Asaya Thai, Keswick, December 2018

Our updated tradition is to have a Thai takeaway on NYE. For many years, we had a Chinese takeaway on New Year’s Eve. With the closure of Ambleside favourite Jade Garden, this tradition was threatened. We did try an alternative a few years ago, but it wasn’t so good. In 2014 and 2015 we switched to Thai, with visits to Jintana in Ambleside. We switched back to Chinese in 2016 at Lucky Dragon, but last year we were back with Thai at Star of Siam in Keswick, somewhere we’ve been pretty much every time we’ve been to Keswick.

This year we were switching again, trying Asaya Thai, which is not much more than a stone’s throw from our usual Keswick accommodation. The main issue was the lack of menu anywhere – none in a flat filled with a million irrelevant leaflets, and absolutely nothing online. It feels so weird in 2018 to not have an online presence with a menu, but they aren’t the only place lacking such a presence. I’ve had loads of hits from people searching for “Dinner Box (Chinese takeaway), Boroughbridge” (because I wrote a review about it which mentions that it also has no online presence).

The good news is that they do takeaways, and have a limited menu that they offer to take away. This is a good approach I think, as they can knock out more dishes to takeaway customers without over complicating things by offering over 100 dishes. They have many of the classics like chicken & cashew nuts, Pad Thai, chicken satay (pictured) and Massaman curry (chicken version pictured).


A lovely dinner to close out the year, celebrating climbing 30 Wainwrights (plus 1 outlier) and so much more. Definitely a great Thai in Keswick.

We’re off to bed early since tomorrow is forecast to be a lovely day, and there are more Wainwrights to conquer.

Dinner Box (Chinese takeaway), Boroughbridge, August 2018

AKA the place that seems not to exist on the internet. Apart from food hygiene ratings (good) and a couple of random pictures on (which I’d never heard of until now), this place seems not to exist. However, we can confirm that it does because we rung them up, placed an order, and then went out and collected it (they don’t deliver). The name doesn’t really give you a clue as to what they do, a Chinese takeaway that also has a few Thai dishes on the menu.

A varied selection from our party as usual, although a few of us went for the Kung po chicken, which is my “go to” dish, and it was a very warm one. Lots of red chilli in this to give it a proper spicy kick, and I think a little too hot for some of our dining companions who ordered it. I suffered no ill effects though 🙂 A lack of pineapple, and not enough cashew nuts, so not a perfect KPC, but very tasty.

No photos as this was another occasion where hunger overtook the photo instinct!

Nui’s Kitchen, Leek Camping and Caravanning Club Site, May 2018

Yes, it’s another camping and takeaway post, and the best kind, where the takeaway comes to your camp site.

After a lovely trundle around the Thornbridge brewery tour earlier on, we didn’t really want to go out and about, so having a lovely little Thai takeaway turn up on site was ideal. We popped over after a little while and had a good chat to Nui who was beavering away behind the stoves, cooking everything fresh to order. We had some nice spring rolls (lovely and crisp) and some stir fry and noodles which was also really good, a flavourful level of spice without being full of mad chilli flavours.

It was so good we had wolfed it all down before I had a chance to take a photo, so you’ll have to have one of that most rare of things, a post without a photo.

If you find Nui’s kitchen at a camp site or event near you, it’s a great place to get your dinner from.

Star of Siam, Keswick, December 2017

The traditional New Year’s Eve takeaway. For the first time in a long time, we are not in Ambleside, and not going to Jade Garden, Lucky Dragon, China Cottage, Doi Intanon (on the rare year that it was open on NYE) or Jintana.

In Keswick, we turned to a familiar Thai restaurant, Star of Siam. We’ve been coming here for as long as we’ve been coming to Keswick, a lovely friendly Thai restaurant, and great for takeaways (as ever we like to drink our own beer rather than drink poor quality offerings in takeaway outlets).

Here is a case in point.

Thornbridge Serpent.

I encountered this beer for the first time on “Thornbridge night” at The Needle & Pin in December 2016. We deconstructed the beer that night, tasting a very sour and tannic Oliver’s cider, a sweet perry, and a meh bourbon. On that night, it tasted like the lees (the leftover bits from fermenting cider, yeasts, skins and whatever’s left) had really dominated this brew, a Belgian style golden ale.

A year on, and it’s even better. So much apple, the beer that’s not a beer.

On to dinner, which accompanied this fantastic beer that’s not beer. A classic starter, satay chicken with peanut chilli sauce. Just to be clear, the satay part is not the peanut bit that you like, that’s in the sauce. The satay part is usually made from lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, coriander, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and a few other bits.

The “slaw” bit might not be the most authentic, but it works here with the juicy chicken and tasty peanut chilli sauce.

On to the main event. Chicken gang massaman. The massaman is probably my favourite Thai curry, perhaps because of more peanut. It varies from place to place. I always used to have beef, but too many cheap cuts of steak have left me favouring chicken instead. A very simple one tonight, a few bits of carrot and some chunks of onion,

Simple, but very tasty, and a fantastic way to round out another lovely year of food and drink. Many great meals accompanied by many great beers. 2017 has been a good one.

The Basin, Loughborough, August 2016

A quick post. Regular MOFAD drinking companion Alec usually organises a summer meal of some sort, usually to coincide with increasing age by a year. A bit later than usual this year, but we find ourselves in The Basin, a minimalist restaurant serving Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine.

We were supposed to go to the awesome Needle & Pin first for a drink but Arriva buses had other ideas, leaving us hanging around at the bus stop for around half an hour’s valuable drinking time.

So when we eventually got to town, it was straight to the Basin for a drink first. And despite interesting things like Hitachino Nest being available at Wagamama, The Basin haven’t really caught up with this modern thinking, and have a very average selection. So Hoegaarden is the best choice, a fruity witbier with a touch of coriander and orange that works well with the food. A few of these were consumed.

A hoisin duck temaki to start, a hand roll of sticky rice, shredded duck, cucumber, spring onion and sweet hoisin sauce. Classic Oriental starter stuff. A nice little pea of wasabi on the side, not for the faint hearted.

To the main course. Salmon teryaki, a Japanese classic served with simple boiled rice. Yay! And pointless iceberg lettuce. Boo! What a waste of space that lettuce is, taking up valuable real estate on the plate where something much tastier could be sitting.

A pleasant meal certainly, but that unadvertised iceberg rather leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Jintana Thai Restaurant, Ambleside, December 2015

New Year’s Eve is a traditional takeaway night for us. Who wants to pay 5 quid to get in to a pub that is free to enter on 364 days of the year? So it’s an easy night in, no cooking, and the drink of your choice. And no queue to get to the bar. And no drunken idiots yelling in your ear.

For most of the last 15 years, we’ve been opting for a Chinese takeaway, but in the last couple of years, we have switched allegiances to Thai. As usual over the festive period, Doi Intanon was closed, so it was off to Jintana, our Thai of choice for New Year’s Eve. Mr Predictable strikes again – a starter of chicken satay with peanut chilli sauce and a chicken mussaman curry:-

The mussaman is probably one of the most consistent curries across different venues, with meat, potato, carrot, onion and peanuts almost always present. Jintana’s mussaman is a good one, with a nice hint of chilli.

One other item of note, the last beer of 2015, this Bibble from The Wild Beer Co – a fruity pale ale that cans well, and a very tasty way to finish off a year of lovely beers…

Happy new year!

Jintana Thai Restaurant, Ambleside

New Year’s Eve has a few simple traditions for us. One of those is a takeaway. This started back in about 2001 and has continued pretty much every year since. For most years, this has involved a Chinese takeaway from Jade Garden, but after a few uninspiring efforts, and even finding it closed one year, we have switched allegiance to Thailand.

Perhaps surprisingly for such a small village, Ambleside has two Thai restaurants, but one (Doi Intanon) is often closed over the festive period. Despite visiting Ambleside countless times, we’ve never visited Doi.

However, we have now had a few good meals from Jintana, so it is our Thai of choice for New Year’s Eve. I have become very predictable at Thai restaurants. I almost always go for the predictable starter of chicken satay with peanut chilli sauce and a mussaman curry, usually beef. Tonight, slightly different, the chicken version:-


The mussaman is probably one of the most consistent curries across different venues, with meat, potato, carrot, onion and peanuts almost always present. Jintana’s mussaman is a good one. The accompanying Scarborough Fair IPA was a distinct let down. I like a big hoppy IPA to go with my curry. I also tried a Broughton Ales Merlin’s Ale, “a pale, mystical hoppy brew”. The mystery is where the hops were, because they seemed to have been magically removed from this beer. Approval for Jintana, NMH (needs more hops) for both beers…