It must have been an off-night when we called in for a ‘treat’

Thai By Night, Tithebarn Street, Poulton
Thai By Night, Tithebarn Street, Poulton
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Thai By Night, Poulton

In these days of economic uncertainty, restaurants would do well to remember that they are not entitled to our custom.

The Fylde coast is reasonably well stocked for Thai restaurants and as such you would have thought they were working hard to retain our custom to discourage us from choosing the opposition.

These were some of the thoughts I was left mulling over following a dinner experience at Thai By Night.

We’ve eaten at this restaurant in Tithebarn Street in Poulton before and have been impressed by both the food and the service.

Online reviews are also largely positive.

It must, therefore, have been an off night when we paid a recent visit - the service was slow and the food was, frankly, nothing special.

It was early and the restaurant wasn’t busy but we were still waiting 10 minutes to be asked what we would like to drink - long enough for me to wonder if we had chosen the right Thai restaurant for our family meal.

And it then seemed like another long wait for the drinks to arrive - even though our drinks seemed to be the only ones being poured out.

By the time they did arrive, we had long picked what we wanted and were more than ready to order. But the drinks arrived and the server then walked off again, and it was minutes later that the our order was finally taken - nearly 20 minutes after we first arrived. Irritating.

So... on to the food.

Before 8pm Sunday to Thursday, there is an early bird special menu with a starter, main and side for £10.95.

My younger daughter and I took advantage of this - and I’m pleased we did - as the main courses took 30 minutes to arrive from the time the order was taken.

The seasoned chicken wings starter was actually very tasty and one of the highlights of the meal. The spare ribs starter however was a very simple affair. It was sweet but lacked much other flavour and still tasted basic and ‘piggy’.

We ordered some prawn crackers to break up the wait for the main course - thankfully they weren’t of the white, greasy variety.

I ordered my younger daughter a green curry, to wean her off rice and ketchup, which like the red curry I ordered for myself were ‘ok’, but just average in terms of presentation and depth of flavour.

My elder daughter claimed the prize for ordering the best meal of the night. The small morsel I was afforded of the stir fried prawn with garlic and pepper was deliciously rich and the prawns were well sized.

The overwhelming flavour and experience of the stir fried noodles with prawns, spicy chilli sauce and basil sauce that my wife ordered was ‘too salty’. It was not a pleasant experience to eat and much of it was left on the plate. Disappointing.

What about the service?

The front-of-house team was understaffed and the service was therefore on the slow side. Maybe it was the hard work that tired out the server, but she definitely looked like she didn’t want to be there and did nothing to improve the atmosphere of the place. A smile would have helped.

And the meal finished badly.

The card machine wasn’t working (apparently the internet connection was down) and cash was the only way to pay. A warning at the start of the meal would have been appreciated - as it was though I had to walk through the cold rain to the cash machine to pay for this lacklustre meal.

I later learned that my wife was asked not to leave while I was out at the ATM in case, I assume, we all made off without paying. As the situation wasn’t of our creation I thought this request was unacceptable.

There are currently better Thai restaurants on the Fylde coast, although not all open on a Monday, and you may be better trying these first.

The bill with four soft drinks came to just under £44.

6 out of 10