Now, I know that I’m putting a target on my back even suggesting a best-ever Thai food restaurant or street eatery, but it is purely my opinion and you’re welcome to disagree or tell me what you think is better. I’m sure I’m also going to get equally berated about the authenticity of the dishes, so I won’t put my head on a block about that either… and for very good reason.
One of my brother’s lived in Thailand for several years and, some time afterward, he also lived in China. He has told me more than once that we don’t know authentic food until we’ve done the same. Well, I’m not going to go and live there, so I’ll happily confess that these may not be totally authentic dishes, but they’re pretty damn close.
I first visited this restaurant several years ago with my daughter and friends who were visiting from South Africa. At the time, we all agreed that this was a Thai restaurant apart. Eight years later, and I made my third return visit with my family in tow. It didn’t disappoint.
Despite the rather odd location, which is on top of a high street clothing store and up a narrow flight of stairs, it’s not necessarily a place that you’d chose to visit unless you’ve been advised by a local, as I was. And it’s a delight. The decor is definitely authentic, and I can say that with confidence! The food is presented with wonderful attention to detail, along with the table settings.
Over the years that I have visited, it has consistently served the best Thai food that I have ever eaten… apparently authentic. And the staff certainly are, since they don’t speak much English at all and are clothed in Thai traditional outfits.
The service is graceful and attentive, and the food, freshly cooked on order, is served piping hot within minutes. And, as spicy as it is, (and some of it is undescribably hot, so pretty authentic from that point of view), it has an unexpectedly delicate flavour… cooked with a really light touch by someone who really knows what they’re doing.
This time I went with my family and they all agreed, this was a great meal… and it was just as I remembered it.
Jintana Thai Restaurant
Ambleside: Compston Road, LA22 9DJ. Tel: 015394 33394 Kendal: 101 Highgate, LA9 4EN. Tel: 01539 723123