STEPHANIE TYE whets her appetite for a holiday to Thailand with some authentic cuisine... in Wroughton

EAT AT: The Check Inn,

Woodland View,


Tel: 01793 331428

Food served noon to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm Monday to Saturday.

English menu available at lunchtimes.

WITH a trip to Thailand a little more than a month away, a visit to The Check Inn, which specialises in authentic Thai cuisine, seemed like the perfect opportunity to start getting into the holiday mood.

From the outside it looks like a typically British pub, and a nice one at that, but definitely not the type of place that would be serving up great Thai food. However, looks can be deceiving and that is definitely the case for this Wroughton establishment.

My boyfriend and I visited on a very wet and windy Wednesday night, which probably accounts for why the pub wasn’t heaving with people. There were quite a few at the bar though and two tables of diners seated in the restaurant.

Glancing over the menu it was clear our dining experience was going to go one of two ways – amazing or a downright disappointment. The menu is extensive, without being overwhelming, and includes fare that you don’t see on most run-of-the-mill menus.

To start with we opted for the ever-popular Satay Gai (satay chicken skewers, £4.35) and Tom Kha Gai (a chicken soup with coconut milk, lemongrass and galangal, £4.45).

The food came out promptly – great news as we were both ravenous – and from the first mouthfuls it was clear the meal was going to be outstanding.

The chicken, which came on four skewers, was still juicy and the satay sauce had just the right amount of kick from the chilli. It was the first time I’ve ever tried Thai-style soup and there was a lovely richness from the coconut milk, which was cut through by the lime. I could have happily devoured a second bowl.

For mains we finally decided on Nua Kra Prao (stir fired beef with Thai herbs and chilli, £7.75) with Phad Thai (minus the prawns, £6.45) for my other half, and Panaeng Gai (a regional Thai curry, £7.45) and egg fried rice (£2.05) for me. When our order was taken my boyfriend was asked how hot he liked his food and they catered the Nua Kra Prao to his taste perfectly.

The meat in both dishes was lovely and tender, with plenty of it. There is no skimping on quantity or quality. Chunks of fresh peppers, onion and other vegetables gave the dishes depth of flavour as well as texture. Instead of tiny pieces of chicken flaked through the noodles, this one came with large chunks of chicken breast, and I’m sure they would be as generous with the prawns too. We finished off with some traditional English puddings – gooey chocolate cake with coconut ice cream and a strawberry shortcake stack (both £4.50).

It is difficult to find any fault with the meal. Our total bill, including two drinks, came to a very reasonable £47.25.

New owners Steve and Ya only started serving up Thai food last month but say it has proved really popular – after sampling the food I can see why.

There is also a takeaway service, with a 10 per cent discount, for those who want to tuck into great food without worrying about being able to book a table. And trust me, once word gets out seats will be like gold dust.