Food review, The Crawfish Inn, Thursford: ‘Massive value for money'

Google maps showing Crawfish Inn, Holt Road, Thursford

Google maps showing Crawfish Inn, Holt Road, Thursford - Credit: Archant

Sometime during the awful lull between Christmas and the tenth week of January – I’m teasing, of course – we decided it was time to finally leave the house again. 

Full to the brim with leftover pigs in blankets and cold roast potatoes and stuffing, our bellies craved something light, crunchy, and flavoursome. 

That’s when our very dear friends who were visiting us from Leeds, suggested we find a decent Thai restaurant. The Crawfish Inn, between Holt and Fakenham, immediately sprang to mind. 

Growing up in north Norfolk, it is a place I’ve driven past along the Holt Road many, many times but had yet to venture inside. I’ve never heard of a bad meal being served there so we rang up and bagged ourselves a table for four. 

The place is easy enough to find along the A148, however, in the dark, it was a little tricky navigating where the car park was. For the record, it is just to the right of the entrance along the main road. 

The restaurant prides itself on creating authentic Thai cuisine, obtaining its finest ingredients from Thailand such as kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, and pandan leaf, as well as local ingredients. 

It is a shame that other than a friendly smile from the hosts, we were greeted by random paraphernalia strewn up the stairs - in an area cordoned off to the public but alas, not our eyes – as we were shown to our table. 

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(Spoiler alert: This is really the only negative thing I have to mention about the whole experience.) 

The starting platter filled with the most popular dishes

The starting platter filled with the most popular dishes - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Although the dining room was a tad on the dark side, there was a warm ambience and an air of jovial cheer.  

The drinks menu is succinct and offers a selection of wines (from £3.50 for a small glass or £15 for a bottle), including sparkling and Champagne, draught beers (from £4), bottles of lager and cider (from £2.60),  

After consulting with the Leedish and my partner Mr W, we opted for the set meal for four (£99). 

Thai roast duck

Thai roast duck - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Being a group of nibblers who like a try a variety of tastes and textures, we weren't sure what to expect, but the menu was vast and tempting. It was also great value for money as it included a starter, a huge selection of mains, dessert, and a tea or coffee. 

The Crawfish starting platter was not only a feast for the eyes, but also the stomach, and was a selection of the eateries most popular starters – Thai spare ribs, prawns in blanket, spring roll, and crispy pork. It was a great warm-up for the main meal. 

Two members of the serving staff brought out the food on giant trays and quickly and efficiently placed it on the table. 

The Thai roast duck was sliced and seasoned with a crispy batter on a bed of stir fried pak choi and Chinese leaf. It was flavoursome and not too heavy or greasy. 

Sizzling king prawns with garlic

Sizzling king prawns with garlic - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Sizzling king prawns with garlic had been coated in ground black pepper and coriander, stir-fried on a sizzling dish. It was almost a performance of its own. 

The green chicken curry was filled with lean pieces of meat coated with a tangy green curry paste made with green chilli and Thai herbs, mushrooms, mangetout, and peas in coconut cream with a hint of basil. The dish was complimented beautifully with steamed Thai jasmine rice. There was also the choice of egg fried rice with tomato and coriander. 

A green chicken curry 

A green chicken curry - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Thai Jasmine rice

Thai Jasmine rice - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

The beef with sweet basil and chilli sauce was the highlight of the meal. The sauce was flavoursome and packed a punch and we all found ourselves dipping bits and pieces from our other plates in there. 

Pad mee pesed was a new dish for me and, again, was light and tasty topped with chicken, roast duck and prawns, with egg noodles. 

We barely had room for the vegetables stir-fried in a light soy sauce, but between us, we managed. 

Beef with sweet basil and chilli sauce

Beef with sweet basil and chilli sauce - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

The Pad Mee Pesed 

The Pad Mee Pesed - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Vegetable stir fry

Vegetable stir fry - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

To say this was quite a spread is an understatement. This meal was massive value for money. 

Three of us followed with a dessert – Lotus Biscoff cheesecake, oozy chocolate brownie, and lemon sorbet – while the final member of our group enjoyed an Irish coffee. 

Lotus Biscoff cheesecake

Lotus Biscoff cheesecake - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Chocolate brownie with strawberries and ice cream

Chocolate brownie with strawberries and ice cream - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Without a doubt, this is somewhere we would quite happily return to and next time we would be giving the gang pu neau, (£12), a try. 

In total, a three-course meal for four, including drinks, came to just over £125. 

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