Dragon Boats Beside The Canal: Anniversary at Kinnaree

We had dressed up for the occasion, and were walking through Brindley Place food quarter and then along the canal wondering what it would lead us to. Bear had booked us a table a Kinnaree, a Thai restaurant with some great reviews.

I love Thai food; it’s the kind of cuisine that I ask why we don’t get more often. It tends to miss the stodginess you can get with Chinese, there are cleaner flavours, and more textures in each mouthful. Can you tell I had high expectations?

We arrived to a lion-guarded door letting us see a light-filled restaurant. Kinnaree have tried hard to really let you into a little bit of Thailand. Beautiful decoration, gold accents, and intricate detail covers the space, and led by a well-presented woman we walk through other diners to our table by the window overlooking the canal, and right beside a giant dragon boat which divided the room.

The service was great, and as it was our anniversary we were quickly given two glasses of champagne and strawberries (which made Bear rather tipsy as he drank both). We ordered the Sri Syuthaya Era set menu, drank through a gorgeous Mango Crush drink and enjoyed our surroundings.

It wasn’t long before our food turned up, and even if it had been slow we were happily munching through the equivalent to prawn crackers on the table. The Kinnaree mixed starter was beautifully presented alongside the traditional and crafted salad flowers. The spring rolls were almost the best I’ve ever had, the chicken was moist and falling easily from its kebab stick; the only disappointment seemed to be the fish cakes. To be fair, having found what I thought were the best fish cakes in the world, Kinnaree had stiff competition, but I was still sad to find them a little too solid. The prawn toast helped to make up for it with their thick fluffiness!

Next came Tomkha Gai soup, which had a creamy thin coconut base and was filled with perfectly cooked chicken, mushroom, onion and so much goodness. It was surprisingly filling but Bear happily lapped up my leftovers. The chilli oil resting on top of the soup kept our mouths wonderfully warmed. I think it became our joint aim to find out how to make this soup so we can eat it forever.

The main course was a selection of dishes with Thai Jasmine Rice. With a ranging level of spice between the dishes I managed to ease my taste buds into the meal, but every bite was delicious. The spiciest of the three options was a meaty prawn stir fry which despite the heat I would have kept eating forever. Alongside this we had a stir fried chicken with cashew nuts, and a masaman beef curry which seemed to go quickly once put infront of Bear. I would heartily recommend all three.

Full and laughing we left the restaurant, and received a kind “Happy Anniversary”. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back again, possibly with our fathers (who both also love Thai food)! Despite being a somewhat pricey restaurant, the £22.99 per person price for a 3 course meal felt like good value.

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