Monday, 9 February 2009

'Our Place'

"I THINK it's 'our place'," the boy said to me recently in reference to the Barton Arms in Aston.
It was true. Of all the places in the world to eat, this was just one place we couldn't help heading back to.
And so it came to pass that on a frosty Friday night we ventured down Newtown Row in search of the best Thai food in Brum.
Through the doors of the beautifully-restored Victorian pub we went, full of anticipation, with memories of meals past still fresh on out lips.
Our reverie was shattered by a chilly reception from a sullen waitress. We hadn't booked. She said she 'supposed it would be okay for us to have a table' despite a half empty dining room.
The table she offered us had clearly had a few too many pints, so we moved to one which didn't need a deck of cards under one of its legs.
Thai prawn crackers were ordered. A mountain arrived with a shallow dish of sweet chili dip - so shallow we had to ask for a top-up.
The boy drank Hoegaarden and I supped Diet Coke while we perused the menu. Prices had gone up, we noticed, about a pound per dish - but it' still miles cheaper than most Thai restaurants.
I plumped for the tempura king prawns to start while the other half chose the crispy squid.
Hot and freshly cooked, both dishes were a dream to eat. Any animosity we felt towards our chilly welcome quickly dissolved.
The prawns were as good as I remembered; the batter light and the flesh succulent. Meanwhile the boy loved his squid, which had been fried in a chunky oaty-flavoured crumb.
I continued my prawn theme and chose the pad priewwan with tiger prawns, while the other half opted for the chicken panang curry.
Once again, both tasted freshly cooked, although my prawns were a little tough. I guess that serves me right for binging on shellfish. The vegetables, and sweet, fruity sauce were impeccable though - I could've licked my plate.
The boy's curry was dry and creamy, and the chicken moist. He said the sauce seemed less nutty than he remembered, but he was happy all the same.
No room for pud and a good job too as the bill came to close to forty quid. I am sure it used to be just shy of thirty.
But it's quality food in beautiful surroundings, if you haven't been yet, it's time to give it a try. You never know, it could just be your next favourite restaurant...
Barton Arms on Urbanspoon

No comments: