FOOD MONSTER: Thai Moon in St Paul's Lane, Lincoln
As one door closes, another one opens – and that's exactly what's happened with a Thai restaurant in Lincoln's Bailgate.
Formerly, Thai Chiang Mai in St Paul's Lane the restaurant has reopened as Thai Moon.
I booked a table for 8pm on a Saturday evening, although on arrival to a seemingly empty restaurant I needn't have bothered.
However, we were lead upstairs to a cosy room where fellow diners had been seated.
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I really liked the large, heavy wooden tables and chairs.
And they hadn't made the same mistake many restaurants do in placing tables so close together you could join in with strangers' conversations.
The wine menu offered a good choice and we opted for the Merlot, which came in at the reasonable price of £13.95.
It wasn't the best wine I've ever tasted but it was drinkable and got smoother after the first few sips.
On looking through the menu, it was difficult to choose due to the variety on offer.
I usually like to try the banquet menu in a Thai but unfortunately my fellow diner was not a spice fan so the hot and sour spicy soup and Thai green curry elements were a no-go.
We decided on the house mixed starters to share, which consisted of prawn toast, chicken satay, spring rolls, spare ribs in honey, Thai fishcakes and marinated chicken wings.
Served on a platter with peanut and sweet chilli sauces it was a perfect way to start the meal.
And as I said to my concerned dining partner, even the spicier items were fragrant rather than 'hot'.
The satay, ribs and fishcakes were the tastiest although I must say, that for £7.50 per person, I would have expected a little more quantity.
The reception and service we received from staff was exceptional.
From the initial greeting, to taking our orders, serving food, quickly clearing dishes and magically reappearing to top up our wine and water glasses just at the right time – we were well and truly looked after.
For the main event I chose the Ped Phad King – an aromatic stir fried duck dish with ginger, onion, pepper and mushroom.
My spice-hating friend went for the Gai Pad Nam Man Hoi, which was stir fried chicken with oyster sauce and vegetables.
Both were tasty dishes, with plenty of meat and just enough sauce to mop up the wonderful sticky rice (Khao-Neow) we had ordered as a side dish.
As the menu helpfully has a heat indicator at the side of each dish, we knew we were safe as ours had a no chilli rating.
Next time I might go for something a bit more adventurous as I could have handled a little more oomph.
Fearing we may not have ordered enough we also opted for a chicken Pad Thai to share – a Thai-style fried rice noodles with spring onion, carrot, beansprouts and tamarind sauce with ground peanuts to top it off.
This was may favourite dish of the day. It was deliciously sweet and filling, and the peanut topping added a great crunchy texture.
We didn't leave a single morsel.
We were left to enjoy the rest of our wine at our leisure, despite it coming towards the end of the night.
Although some elements of the meal were pricier than expected, Thai Moon offers a relaxed, attentive and friendly dining experience with good food on offer.
With it not being on the beaten track it's a shame it won't get a great deal of passing trade, but I'm sure it will find and retain a number of dedicated customers.
THE FOOD: House mixed starters for two £15; Ped Phad King (duck with ginger, onions, pepper and mushrooms) £8.95; Gai Pad Nam Man Hoi (chicken with oyster sauce and vegetables) £8.25; Khao-Neow (steamed, sticky rice) £3.10; chicken Pad Thai (rice noodles with vegetables) £7.25; bottle of Merlot £13.95.
FINAL VERDICT: HA good Thai restaurant, plenty of choice and impeccable service – although some dishes were a little overpriced.
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