29 September 2017

Restaurant Review: Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Winchester

Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers

Out of most of the popular cuisines, the one I have to admit I'm less familiar with is Thai - although I absolutely love the flavours of Thai dishes, it's not something I cook at home very often (with the exception of green curry!) and I don't sample a lot of Thai food when out and about. So I was very excited to try out Koh Noi in Winchester on date night - the concept was Thai tapas, and I wasn't too sure what to expect. I know Spanish tapas which I love - especially shared with friends over a bottle of wine, or Sangria.
Koh Noi is located right in the centre of Winchester, and once through the doors you are transported to a cosy lit Thai restaurant with friendly faces and a wide selection of dishes. You know you're in for a treat when your fiancé (who is slightly obsessed with Thailand) says it smells just like the local cuisine. YUM.
So what was the concept of Thai tapas? At the top of the menu there was a selection of Thai tapas riches like chicken satay, spring rolls, squid, prawns, ribs, dumplings, and much more; but on the main menu, you could also select curries and other dishes to be served tapas style - smaller portions to share. But the restaurant isn't exclusive to tapas - you can order starters, mains, and speciality dishes.

Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers
Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers

We obviously went for the tapas option because we wanted to sample different dishes and tastes so we decided to go for - are you ready for this?:

- 24hr Ribs
- Dim Sum (prawn and pork)
- Koh's Own Chicken Satay
- Koh's Special Crispy Squid
- Jungle Curry with Chicken
- Pork Penang Curry
- Spicy Prawn Noodles

It was a delicious feast of flavours and I was so excited. Paired with wine for me, and a Thai beer for the Mr. we tucked into the dishes in front of us - I had to try the dim sum first because I absolutely love steamed dumplings! They're one of my favourite Asian dishes and these did not disappoint - especially with the chilli and soy dressing. The squid was tender and full of flavour - my second favourite dish on the table - although everything was great! Meat fell of the 24hr ribs; and the chicken satay was absolutely delicious. There were elements of spice in some dishes, but it was a nice kick which then faded so you could enjoy the flavours of the meal.

Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers
Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers
Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers
Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers

The curries were very special too - full of flavour, kick, the perfect portion size. I need to mention that the Jungle Curry is the hottest curry on the menu (and the waitresses do let you know that!) but although it is one spicy curry, it's the kind of spice that flavours as well as burns - which is the best kind of spice. It lived up to its reputation - the Jungle Curry was very hot, yet very good at the same time.

What really surprised me is the size of the portions - they were very generous which was a nice surprise! What puts me off tapas sometimes is how small the portions are, but these were very nice portions and you could definitely share a few dishes between a group of friends - or do what we did and enjoy a different kind of date night!

Koh Noi Thai Tapas, Thai Tapas WInchester, Winchester restaurant, Hampshire bloggers

We finished the evening by splitting a dessert - the meal was filling and we were content, but who can say no to a marbled chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream?! Only a fool would say no to that. And the dessert didn't disappoint! It was delicious and we polished everything off the plate.

So how was my experience of Thai tapas, a trend I'm seeing pop up in more towns and cities? It was great and I would recumbent it to anyone! I really enjoyed the concept of smaller dishes, and I loved experiencing a variety of Thai flavours in an atmospheric venue.
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