Shropshire Star

Food Review: Sublime dishes are a real treat at Gauthama Authentic Thai

Subtlety. That’s the key to good Thai food. Allowing the fragrant herbs to season key ingredients, bringing together a mix of citrus and sweet, spicy and aromatic, such are the ways in which the cuisine of South East Asia works best.

A fiery papaya salad

Which is funny, considering the papaya salad came in like a wrecking ball, to steal from the great 21st century philosopher, Miley Cyrus, but we’ll come to that later, once I’ve recovered from the psychoactive properties of the chilli-high that left me slightly higher than the proverbial kite.

Gauthama Authentic Thai is a treat. They are located on Cleobury Mortimer’s perilously narrow high street, which may well have been built in a time where horse and carts were the most popular mode of transport.

To be fair to the town planners of yesteryear, you’re still likely to see plenty of horses on the roads around the rural south Shropshire town – but alongside the high street, it’s horses and cars, rather than horses and carts.

And the fun and games with double parking and too-wide/too-long vehicles trying to navigate makes it redolent of trying to squeeze past crowds on a narrow mountain pass.

Cleobury has a number of decent local restaurants. From a looks-good chip shop to restaurants selling Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine, to pubs offering the classics, it offers decent budget/mid-priced eating, while good transport connections make it easy to drive towards Birmingham in one direction, or Ludlow in the other, for those who want elevated gastronomy.

Gauthama is probably the best in town. Well run, pleasantly designed, offering plenty of covers for diners with a separate space for those who want a refreshing Thai beer, it offers exceptional service and food that wouldn’t be out of place in downtown Chai Nat.