Forget the groan-worthy name, Thairiffic's food is worth shouting about
What is it with Thai restaurants and punning titles? Andrea Pearson groans at the name of the latest Glasgow arrival, but not at the food on offer
New Thai restaurants in Glasgow are like buses. You wait ages for one to come along then two turn up. So it is with Chaophraya arriving in Nelson Mandela Place in early summer, closely followed by Thairiffic in Sauchiehall Street.
And, just as with buses – you jump on the first one only to find a more suitable one pulling in behind – Thairiffic is perhaps a better option if you wish to be transported to Thailand. While Chaophraya is fun, huge, hectic and glittery, Thairiffic is trim, friendly and super tasty.
The latter is the creation of proprietor Ming Cho Lim, who has gathered a team of expert kitchen staff from London, Thailand and elsewhere to create authentic tastes of her homeland. Familiar dishes are executed perfectly – a tam kha gai soup offers a great balance of comforting, creamy coconut with lively lemongrass and chilli and the ‘rock and roll’ spring roll starter selection is also a cut above – crisp, delicate and clearly home-made.
The main course options on the à la carte are many, from noodles and stir-fries to hefty curries and seafood specials. The thick massaman curry sauce, a favourite among Thai fans, envelopes tender beef in layers of peanutty flavour. The tenderness of the meat throughout the meal is striking – the key is that superior cuts of pork and beef are delivered to the restaurant every other day and then expertly handled in the kitchen by the chef.
Thairiffic staff are keen to encourage diners to experiment, moving away from curries and sampling more intriguing dishes. A ‘pla ma-maung’ is a Thai salad of mango, Chinese celery, chilli and delicately breaded sea bass, offering a suitably fiery alternative to curry for those looking to dodge the leaden effect of a rich sauce and a mound of rice.
And in the puds, there’s a deep-fried ice-cream option – perfect for Glasgow. So don’t be put off by the somewhat unusual name. It may be a bit naff but … a rose by any other name and all that. Just dive in with all senses.
+ Tender, soft beef massaman curry
- Salt content a bit thairifying