Opening a restaurant at any point over the last couple of years has been a brave move. Though many people have faced tough times during the past few years, small luxuries like going out for dinner once in a while, is what often keeps us sane, makes us realise it's not the end of the world just yet; that's December according to the Mayan's. There are even young independent restaurants that have been able to expand during this time, which personally makes me feel much better about the state of the country. Koh Thai, a restaurant near to where I live in Bournemouth, opened a second outpost recently, a sign that the small independent in Boscombe, must've been doing something right.
Koh Thai reminds me of San Francisco's Lers Ros, also a Thai restaurant that recently opened a second branch. Lers Ros enjoys something of a cult following for two reasons; The food is very good, and the price is very reasonable. Koh has both of these qualities, helped along by the fact they offer most of their dishes tapas style; and also that it is much, much closer to my flat. You can set the price you are willing to pay per person, and the kitchen will keep the food coming. For £18 per person, my wife and I were bombarded with dim sum, tempura prawns, classics like Thai green curry, and Phad Thai, chicken and cashew stir fry and probably some of the best chicken satay I have had in a long time.
Value for money is not as simple a term as one might think. It all depends on how you measure that value. Some measure value on the overall damage done to their wallets, others tend to make the connection to the pleasure they took from the meal, whilst many will just associate value for money with sheer volume of food served. Keeping everyone happy is indeed a tall order, but striking a balance between all of the above can be achieved, as Koh have demonstrated admirably. It's impressive and to have a place doing this so close to home, in Bournemouth, is pretty damn cool.
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