Now, I do like Thai food - the flavours, the vibrant colours, the spices, you name it.
But I have to admit, it was with a little trepidation I booked a table at Thai on the Square - it was upstairs in what was a pub function room after all.
My apologies to John and Sabrina who run the place - and to their chef - for what was a surprisingly good lunch enhanced by extremely friendly service.
The restaurant area, which seats 50 or so, is set up really well and pleasing on the eye - lots of exposed brickwork and nicely lit.
The menu has everything you would expect from a Thai restaurant and more I hadn’t come across. Some great sounding salads such as Yum Taley, a combination of prawns, mussels, squid, scallops and crabs mixed with onions, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions and coriander tossed with a hot and sour dressing; mouthwatering.
The grill section caught the eye too with lamb, pork, prawns and steak all featuring, not to mention Pho Tak, a spicy seafood soup with lemon-grass and fish sauce.
Plenty to mull over as we began munching through the basket of prawn crackers
As it was I went with Muk Tod Pri Thai as a starter - that is crispy battered squid with chilli and garlic to you and I.
The coating was indeed crunchy and nicely seasoned and the seafood at the heart of the dish cooked perfectly - no hint of rubbery squid here. Just about as good as it gets.
They came with a little cleansing salad, hot green chilli and a not-to-be-messed-with hot sauce.
I turned to the grill for my main course a marinated sirloin steak, served on the hot, sizzling griddle with the chef’s special sauce (Weeping Tiger).
The meat was lovely and tender and with a great flavour- hard to tell where the marinade ended and the sauce began. Spiced but not especially hot. It was served with crunchy peppers and onions and went down a treat with my side order of beautifully moist egg noodles.
There were similar murmerings about the quality of the food across the table.
Donna had Pad Med Ma Muang - lots of sticky, chewy crispy beef stir fried with cashew nuts, red peppers, onions, chilli oil and roasted dry chilli. Delicious and even the sauce remaining at the bottom of the bowl got finished off. The side order of stir fried broccoli, nice and firm still, with Chinese mushrooms and oyster sauce made a great pairing.
The biggest surprise came from our dessert. Sweet pancakes with ice cream sounded straightforward enough, but these were green and wrapped around moreish dessicated coconut. Delightful.
Venue: Thai on the Square (Stone Loach Inn) 9 High Street, Market Deeping, PE6 8EA
tel 01778 347653
Brad’s rating: 8