From the outside Nok's Kitchen looks anything but a Thai restaurant; in fact, the facade resembles an old Scottish cottage. The venue, hidden away from Stockbridge main roads, is located on the slope that connects India Place to the Sunday market.
Walking in, I love the original stone walls and the chairs stuffed and decorated with velvety bee patterns.
I arrive earlier than my guest so I work my way through the wine list and order a GPG Garganega Pinot Grigio. I am delighted with the fine quality of the wine glass and the liquid in it is fresh, crisp and dry, exactly what I needed for the dishes I am going to order.
The menu is rich with options for those who like curry, wok or grilled dishes. Starters look very interesting and gourmet; The Bird in The Garden attracts me whilst my friend opts for Prawn Cake and Fish Cake. As mains, he goes straight for Pad Thai and I choose Stir Fry Three Companion.
Thumbs up for the creativity used to name the dishes. I choose books based on their cover and the names of the dishes encourage similar reasoning.
Just the time for a few chats and the plates land on the table. My starter is hidden by a straw bell, which I uncover with no further ado. Surprise. The mise en place is a work of art with the dumplings shaped as a bird and flowers, on a bed of salad and carrots. A bird in the garden indeed. The filling is made of juicy pork, sweet turnip, peanut and shallot with a finish of coconut cream reduction. I like the combination of flavours and texture, definitely the richest dumplings I have ever had.
My ‘main’ is a fish course. Asparagus is lightly stir-fried in oyster sauce, with king prawns, scallops and sea bass. The sauce gives the right saltiness without covering flavours. Prawns and scallops are fresh and cooked expertly. Seabass is lightly battered, and tasty but not too heavy. Absolutely the star of the dish.
Portions are quite plentiful so we skip dessert.
The overall experience at Nok's Kitchen is very positive, the service is friendly and quick and the food is of high quality. Nok's Kitchen makes the top list of Thai restaurants in Edinburgh. Book in advance as it's usually sold out over the weekend, if you can't secure a table in Stockbridge be aware that Nok's Kitchen has another venue in Johnston Terrace just next to the Castle (E. Vanello).
Nok's Kitchen - 5a Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW - 0131 225 6633
8 Gloucester Street, Stockbridge, EH3 6EG
0131 225 4804