t be disappointed. Tom Yum certainly deserves its “Hot Wings”.