Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Thai Terre Uckfield - review

Uckfield is buzzing with news of a Thai restaurant opening in the High Street.  Thai Terre already has a restaurant in Eastbourne but we heard they were coming to Uckfield in the recently closed down Pepper Dining.  People have been waiting for weeks for news of its opening and we were excited at the thought of more variety in Uckfield's food scene too.  Tonight was opening night and we booked a table, it was perfect timing since the twins are enjoying a rare sleepover at their grandparents!

As soon as we arrived at 7:45pm, we noticed the place was busy but there were still tables free.  We went along with open minds, expecting there may be a few teething problems on the first night and we may have a wait for food so we were relieved it wasn't completely full and hoped all would go well.  It did, we loved the food and the staff were very friendly.

We were greeted warmly and I asked for a table by the window if possible and we were led to the last available window table.  Menus soon followed and we were impressed with the professional finish to the menus and overall decor in the restaurant.  I'd been once before when it was Pepper Dining and they've done a good job of redecorating, adding their own touches with Thai wall art and fresh orchids in the windows.

I'd already had a sneaky peek at the menu on their original restaurant website and it does appear to be the same.  They explain that they use fresh local ingredients where possible for their traditional Thai recipes and we definitely felt the food reflected the high quality they claim.  Everything sounded delicious and we opted for one of the dim sum options to start along with spare ribs, planning to share.

Although the food & drinks menus arrived quickly, we did have to wait a while to order and although it was opening night and it was quite busy, we did feel forgotten about.  After around 15 minutes they came to take our drinks order and we both opted for Thai Singha beers and some tap water.  As we'd already waited a while, we also ordered our food at the same time and both our drinks and starters arrived swiftly within 10 minutes.

The Saa Lai Dim Sum is described as "minced prawn and crab in seaweed roll".  The See Krong Moo (pork spare ribs) were marinated in Oyster sauce with cauliflower and seasoning.  The dim sum was disappointing, they had minced prawn around the edge but had crab sticks in the centre rather than fresh real crab and the overwhelming flavour was of crab stick.  The ribs however were divine!  The sauce was delicious and the meat so tender and full of flavour although I'm not sure where the cauliflower comes in, perhaps it's in the sauce or maybe that's what the flower garnish is carved out of.  We both agreed we wouldn't get the prawn & crab dim sum again but we loved the ribs and would definitely go back for more of those.

Our mains took a little longer to arrive but we didn't mind this now we had our drinks, except for the water that was forgotten.  Nik had opted for the Duck in Tamarind sauce with steamed Jasmine rice and I chose the Thai green chicken curry with coconut rice.  Both were lovely, the portions were a very good size, I actually asked to bring the rest of my curry home as I felt full.  The duck was tender and had nice crispy skin which went very well with the sweet & tangy sticky sauce and lettuce leaves it was served with.

My curry was excellent, fairly mild but with a decent kick the more you ate.  The vegetables in the curry were cooked to perfection and you could really taste all the different flavours with the slightly sweet coconut rice.  The food looked lovely too, they make an effort to present it well, we really enjoyed it and would recommend both main courses.

Our bill for two courses each and two beers came to £46.80 plus tip.  Our mains added up to around £12 & £14 each when we added the rice, the beers were £3.50 each and the starters £6.50 and £6.95.

The toilet was clean and bright, again freshly decorated - you could still smell the paint.  We didn't have the kids with us so I forgot to check facilities but there was a disabled toilet which hopefully has a changing table.

I loved the overall decor with the big Buddha head on the end of the bar and the wooden carvings and metal artwork along with fresh flowers on the tables and fresh orchids dotted in the windows.  It's Thai style done tastefully with frosted decals on the windows also adding a touch of Thailand.  Hopefully I'll be able to pop in soon when it's a bit quieter during the day and take some better photos of the place.

It would be interesting to see how they cope on a busy Saturday night as the tables are quite tightly packed, I had trouble squeezing past where people were sitting to get to the toilet and we noticed the staff had to go a long way around to serve some food to tables.  Hopefully they'll get quicker at taking drinks orders too but for their first night we think it went really well.

In summary, we love Thai Terre and think it will be really successful here.  The food is delicious and service is friendly and generally efficient.  Although we had to wait 15 minutes to order drinks after receiving our menus and had to remind them about our water twice, we were impressed there were no other teething problems for such a large restaurant on a busy opening night, we reckon we'll be back often.

Olive Dragonfly Rating - Thai Terre Uckfield
Food & Drink - 8/10
Atmosphere - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 8/10

Overall - 8/10

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