Pop-Up Thai at the Seaside

Underwhelmed by the dull menu at our hotel, Georgina and I went foraging for food along the High Street in Aldeburgh – a pretty village on the Suffolk coast. Having read the menus of two or three restaurants we were taking a short cut through a back street when we were met with the delicious aroma of garlic and chilli. Crammed into the rear entrance of a pub was a tiny Thai street cafe, with two improvised tables and a couple of large woks sizzling away on a mobile hob.

It was a sight you come across all the time in the Far East, but something that’s unusual to say the least at the English seaside. As we hovered, looking at the menu on a blackboard, a jolly man appeared and swiftly went into a well-practiced and chirpy sales-banter. I can’t remember what he said, but within 10 seconds Georgina and I were sitting down and ordering drinks. Apparently this critically acclaimed Thai Cafe pops up in the backyard at DP’s Bar every Spring and is now open for the 2015 season right through to November.  DP’s used to be a chemist shop, then it was a book shop, and it’s now owned by food lover Eliza Stephens.  

Run by “oH” and Lizzie, the DP’s street cafe serves amazing, authentic Thai food made with the best of local ingredients, notably freshly caught cod. The hardest thing was choosing what to eat, and we finally plumped for a Thai starter plate with homemade pork and spring rolls, rice balls and a chilli, garlic and lime dipping sauce. The snappy banter continued during the food ordering process. Georgina somehow managed to negotiate a couple of lightly battered cod tempura in lime sauce as a cheeky addition to this dish, and they turned out to be the stars of the show.

For mains we went for Ka Prow, a delicious dish of sweet (very sweet) stir fried minced pork with king prawns and aromatic Thai basil. I also ordered a variation of the crispy cod, this time seared in the wok with pak choi and finished with a garlic and black pepper sauce. We ate inside DP’s friendly, atmospheric and Art Deco bedecked bar, as the barman played cribbage across the counter with a potty-mouthed regular who had clearly been “over-entertained” by the local ale.

The food cost little more than fifteen quid a head, and was great value for such expertly cooked and authentic fare. Bear in mind that being a pop-up they don’t take plastic, so best hit the cash point before you show up. DP’s Thai Street Cafe is well worth a visit the next time you’re in Aldeburgh. It’s probably the best food in town.

http://www.thaistreetcafealdeburgh.com

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