Cheshire Life Luncheon - Phanthong, Sandbach
- Credit: Archant
Our latest lunch transported guests from Sandbach to Thailand thanks to the delicious offerings at Phanthong, says Rebekka O’Grady
it has been said that good things come in threes, and that’s certainly true in the case of Phanthong. The Thai restaurant chain, launched by Phann Whyte and her business partner Jintana Wangpila, opened its first venue in Altrincham in 2012 and a second followed in Wilmslow a year later. Their third restaurant opened in Sandbach last August and looks set to build on the chain’s success.
The finest way to celebrate the new opening was to host a Cheshire Life lunch and they rolled out the red carpet for us and our guests. who enjoyed a selection of Thai canapés, including moreish prawn crackers and spring rolls while chatting over glasses of fizz during drinks reception.
And while guests were serenaded by the sounds of vocalist Ewan Sim and guitarist Drew Selby, I chatted to Phann about the duo’s successful growing empire.
‘It’s been brilliant. Since opening in Sandbach, we’ve had such good feedback, the people here are lovely. It’s funny as we weren’t looking at expanding, the opportunity just came up for this venue and we thought we should go for it,’ said Phann, who prior to her career in hospitality worked as airline cabin crew.
She and Jintana were originally going to set up a smaller company focussing on ready meals, but the business partners decided to go into the restaurant world instead.
‘We’d always wanted to do something of our own and knew a really good chef so it made sense. We pride ourselves on really authentic Thai cuisine that makes people come back time and time again.’
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This authenticity is not only reflected in the food but in the décor. The uncluttered restaurant exudes elegance and sophistication. Neutrally painted walls are dotted with Thai pictures and photographs, but a touch of the 21st century added with crushed velvet booths and chairs. However, the stand out feature is the stunning flower wall, with lotuses handcrafted from Thai silk and exported from the country to Cheshire.
For our starters, we all enjoyed an individual mixed starter platter, Luam Mid. The skewer of marinated chicken was succulent and served with a rich, peanut sauce and thai vegetable pickle which added a nice edge. This was complemented by prawn and pork toast, Thai fish cakes and spring rolls – all light, non-greasy and bursting with flavour.
Gaeng Ped Pedd Yang was served as our main course, a delicately heated red curry with chicken and Thai boiled rice. The spice of the curry was on the right side of hot, and the cherry tomatoes, grapes, pineapple and rambutan – a fruit from a tropical tree in south east Asia – added a sweetness to balance the dish. All-in-all, it was mouth-wateringly good.
When dessert arrived, aptly named Phanthong, my table were all curious to know what surprise lay inside the delicate parcels, sprayed gold and looking almost too good to eat. Inside the pastry dessert was a delicious hazelnut and chocolate centre. Although it was indulgently rich, the stem ginger ice cream it was served with was the perfect palate cleanser.
As the afternoon drew to a close, some guests enjoyed a natter over coffee; others put their cocktail orders in at the bar ready to continue the evening ahead. One thing though was for certain, everyone would leave content after a true taste of Thailand – just without the jet-lag.
From the menu:
Luam Mid: Mixed Starter Platter: chicken satay, prawn and pork toasts, Thai fish cakes and spring rolls
Gaeng Ped Pedd Yang: Red curry with chicken, cherry tomatoes, grapes, pineapple and rambutan
Phanthong: Pastry and chocolate dessert served with chocolate sauce and stem ginger ice cream
Waddling Duck Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Healy & Gray Estate Malbec Bonarda
2-4 Crewe Road, Sandbach, CW11 4NE
Tel: 01270 759 955, www.phanthong.co.uk
Lunch and dinner: starters from £5.25, mains from £10.95, desserts from £4.45