HAVING been to Thailand I can vouch for how incredible Thai food is. Then again, you would expect it to be when it's being served in its native country.
Which makes it all the more unexpected to find delicious, freshly cooked, mouth-watering Thai dishes being served in a country pub on the outskirts of Torrington.
The Torridge Inn at the bottom of Mill Street has just come under new ownership and has a brand new menu so, as I only live two doors away, I felt compelled to give it a try.
Karl and Nusara Ayre recently moved to Torrington having lived in Thailand for the past 12 years.
Nusara is Thai herself and refuses to serve anything that isn't cooked completely from scratch.
My fellow diners and I opted for a selection of starters including home-made prawn crackers with the most incredible peanut sauce.
We also went for prawn toast which, freshly cooked, was so delicious I feel unable to ever order it from a take-away menu ever again. It just wouldn't compare.
My dad went for Tom Yum soup for his starter. He loves his food spicy and always assumes restaurants will never get it right, so he asked for the soup to be extra hot.
It arrived and you could practically see the spice rising from it. It smelt incredible and dad had gone a rather intense shade of red by the time he'd finished.
I went for chicken with cashew nuts for my main which was a complete taste sensation. The chicken was tender, the cashews fresh and crunchy and the sauce smooth and sweet.
Served with a bed of white rice it made the perfect dish.
Two of the others opted for pad Thai – one with prawns and one with chicken. It looked incredible and both commented on the accompanying sweet and sour sauce it was cooked in.
We all felt perfectly, but not overly, full by the end of our meals, which were all unbelievably cheap given they were freshly cooked.
The atmosphere was completely relaxed and Karl and Nusara were nothing but welcoming throughout.
Added to that was the cosy bar at the front of the pub with a roaring fire, chattering locals and views out across the river.
Having a pub serving food this good two doors away from my house is dangerous but hey, I'm not complaining.
Where: Torridge Inn, Mill Street Torrington.
Cost: £53 for five people, exc
Bookings: 01805 625042.