I found her online and after clarifying that my shrimp/prawn allergy wouldn't be a hindrance, we promptly booked 2 places for her Spice Away the Blues - Thai Supperclub, last Friday.
I often find myself at a disadvantage in Thai restaurants because while I love the cuisine and the spice, their use of shrimp paste in the basic spice pastes, precludes most food from the menu. So I was very excited, when she promised me that I would be able to eat everything on that nights menu.
We arrived at their home in time and were warmly welcomed into their beautiful home by Urmi and the Delectable Mr G
We sat down to a table with an eclectic mix of people and Urmi explained her background of living in Thailand and which regions our menu for the night stemmed from.
Thai food needs to be eaten as soon as it is cooked. Its not meant to be reheated. So there was a bowl of shrimp crackers on the table while she quickly fried up our starters. I had to wait patiently, but that obviously gave me an advantage over the others. I could focus on all the home cooked goodies and eat more of them.
The fried tofu was so light, I've never eaten such a lovely version before. Often tofu gets tough and rubbery (not that I order it often), but this version was light, delicate and spongy on the inside of a crisp exterior.
The meat eating me reveled in the umpteen platters of fried chicken (Kai Thod Krob) that were brought to the table. So moreish. They were my second favourite dish of the evening.
My favourite dish for the day was definitely the fish ball soup (Kwa Tiew Look Chin Naam) which she assembled in front of us! Customised to individual tastes. I asked for a little extra chilli and lemon in mine. I could live on this soup. Such a light flavourful stock, the fresh herbs, the smooth slithery noodles and the delectable fish balls.
Even if the meal had ended right here, I would have been very happy and contented, but there was even more food to come.
The main course was egg fried rice (Kaw Phad Khai) served with a pork jungle curry (Gaeng Par) and a stir fry of morning glory (Phat Phak Kiew) with lovely caramelised bits of garlic?
Urmi had made a separate batch of pork curry for me without the shrimp paste which made me feel very special. I was just embarassed that I could barely begin to make a dent in it, as I was already quite stuffed. Others at the table were also waving the surrender flag.
But I knew to keep a little space for dessert. It was pumpkin stewed in coconut milk (Fucktong Buat). I was so happy that it wasn't a dessert with fruits in it (I'm not allergic, I just don't like the taste or texture of most of them) This was a really delicately flavoured dessert. No added sugar and a lot of slow cooking love.
The food was absolutely amazing. There were a couple of pescatarians at the table and she had alternative options for them for the pork curry and the fried chicken.
Michael is a wine connoisseur, so they offer the option to buy wine that goes well with their food at their house and quite a few took them up on their offer.
We aren't wine drinkers and the weather is too cold for cider, so we stuck to water. Therefore the palate cleanser of rose and lemon was really welcome midway through the meal. Absolutely refreshingly delicious.
At 35£, we were served a phenomenal quantity of food and so much variety, while catering to a myriad dietary restrictions, which is commendable for a home based operation.
Urmi also offers Cooking Classes and Demonstrations and also has an option that fulfills the skills section for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Her other options include supplying food and cooking in your home.
They are very genial hosts, so I would recommend trying them out if you have a hankering for Thai food. Contact Urmi on bluelotusinspirations@gmai