Despite it being the middle of August, the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse. It is grey, dark and the non-stop rain makes the day feel heavier. This sort of weather makes me crave spicy food and hearty curries, which is why I found myself right at home at Thai Boran, Derby one chilly Friday evening.
I have visited Thai Boran numerous times since I moved to Derby nearly six years’ ago. It was originally housed in an older building on Green Lane a few doors from where it is now, which I loved, as I often prefer the old over the new. Thai Boran’s newer spot is more contemporary and has embraced the essence of street-food via both décor and menu revamp. The bar and walls are adorned with utensils, hats and interesting artwork.
There are a number of menus to choose from (more information on these detailed at the end), but for review, we dined from the à la carte menu.
Crackers and dipping sauce are always good to whet the appetite. The sauce is new and tangier than previous incarnations; still, it is good to dunk the Thai spiced crackers into.
A Thai Boran sharing platter is a great way to taste a larger swathe of menu without getting too full.
Chicken satay is so tender that the you want to savour the melt-in-your-mouth meat before it disappears. Satay sauce is nutty and fragrant.
Thai spring roll is crunchy and jam-packed with crisp vegetables. Chicken toast is meaty and filling, and not one I have tasted before; I am more familiar with its cousin from overseas, prawn toast.
Thai fishcakes are laced with kaffir lime. Steamed chicken and prawn dumpling sit in a spicy soy puddle and are my favourites on the platter.
Decorative vegetables like the fanned out courgette show focussed attention to minute detail, making the food all the more delicious, because you know the chefs have taken their time to prepare such striking garnishes.
My main of bean curd (served with jasmine rice) is presented with a flourish on a nautical fish dish. Bean curd is the versatile edible sponge, which when thinly sliced, soaks up more spices than usual rendering it, in my opinion, even more flavoursome than chicken. I enjoy this medium heat dish, and the sliced chillies are hot, so do mention to the waiter at the time of ordering, that you prefer this dish mild if need be.
Dining partner’s Sirloin steak arrives steaming hot, tender meat bathed in a flavoursome sauce that has hints of ginger and garlic. Every single vegetable on this sizzling skillet is full of flavour and bite, including mushrooms, which seem to be separately chargrilled then added to the sauce. This sort of cooking takes real skill and is the reason why I have made myself hungry just thinking about that sauce.
Pad Thai is perfect with this dish, as the gravy isn’t too thick, more of an unctuous sauce, which goes really well with the flat noodles.
We are too full to even think about dessert, so promise to return to check out the sweet offerings some other time.
Dining at Thai Boran is a feast for the senses and soul. Service is always with a warm, beaming smile in the form of the agile Sam, who seems to glide from table to table effortlessly.
The food is a big draw and can be enjoyed at home via collection and Deliveroo (we saw three Deliveroo drivers duck in to pick precious cargo during the course of the evening).
For authentic food that will put a smile on your face, head to Thai Boran Derby now.
The different menus available are: Set: Banquet Thai Boran, Buddha Set, Taste Thai Set; Early Bird (5pm-7pm), lunch (12pm-2:30pm) and à la carte.
Restaurant name: Thai Boran
Address: 20 Green Lane, Derby DE1 1RP
Mon-Thurs 12–2:30pm | 5–11pm
Fri-Sat 12–3pm | 5–11pm
Sun 12–2:30pm | 5–10:30pm
How to make reservation: Telephone and online
Telephone: 01332 405894
Head chef: Srikanya
Front of house: Sam
Caters for dietary requirements: Yes, there are also plenty of vegetarian dishes.
How to get there: Thai Boran is conveniently located in the city centre with on-street parking (free after 8pm on weekdays).
Takeaway is available for collection and delivery
Whilst in the area: Get your hair done at Hairworx UK Derby, where the best colour specialists / blow-driers in the lovely forms of Tom and Kirsty will make you feel like a million dollars.