“ Address: 21 Sheep Street / Rugby / Warwickshire / CV21 3BU / Telephone: 01788 569525 „
I've been told that my review didn't give any idea of what the food is. The only way to sum it up would be to say: Thai food is very similar to Chinese food, but tastier. And unlike Chinese restaurants over here, who cook for western tastes and not as they'd cook in China, Thai food is cooked as you'd usually find in Thailand.
** So now onto the actual review: **
I love Thai Orchid. I walked past there once a week for two years and i never went in there, but always wanted to because it smelt fantastic; very aromatic, where the smell alone would make your mouth water.
Then one year my boyfriend and I went in there and we were both blown away.
The surroundings and the atmosphere in the restaurant were lovely, the service was very warm and friendly and the food was sublime.
The decoration consisted of mainly wooden pieces, everyone of which were intricately hand-crafted. They were on the walls and if, for some reason, you ran out of small talk, you could easily get absorbed into the pictures and become amazed by the detail, accuracy and care that had been put into them. Similar details are found on the table top.
As I said, the service was very warm. They were willing to answer any of our questions about their food, their culture, and they also talked to us a little bit, as if they were trying to get to know us personally.
The place has light music in the background, I say light because it isn't obtrusive, you can talk at a normal volume and if you wish to talk quietly you can, and will be able to hear each other perfectly.
I've never seen it extremely busy, but that is a lot better than having it massively crowded.
However, there are a lot of tables in the place and they range from big circled tabled that accommodate 8-10 people to small ones that accommodate 2 people. I would ring up or walk in a few days before if you definitely want a space,just in case it is busy as they do take bookings.
The restaurant is only on one floor, and the tables are spaced out and not pushed up right close together, and so I would assume it is ideal for disabled people, but not being, or not knowing anyone who is, disabled I wouldn't know.
* The food: *
The drinks are expensive but it's the perfect place for a lovely night out with a spouse or even with a group of friends, the food is well worth the money, coming in at around £26 per person with two drinks each and 3 course.
And the dessert Cart: WOW!!! just....WOW!!!
I don't remember what was on there but mainly because there was so much to choose from, we asked to have a bit of two different puddings each and we were basically given a whole portion of both for the same price as one, so if you have a sweet tooth then brilliant!
Although, the second time we went we asked for less and they were perfectly willing to do so.
I don't know if they cater for people with allergies, as I don't suffer from any so I wouldn't've needed to ask, but they were so friendly that if you asked for it to be cooked without some sort of ingredient then they'd most likely be willing to do so, unless it would compromise the food itself.
The menu itself is very large. It is split into different categories, starters, mains, and sides. The mains themselves are split into different meat groups; chicken, beef, duck etc, just as you'd find on a Chinese or Thai takeout menu.
Thai Orchid is the best thing to do with the town of Rugby, even their toilets are pristine and comfortable. I would recommend it to anybody! After visiting there, i have fallen in love with Thai food :D
Im a huge fan of this place, and having been here a few times, i can honestly day ive never had a bad meal here. Its a fairly big restaurant, and tends to never get too busy. They open at lunchtime for a few hours, and then again in the evening.
They offer a buffet style lunch, which is really cheap at just £9, and though ive never been much of a fan of buffet meals, i must say this one is great. The food is never dry, so hasnt been sitting around or reheated. It tastes competely fresh, like you'd just ordered it. They have loads dishes, and for your money you really are lucky, as you can try everything, and go up as much as you like.
They also have a buffet set meal, this is around £5 for a one course, or £7 for 2 and £9 for a 3. They have a good selection, and dont be afraid to ask if you can have a slight varaition on what the menu offers, as they are always very good at catering to your needs. This menu again is very good value, and one i'd recommend.
They also have an alcarte menu, this has more of a range, but is very pricey, and personally i wouldnt bother with it, as your bill is likely to be double even triple.
Its a lovelly restuarant, clean, bright, and very thai like. They have excellent service in here, and always are very attentive. The toilets are very clean and tidy, and overall if your looking for a good thai restaurant then this is the place to go.
Every once in a while, life can throw you a surprise and introduce you to something, someone or somewhere that you'd never otherwise have found. This is exactly what happened when a lorry jack-knifed on the M6 forcing us to take a detour in order to get home. We've lived in Northants for about three and a half years now and I thought we'd explored most of what the area had to offer within an hour or so drive - and to be honest, whilst the countryside is gorgeous, we don't half have some dire places round here. I could mention Corby, Daventry and Kettering if I wanted retribution from the inhabitants of those places but maybe it's safer if I don't. So as we diverted off the M6 and headed along the A428 towards Rugby, we ruminated on how come we'd never had a look at Rugby. "It's ugly" said hubby, who thought he'd been there years before for a training course and remembered only a railway station. But my stomach was starting to rumble and we didn't know how the traffic would play out so I suggested that if it looked half-decent, we should stop in Rugby and get some dinner.
When we found Rugby it looked like rather a nice place, and as we passed a place called the Thai Orchid my stomach spoke up for itself and demanded that we stop. We pulled off the main road, found a small car park and hurried round to see if we could get a table. It was quite early - about 6.30 pm - and we were the first customers of the evening. It was a Thursday night so that seemed a bit ominous; perhaps we were the only people in a 30 mile radius who didn't know that the restaurant served fried dog in salmonella sauce? Perhaps the locals knew something we didn't but I was hungry and Thai is my favourite style food so we were willing to give it a go.
The restaurant is really large - or perhaps being empty just exaggerated the size. It's beautifully decorated with carved scenes on the wall and lots of Thai nick-nacks all over the place - gold elephant heads, temple-style carvings and such like. The staff wear traditional Thai costume and appeared to be authentically Thai. We were taken to a table and left to consider the menus. There were several set menus but whilst I was hungry, I wasn't sure that I was THAT hungry or that we had quite so much time to spare. There were two standard mixed menus, the cheapest at £18.95 per head and the other at £22.00 per person. There was a seafood special set menu at a rather pricey £26.50 and finally a vegetarian set at £16.95. As I love seafood but am too mean to pay quite that much we decided to just pick a few dishes off the standard menu.
We polished off a basket of prawn crackers (the brownish ones rather than the Chinese-style white ones) with peanut and chilli dips and pondered the menu. Starters were easy because I love Tom Yum Soup so I ordered that with prawns for me and chicken for hubby. Then for main courses he chose a yellow chicken curry, I took a mixed seafood dish by the irresistible name of "Seafood Phad Prig Sod" (how could anyone NOT order something with such a name?) and finally we took a curried stir-fried bean curd dish to share. A portion of rice for each of us and the order was done and dusted.
Up to this point we were still the only people in the restaurant although as time passed a few others tables filled up. However by the time we left I think there were still more staff than diners. Our soups arrived and were delicious though I'd have to say they didn't look quite like Tom Yum I've had in any other restaurant. Rather than a dark reddish stock, this was a lighter yellow in colour and more cloudy in appearance. On the plus side though I didn't have to spend all my time picking out the inedible twigs that normally challenge anyone taking this soup. There were 3 or 4 large king prawns in my soup as well as lots of pieces of button mushroom and the balance of herbs was just right - plenty of Thai basil, a good spice kick but not so hot that you couldn't taste the different spices.
The main courses appeared at a suitable interval after the soups. First they brought three little clay candle burners to keep the dishes warm and then the dishes themselves arrived. The chicken curry was served in a chicken-shaped bowl complete with a head and wings - very cute; the mixed seafood dish arrived on a plate shaped - I was starting to see the trend at this point - like a fish; and the bean curd, disappointingly, was just on a normal oblong serving dish. Or maybe that's logically the shape of bean curd. We had large heated plates to eat from and whilst I didn't ask, I'd at least have liked the option of a bowl and chopsticks rather than the assumption of a plate and knife and fork.
I can't comment too much on the curry although I did sneak a tiny spoonful of the sauce and it was delicious - not too hot because my husband's a bit of a wimp - but full of complex flavours and textures. My seafood dish was fantastic. I think I'd feared a dish in which someone had thrown in a pack of mixed frozen seafood like you can buy in the freezer cabinet but I needn't have worried. The prawns were large and had their tails on; the mussels were wearing their shells; the fish had a light coating on it and had been fried and the squid had been scored and fried in large chewy pieces. The sauce itself was not that exciting so I was really pleased that we'd pigged out and gone for the curried bean curd to liven up the mix. Our usual Thai restaurant tends to be rather mean with their portions and you really do need three dishes between two but these were much more generous in size although we still left little more than the patterns on the plates.
The bill for the meal - a bowl of prawn crackers, two soups, three main courses, two rice and four diet cokes - came to £44.50, so no change from £50 after the tip was added. To be honest it was more than I'd normally want to pay for a 'stopping off on the way home' dinner but the quality was great and the price was pretty much what I'd expect for a Thai restaurant.
We liked the Thai Orchid and were intrigued to see what Rugby had to offer so we decided to go back a couple of days later and have a look around. What we'd seen of the place suggested it was worth another look and sure enough, we had a pleasant few hours checking out the town museum, the Rugby Museum (i.e. the sport not the town) and just wandering around looking in the shop windows and nosing about. We went back to the Thai Orchid and took a two course lunch deal which was priced at £8.95 per person but still managed to clock up £25 plus tip with just the addition of a couple of diet cokes each. They also offer a one course deal at £5.95 or an 'all you can eat' deal at £11.95 which we turned down because all I could eat (as a non meat-eater) was far too little to make it worth the bother.
So if you like Thai and find yourself in Rugby - or if another French lorry driver decides to exhibit his acrobatic skills at the end of the M6, forcing you to make a detour - you could do a lot worse than take a stop in Rugby and try out the Thai Orchid.
Thai Orchid Rugby
21 Sheep Street
Open every day serving lunch from noon to 2 pm and dinner from 6 pm to 10.30 pm.