Located on Sauchiehall Street, Thairiffic is a small restaurant that boasts big flavours. We visited early on a rainy Tuesday night to take advantage of their pre-theatre menu – two courses for £13.50. Restaurants above, or below, street level usually make me nervous, as I don’t like to be the only one in the place. Sure enough, when we entered Thairiffic, only one other table was occupied. However, I had heard good reviews and I was a little more optimistic given the early hour and the terrible weather outside.
We were shown to a table by one of the windows by a friendly member of staff, who immediately offered to take our coats. As we sat and perused the menu, we were brought three glasses of water – one point to Thairiffic. Further to this, as we waited for the arrival of our starters, we were given a small basket of prawn crackers to nibble on. Complimentary nibbles – already things are going well.
On to the food. I started with Larb Gai – minced chicken in a spicy and sour dressing served on a bed of lettuce leaves. The menu does warn that it is extra hot, and the waiter did ask if I was okay with spicy food. This made me a little nervous, but I needn’t have worried. The chicken did leave me with a warm glow, but the flavour of the dressing was too nice to even worry about it. The others started with Rock & Roll, Thairiffic’s version of a spring roll stuffed with chicken, noodles and veg, and Chicken Tom Yum Soup. The soup was fragrant and sweet, though not as spicy as other Tom Yum Soups I’ve tried.
For my main course, I ordered Massaman Curry with Duck – a £1.50 supplement that was well worth it for the tender pieces of meat that arrived in my sweet, creamy and delicately spiced curry. The sauce was thick and delicious, if a little sickly when reaching the end. Also at the table were a Gaeng Daeng Curry with Chicken and a Thai Cashew Nut Stir Fry with Beef (50p supplement). The Gaeng Daeng is a traditional red curry with butternut squash while the stir fry was a much thinner sauce served with mixed vegetables. All of the mains came with Boiled Jasmine Rice, and both the Massaman and the Gaeng Daeng were served in small bowls alongside the beautiful mounds of sticky, fluffy rice.
The service in Thairiffic was as good as the food – the staff were polite, friendly and efficient without being overbearing. The interior also gets top marks for the simple yet warming décor, and while the toilets are small they are clean and functional.
As the other two were off to the theatre, we didn’t stay for dessert. Instead I indulged in a Marks and Spencer Belgian Chocolate Jaffa Sphere – orange marmalade encased in chocolate mouse and crisp Belgian chocolate. Safe to say this was as delicious it sounds. And as for Thairiffic? With not a single complaint about the food, service or location, we all agreed we’d be back to try the main A La Carte menu very soon.