Rim Nam Thai
Rim Nam translates as ‘Waterside’ and the restaurant does have a fantastic location overlooking the canal, marina and colourful narrow-boats. Huge windows make the most of the view.
Rim Nam is Thai run. The service is efficient, friendly and solicitous. Staff wear silk sarongs and flowers in their hair and are happy to talk with customers – in English or Thai. The décor is simple and elegant. We felt as though we could be in Thailand, even before the food arrived, even on a stormy January day.
The food is divine. Like real Thai food only, perhaps, slightly richer. Rich and fresh and hitting all the tastebuds; sweet and sour and spicy and salty all at once. Green and red curries, whole grilled fish, spicy salads, soups infused with lemongrass – all invoke the humid languor of Thailand. There are plenty of vegetarian options packed with tofu or firm mushrooms, in addition to all the classic Thai dishes featuring chicken, red meat and seafood.
Prices start at £4.50 for an appetiser, £6.50 for a simple pad thai, around £10-£15 for a more sumptuous main course with rice. Tiny eye-watering chillis, cashews and crushed peanuts may turn up in garnishes, so if you don’t like chilli or are nut-allergic, mention this when you order.
Rim Nam has a new, improved dessert menu with authentic Thai custard or Thai sweet pancake as well as tropical versions of favourites such as cheesecake (mango) and a delicious interpretation of banoffee pie, resting on a strip of banana leaf. The accompanying ice cream is good and the sweets are gorgeously presented with fresh strawberry, raspberry and mint. There’s a full wine list and a bar which serves Thai lagers (Singha, Chang and Tiger) as well as British beers and spirits.
A good restaurant for large parties, as there is space and willingness to create long, banquet-style tables. Groups should book ahead; choosing from one of the set menus is recommended.