Thai Orchid and momospice by Thai Orchid
Chinese and East Asian
Three Gables, 5 Cathedral Yard, Exeter, EX1 1HJ
Adjacent to Exeter's St. Peter's Cathedral stand three cottages, the Three Gables. Built in 1540 they housed the stonemasons that worked on the cathedral and, since 1995, one cottage has housed the delightful Thai Orchid Restaurant. The restaurant comprises two levels of fine Thai dining without the pretension one might normally expect from a restaurant of this quality. Although we found nine finely tuned set menus and an exquisite à la carte menu, it was lunchtime when we visited so we selected from the lunch menus. I selected the business lunch, choosing Thai sausages from the starters and a creamy Thai green chicken curry for a main. My vegetarian friend chose the shoppers' lunch, devouring mushroom satay and mixed vegetables in a spicy Thai sauce. The rest of our party had traditional Thai noodle dishes, known as gueyteow, which they seasoned themselves with roast chilli, fish sauce and rice vinegar, and all agreed the dish was magnificent. The food and service were so amazing, we returned that night to momospice on the second floor of the Thai Orchid building. Seeing momospice for the first time left us speechless, feeling like we were in the most contemporary Oriental restaurant in London. The restaurant and menu design were both cutting edge, offering traditional selections and new Thai dishes, and both restaurants are operated by the same team of Thai chefs, with the same fresh ingredients, so we knew the food would be good. We opted for chargrilled sirloin marinated in Thai spices and barbecued king prawns, while our friends had 20 chicken wings with Thai dipping sauces and suki yaki. We all finished our meals with banana fritters and coconut ice cream for dessert. Thai Orchid and momospice have an insurmountable reputation in the UK.