Oxford is not short of Thai restaurants, that is for sure. However, whilst there is a good level of Thai food in the city centre, the much fabled trend of Thai pubs continues to grow in Oxfordshire. See the Rising Sun in Thame as a great example of the latter. Regular readers will know that I am a champion of the underdog and love to find a hidden gem. I had heard good things about the White Horse in Forest Hill from a few sources, but they were casual ‘try it if your passing’ kind of vibes. Keeping my mind open and my stomach empty I decided to visit on a warm Friday evening and see what it had for me.
Recently, I have been using lamb or chicken massaman curry as the yardstick to judge Thai restaurants along with their prawn crackers, satay dipping sauce and chicken pad Thai. Most recently, on a visit to a ‘local’ Thai pub I had been severely underwhelmed by their massaman attempts, finding a semi-skinned Jersey Royal potato in my curry and wondering what life held for me.
We decided to sit outside and dine al fresco whilst watching the world go by in Forest Hill, which was the perfect recipe for a post work bite on a Friday evening. Our prawn crackers- light and our satay sauce – on point and non gloopy. However, the lamb massaman was the real winner here. Melt in your mouth tender pieces of lamb with soft boiled potatoes that had absorbed the flavour hit the mark, and some. The coconut rice, served in half a coconut shell was also perfection in selection making this one of the highlights of my food consumption this year.
As I write this I am re-living the experience just from the photo alone. My recommendation that is you check this place out. The service did leave a little to be desired, but the food made up for it in a big way. The chicken pad Thai probably then edged it in to the ignore-the-service-the-food-is-damn-good category.
This is my latest hidden gem, a mere 5 minute drive out of the city, in a quiet backwater where you can enjoy a quiet drink, or some fabulous Thai food.
Food Of The Ox rating: 9/10