NEVER have I visited a restaurant that resembles the nationality of the food it serves more than the Thai Orchid in Falmouth.

Now, I have never visited Thailand and don't profess to know what is 'authentic', but from the moment you walk through the door you really do feel like you've stepped into another country.

As you step in you are greeted with an intimate, dimly-lit restaurant with bamboo climbing up the walls, atmospheric lights adorning the walls and leaves wrapped around the beams. Tranquil music also emanates from the speakers – the sort of music you would hear if you were going for a relaxing massage, and it is rather relaxing.

For starters, my partner and I ordered a mixed starter plate which included spring rolls, chicken satay, spare ribs, minced pork on toast and corn fritters, served with sweet chilli sauce and a peanut sauce and all for the very reasonable price for £12.50 (£6.25 per person).

Falmouth Packet:

Based on a previous experience of the restaurant – we took advantage of their takeaway option a few months ago – we decided on sharing three dishes for our main course.

The first, Pad Thai, is perhaps the most recognisable Thai dish in this country. A delicious blend of Thai-style fried noodles, tiger prawns, spring onions, bean sprouts and peanuts. The fact that is a more well-known dish merely shows how popular it is. It doesn't look massively appetising in the picture below, but it tastes pretty good.

Falmouth Packet:

The second dish was Gaeng Khiew Waan and is more commonly known as Thai Green Curry, which is perhaps the second most recognisable Thai dish in this country. I generally prefer a thicker, Indian-style sauce with my curry rather than the more liquid-like offering with a green curry, but this was still very nice.

After playing it somewhat safe with our first two dishes, our third choice was a bit more of a step into the unknown. We opted for one of the Thai Orchid specials called Nua Gata, which was a sizzling platter of beef served with onions and peppers in the chef's special sauce and was my favourite dish of the lot. The sauce had a nice spice to it without being too hot to handle, and the beef was cooked to perfection.

Falmouth Packet:

We did not go down the dessert route, but there are a modest selection of sweet dishes including Thai-style ice cream, banana fritters and lychees.

Rather than immediately asking for the bill and making our way home, we decided to stay around to enjoy our surroundings a little bit longer.

Eventually we ended our brief south east Asia getaway and returned to Falmouth, but we will definitely be heading back.

Key information

Drinks selection: Wine options by the glass are limited, but a decent selection of wines by the bottle. Good spirits and liqueurs menu, with a choice of either Chang or Singha beer.

Our cost (two people, without drinks): £42.85

Contact: Thai Orchid, 21 High Street, Falmouth (01326 211028)

Opening times: Monday-Saturday 5.30-10.30pm


Atmosphere: 5/5

Décor: 5/5

Food: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating: 5/5

In order to ensure objective reviews, the Mystery Diner is carried out on an independent basis without the prior knowledge of the establishment.