Bolton isn’t blessed with fantastic restaurants, in the latest edition of the Good Food Guide only ‘The Olive Press’ is listed and it’s been closed down.
One restaurant that really should be included is ‘Nam Ploy’ a Thai restaurant slightly out of town on Chorley Old Road. It’s been around for years and is always busy. All of the chefs were born and trained in Thailand which helps them to deliver not only great tasting but also incredibly authentic food.
Transported To Thailand
Nam Ploy is about more than just the food, the whole experience transports you to Thailand. The staff wear Thai dresses and the decor also plays a huge part. The first thing you see upon entering is a lovely water feature, there are several wooden and golden Buddahs, artwork, the handmade tables feature glass tops with stunning images carved into the wood below it, the wooden chairs also feature fantastic carvings.
When it comes to the food, the menu is extensive to say the least with over 70 regular menu items, 10+ specials and then several set meals. Choosing what to order is difficult.
To start with we finally settled on Hoyob (Mussels with lime leaves, lemon grass and sweet basil), Knom Phan Nah Pak (mixed vegetable tempura) and our regular Si Grok (grilled thai sausage with peanuts, steamed ginger and chilli sauce).
All 3 starters were stunning, fresh, vibrant, full of flavour, hot, spicy – just everything that good Thai food should be. The vegetable tempura contained mushrooms, peppers, onion and the standout broccoli all in the lightest tastiest batter. The mussels were huge – I would love to know where they get them from in Bolton – and cooked to perfection. The Si Grok was as good as ever.
Our main courses were Pad Talay (Stir fried seafood with onion, red and green pepper, string beans, holly basil, garlic and chilli) which was also brilliant. So hot yet refreshing with perfectly cooked mussels, prawns and squid, one of the best seafood dishes i’ve eaten for a very long time. Along with Goong Pad Bai Grappow (Stir fried king prawn, with holly basil, chilli, garlic, stringbeans, and green peppers) which was equally good.
The house wine at Nam Ploy is excellent as is their choice of beers, bottles of Tiger, Chang and my choice Thai beer Singha. They also do a great Japanese beer on draft. Although they don’t officially serve cocktails which is a shame, they do have an extensive collection of spirits and juices and are happy to mix them, I ordered a vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice & lime which is of course a Cosmopolitan minus the shaking.
The only slight issue I have had with Nam Ploy are their desserts and unfortunately it was the same on this occasion. Whilst not terrible they just don’t quite live up to the quality of the rest of their food. We had banana fritters which were tasty and less greasy than we’ve experienced in other Asian restaurants but not amazing and a ‘Raspberry Cheesecake’ which was OK but contained very little raspberry and strangely a lot of cherries. Having seen traditional Thai desserts on TV and in other restaurants I can’t help feeling that we’re missing out.
The mediocre desserts were not enough to ruin a fantastic evening and I still highly recommend Nam Ploy to anybody that loves Thai food or that wants to try something different, it is easily the best restaurant in Bolton in my opinion.
Date of visit: 29.01.2012