Review by Tom O'Riordan
ALRIGHT, so Hampton, socially, won't set the world alight, but if you are after a cosy meal for two, slightly off the beaten track, give the Blue Orchid a go.
It is family-owned and when the waiter gives you one of those big smiles, you can't help but smile back, making you instantly relaxed. Intimately lit, fish tanks placed around for aesthetic grace, I really dig this place.
The food seems to have just an extra bit of TLC taken over it, not just the usual bit of meat swimming in a gluten pool with soggy vegetables.
For example the Thai fishcakes are medallions of sole and prawn mousse, blended in red curry paste with cucumber dressing. If you have any passion for seafood, please come to this restaurant and try Siam Ruby or the Lady In Red. I won't tell you what they entail, use your culinary imagination.
Where the Blue Orchid marks itself above most local Thai restaurants, however, is not only in the wide selection of seafood but also a selection of Japanese dishes given that touch of Thai spice.
The Thai-style Sukiyaki is a cook it yourself dish of meat, fish, squid, fishballs and vegetables cooked in hot stock in a siamese 'Steamboat' on your table. Starters range from £2.75 to £4, main courses £4.65 to £8. The Thai-style Sukiyaki is for two people and costs £18.50.
If you get there early do not, under any circumstances, go to the World's End pub across the road. 'They don't like your sort round ere'!! Go down the road towards the river and go to either The Bell or The Jolly Coopers, both friendly locals.
Blue Orchid Thai Restaurant., 75 Station Road, Hampton Middx TW12 2BJ. Tel: 020 8979 1871