I promise that I’m not on a weird mission to eat in every Thai restaurant in Edinburgh. I know that I reviewed Bluerapa, another Thai restaurant, but that’s just how my foodie adventures have played out.
Despite dealing with the same cuisine, Ting Thai and Bluerapa are worlds apart.
Bluerapa is like walking into someone’s living room who has been cooking all of their lives. Ample homely dishes which are just so heatwarming it’s unreal.
Ting Thai Caravan is exceptional street food style Thai dishes. And I mean exceptional.
If you’re in Edinburgh for a couple of days and you find yourself in the mood for some good, well made, quick food:
Teviot Pl, Edinburgh EH1 2RA
There’s the address. Put it in your satnav/GPS/maps or whatever and get walking to one of the best meals of your life.
The restaurant looks pretty nondescript from the outside with dark wood and minimalist style signs. It’s when you step foot inside that it really hits you. I have never been to Thailand but Anna has and she says that it is just like the street food stalls you find throughout the streets, just cleaner (obviously).
Eating here is a very casual affair, which fits with its location. Close to the University, it’s in a very “studenty” area. This is also reflected in the price as we have been a few times and the bill has rarely risen above £20, for two people including a couple of drinks.
Long wooden benches with stools, lots of neon on the walls, an open plan kitchen and trendy music playing overhead. It’s like an interior decorator had “Neo-Bangkok” as their only instructions and just ran with it. And it works. Parts are the type of tackiness you would expect but it’s not garish, there’s an authenticity to it without seeming like they’re trying to be too Thai. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat as you’re passing or sit in on your lunch break for an informal but fantastic quick meal.
Speaking of the food, let’s get down to the grub.
We started with a cha Thai drink which was like iced tea on crack. It was phenomenal, especially with the heat outside (I know, even in Edinburgh). I struggled to sip it because it was just so moreish.
It was simply ice cold Thai tea with sugar. Nothing complicated, just what you need before you start chowing down.
After a brief scan of the menu (she is gluten free so we have to take that into account) we found more than enough for us both to enjoy.
We were concerned that Anna would be relegated to a bowl of soup or a salad. We were delighted to find that the Pad Thai was gluten free (as well as a number of other options).
Noodle went with the chicken Pad Thai and my only fault was it came with a slice of lemon (I usually have it with a slice of lime) which is a slightly pretentious way of saying that there were no faults. There was just enough sauce to coat the noodles without swimming in it, the crushed peanuts added a wonderful texture to every mouthful and it was spicy enough for you to stop for a second but not enough to make you think twice about jabbing your chopsticks right back in there.
I had the fresh and vibrant Yam Yoo Yang, grilled pork and rice bowl.
Just look at it! So fresh and so, so good.
Every single thing in that bowl added to the experience. The cucumber cooled down the chilli, the tartness of the tomato cut through the bitterness of the raw onions and the vinegary, sweet chilli sauce that the rice sat in turned what could have been a bowl of plain boiled jasmine rice into something that had me reaching for a spoon to get every single grain.
There was also a very generous serving of the deliciously moist grilled pork. I will be getting this again as soon as I get the opportunity. I want to eat it, learn its secrets and make it every day.
We ordered a couple of side dishes to go along with our mains because we don’t learn from our mistakes. Honestly, every single time! We deliberate whether or not just the mains will be enough and every time, we underestimate their portion sizes. Not that we’re complaining.
Once again, they had plenty of gluten free options for us both. My only grievance was that the sweet potato fries didn’t seem to be and those things are the bomb (I really hope people are saying this again).
We went for the Tofu J
I don’t usually like tofu. To me, every time I’ve eaten it, it tastes like jellied air. There’s nothing to it. That being said, I was fully prepared to eat my words after the first bite of these. Smothered in a lightly spicy sweet chilli sauce, we nearly had a fight over who had the last one.
We also went for the Gai Cha Plu.
A brilliantly simple mixture of chicken with ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, Cha Plu leaf, garlic and coconut milk. It was elegant, authentic, fragrant and plenty more food related adjectives. I could have eaten this with a bowl of rice and still walked away happy.
I don’t remember exactly how much the meal came to. I do remember that it was a perfectly reasonable price for all of that food and one of the reasons that we will definitely be returning.