Just round the corner from the Hub at the top of the Royal Mile, Thai Orchid has a contemporary feel, with polished chrome fittings, leather seats, hessian wallpaper and long mirrors opening up the small room. Initially, the menu appears to offer few surprises, but a nimble handling of fresh ingredients by a creative and knowledgeable chef takes this thai restaurant into the higher end of the market. A hearty starter of todd mun keo pode – delicately spiced sweetcorn cakes deep fried and supported by a perky peanut and coriander sauce – marks the energetic house style, being both edgy and familiar. From the mains, a lush moo aroy is an aromatic blend of flavours featuring thin slivers of juicy steamed pork in coconut milk and a bright curry seasoning, underscored by a hint of roasted peanuts. Also of note is the pla priew wan, a fleshy fresh monkfish poached in coconut and served in a creamy sweet and sour sauce, topped by a generous spray of fried onions. The service is gracious, alert and unobtrusive, and great value banquet deals plus a nicely priced set lunch help keep the Orchid at the cutting edge of Thai dining.

www.list.co.uk – August 2008