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Monkey & I
Boston, Lincolnshire
07808 590203
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Dinner With Friends At Monkey and I Thai Restaurant, Boston

Published On Tuesday 9 Jul 2024 by Sticky Beak
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One, well two, things you can be sure of when His Nibs and I visit Bestie Bird and The Bolton Wanderer, is that there is going to be plenty of food and drink involved! We started off pretty steadily when we arrived on the Friday evening with a couple of bottles of wine and a marvelous (home-cooked by TBW himself) Tex-Mex spread.

Saturday morning saw the sun come out - finally! – so TBW got his Chefs’ Apron on again and rustled up a mixture of Bacon, Egg and Sausage breakfast Muffins for us all: mega-scrummy they were, too. We already knew how our Saturday evening was panning out, BB having made the reservations a few weeks earlier, so we kicked back and sat out in the sunshine for a lazy liquid lunch and some Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts.

Clouds had threatened to deposit a shower of rain, but thankfully it didn’t materialize; perhaps as well, as I realized that I hadn’t brought a jacket with me to Lincolnshire – doh!! Donning our gladrags, it was time to jump into the taxi (see, we can be responsible adults sometimes!) and head into Boston town. My tummy was rumbling in anticipation as we walked down the cobbled alley to the venue.

Monkey and I is run by couple Matthew (the ‘Top Gun’ of hospitality – love that!) and Kanchana, the Thai-born Chef – guaranteed good tucker, then. A friendlier welcome you couldn’t wish for as Matthew ushered us in, and we stepped over the wood, herringbone-patterned threshold into a beautifully exotic space. Behind me was a huge mural of a jungle, which then blended seamlessly into a sloping, decorative faux-foliage adorned wall. A lush, deep shade of green coloured the upper half of the walls, with a gold inlay accenting the dark tones of the panels on the bottom half. Tables were simple dark wood affairs set with bamboo place-mats, and either accompanied by mid-back chairs in mustard, dark brown or green shades, or the window seat/banquette that was strewn with storm grey cushions. Above the banquette was a garland of faux Wisteria to soften the look, and lighting was provided by discreet pendants fitted with amber-toned bulbs.

Having ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and one of Merlot (both a mere £17), it was down to business in deciding what morsels to eat. Monkey and I don’t do any sharing platters, so we ordered a selection for us all to graze from: Fried Chicken Dumplings on the specials board (£6.80), Crispy Spring Rolls with Sweet Chilli Sauce (£6.65), Vegetable Tempura with Thai Spices and Sweet Chilli Sauce (£6.70), and Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Butter (£7.60).

Before long, our lovely servers were placing a quartet of exquisitely presented platters on the table, and we all smiled in appreciation at the effort that had clearly gone into them. Each dish was garnished with baby Lettuce leaves, fresh Coriander, finely shredded white Cabbage and slices of Orange; they say you feast with your eyes, and our visual sense was certainly stimulated. 

Everything was delicious, it really was. The Chicken was beautifully moist and tender, paired with a gorgeously tangy Satay Sauce, and each skewer was a good size. Fans of Tempura will be more than happy with Monkey and I’s version: the batter was light-as-a-cloud and not a trace of oil remained, and there was Courgette, Red Pepper, Broccoli and Mushroom to savour.

The Crispy Spring Rolls were plump and compact, and piping hot – you could see the steam issuing from them when we cut them open! Each roll was stuffed to the brim with a mix of vegetables that crunched satisfyingly when bitten into. Unanimously, we said that the star of the starter show were the Fried Chicken Dumplings; you wouldn’t think they were fried at first because they didn’t look oily, but the crisped outer gave the game away. Paired with the shredded Chicken was possibly the tastiest dipping sauce we’ve had! The darkly mysterious sauce was certainly spicy - it had our lips tingling –and hidden within its depths were a mix of finely diced vegetables that provided a bit more texture to this dish.

I tell you what, you could come to Monkey and I and share a bottle of wine with several starter dishes and come away feeling satiated, quite easily. In fact, if you can’t be faffed to cook after work this would be the perfect meet-up point with friends/partners/family, as well as being a great venue for a celebration meal. Several parties of diners arrived as the evening progressed, so my advice would be to book ahead if you want a table! However, if you want to dine at home, then why not order in a take-away from the restaurant?

Our server was happy to be taking squeaky clean dishes and platters back to the kitchen, receiving our thanks graciously. Matthew also popped over to see what we’d thought of the dishes we’d chosen and have a general chat with us. 

We skipped the soup course and, thanks to Green Papaya being rarer than the proverbial rocking horse poop, the Sum Tam Thai Salad (£10.20) was unavailable that evening; given the warmth of the evening weather, this would’ve been an absolute joy to munch at alongside the other dishes that we’d ordered for mains: Lamb Shank Massaman Curry (£19.80) from the specials board, Gai Yang (overnight roasted Chicken, £18.80), Duck Pad Sia Eaw (£14.30), Seafood Sweet and Sour (£14.80). We also ordered a couple of portions of Steamed Sticky Rice (£4.20 each) – you can’t go to a Thai restaurant and not have this treat, you just can’t!

What can I say about the Lamb Shank Massaman Curry? OMG sums it up, perfectly. The sizeable piece of Lamb sat proudly in the centre of a rich curry sauce, garnished with Cress, and accompanied by Broccoli and Cauliflower. Red Chillies could be seen in the sauce, but don’t let that put you off; this was certainly a flavoursome dish, but not an especially spicy one, so I’d certainly give it a go if you’ve never had before.

Chef Kanchana had sliced the overnight-roasted Chicken breast into thick slices, making it really easy to help ourselves to. Coating the poultry was a gloriously sticky, rich-tasting Sweet Chilli glaze – blooming superb is all I can say about this: utterly moreish. A deep bed of crunchy vegetables (Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower and Mushroom) added all the texture and colour a meal could desire and contrasted brilliantly against the softness of the Chicken Breast.

Noodles are a diet staple in Thai cuisine, so needless to say that they were cooked to perfection! Beansprouts, Spring Onion, Carrot, Mangetout and Cauliflower also featured in the Pad Sia Eaw, along with succulent slices of Duck meat: this was super-tasty and everyone got stuck in to it. Sweet and Sour at Monkey and I isn’t how you think it’s going to be: the ‘sauce’ is runnier and there’s more of a kick to it. I would describe it as more of a broth with the Seafood - Mussels, Prawns and Squid - and vegetables bathing in it. Again, this was a cracking dish.

All the food had been colourful, flavoursome, and plentiful so far; could the desserts match up?  As far as His Nibs was concerned, yes, yes they could; he’d spotted Banana Pancakes (£7.40), so that was all he needed to know! BB was also in the market for these creations, so they agreed to share a portion of those; TBW and I said we’d divvy up a ‘Wonder Bowl’ (£7.80) between us. The Wonder Bowl is comprised of pastry sheets that are filled with Ice Cream and then fried, resulting in a crisp outer and soft inner.

Even the desserts are lavished with attention at Monkey and I; both offerings were scattered with colourful hundreds-and-thousands and served with fresh fruits: Cherries on one, Raspberries and Blueberries on the other. The Wonder Bowl was just as promised: crispy on the outside and creamy Vanilla Ice Cream on the inner.

This was simple but really nice, and after such a spice-filled meal it was nice to have an easy conclusion to mine and TBW’s experience. Across the table, The Man and BB were chowing down happily on their combination of sweet, fluffy Pancakes and soft, warm sliced Banana. They both said it was the perfect way to finish a meal.

Throughout our time at Monkey and I, we’d had excellent service; nothing was too much trouble and it was all done with a smile. The premises themselves were kept spotless and, when a table had been vacated it was thoroughly cleaned and re-laid.

Monkey and I is open Weds-Sun from 5.30pm-10pm (10.30pm on Friday and Saturday), and you can book a table by ringing 07808 590203. You can also visit the website www.monkeyandithai.co.uk to view the menu if you fancy ordering a take-out.

Hot Wings more-than-happily given to this outstanding Boston restaurant – we rated the food as good as Simply Thai in Buxton…and that’s some praise!

No incentive was provided to visit this venue read more

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