Hands up who loves Thai food? me too! and Thai cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK in part because a growing number of people are enjoying holidays in Thailand. They like the exotic flavours and fresh ‘street food’ style of Thai cuisine and look to enjoy these authentic dishes once home (OK, you can put your hands down now!).
So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that my Brother-in-law Ken and his wife Kay (who’s from Thailand) planned to open their own Thai Restaurant in Sunderland. After a lot of hard work by themselves (along with some help from family members) they opened the doors of Royale Thai to family and friends ahead of the Grand Opening today (Friday 6th January 2017).
Having seen the building before and during remodelling work started (it was formerly a Royal Mail parcel collection service) it was great to see the finished result. The décor is impressive and very well thought out with a main scheme of sumptuous red and black paired with rich, dark wood furnishings and complimented by stunning Thai influenced wall murals, artwork and decorative touches. This all creates a very warm, welcoming atmosphere with enough lighting to still read the menu, something that many restaurants get wrong (yes, we’ve all been there right?).
The restaurant is on the ground floor and easily accessible. There’s also a function room with bar upstairs which is available to hire and perfect for special celebrations.
Bearing in mind this was an evening for family and friends I knew it wasn’t going to be your typical menu/venue preview. We’d all agreed to book tables to arrive at staggered times to make it a proper restaurant experience for the staff and guests alike but that’s where the similarities ended as it’s not often that 1) you walk into a restaurant and know absolutely everybody 2) are greeted by a relation to show you to your table and 3) stop at most tables to greet everyone happy new year!
Ron and I were seated with menus, which offer a good selection of dishes including vegetarian options. We were shortly approached by a friendly staff member who promptly took our drink orders before returned to take our food order too. To start we ordered the Royale Thai Deluxe Platter (sharing platter for 2) and for a main course I chose one of the speciality dishes, Chicken Cashew Nuts and Ron opted for Pad Thai Noodles – Thai Style with Prawns.
I’d always had high hopes for the food as the kitchen, led by my sister-in-law Kay, is staffed with chefs who previously worked in some of the regions highly popular Asian restaurants, Kay included and I can honestly say we weren’t disappointed when our food arrived.
Royale Thai Deluxe Platter
Chicken Cashew Nuts
Pad Thai Noodles – Thai Style with Prawns
All food was hot, well presented and served on lovely white china, a perfect canvas to show off the colourful food…and most importantly of all it was delicious. Ron and I both agreed the food was better than most we’d had in other Asian restaurants. We were approached frequently by friendly staff members to ask if we were enjoying our food and if we’d like another drink, although we decided against a desert and finished our evening with a coffee. During the evening floor manager, Tuk, made time to visit each table and chat to customers as well as offering to answer any questions. It was good to know that the chefs will happily adjust the spice level in certain dishes, just ask when ordering.
I’m proud to see Ken and Kay’s dream of opening their own Thai restaurant become a reality. Their aim is to offer people an authentic taste of Thailand and I believe that’s exactly what they provide.
The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and evening meals (except Sunday – open from 5pm) There’s a Happy Hour 5 days a week Sunday – Thursday 5.30pm to 7pm, where you can enjoy a 3 course special for only £12.95 per person and kid’s meals at £3.95. The full menu can be found at the bottom of this post. Bookings can be made by calling 0191 5678395 and further information can be found on their Facebook page.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review*, I hope you enoyed it…and if you see me at Royale Thai, pop over and say hello.
Bye for now, June xx
*All opinions are mine and Rons own and no compensation was provided in exchange for this honest review.