I first discovered UniThai after asking on Twitter for people’s best Thai restaurant recommendations and this one came out tops. I was already a frequent visitor to their oriental supermarket at the front of the building, and to be honest hadn’t paid any attention to the four or five tables plonked unceremoniously at the rear of the shop area.
I feel I need to add a bit of a
disclaimer to this review , as some of the things I have come down hard on
restaurants for in the past , merely illicit a shrug of the shoulders
and benign acceptance from me when it comes to this place. I guess I like it
for how unapologetically ‘no frills’ it is. The waitress’ face had 100% ‘zero fucks given’ written all over it, and it made me laugh.
The first time I visited was a complete washout. I had the worst toothache in THE WORLD. Toothache is like back pain, until you’ve really had it, you really can’t even begin to comprehend the pain. Anyway, I managed about three mouthfuls before admitting defeat.
This is what I ordered before the mission was aborted, the above was made ‘to-go’ and go I did, straight to the dentist, in floods of tears (physical pain is not my jam) and got an emergency appointment. A cocktail of sweet, sweet drugs and injections meant that later that night I was able to eat it all (carefully, on one side) and recall enjoying it enough to think I wanted to eat from there again, when not off my face on painkillers and feeling borderline traumatised. Not sure how I feel about the colour of that soup though, thankfully it didn’t taste as sweet as it looks!
|Pork stir fried with chillies, rice, and a fried egg £7.65|
This was unbelievably spicy, but good. The pork was a bit tough, but nothing disastrous. I enjoyed it but probably wouldn’t rush to order it again. My dinner date wasn’t a fan of it at all so I ate nearly all of it to myself.
|Pad Thai with prawns – £7.95|
I love a Pad Thai, and this is definitely one of the best I’ve had in Brighton. Generous portion size, not a hint of ‘glueiness’ to the noodles, the taste of tamarind really came through and the veg were crisp and fresh. 10/10.
I actually had to Google what Morning Glory was (and sniggered childishly at some of the descriptions) despite having eaten it before at Good Friends Chinese with a friend who adores it. It’s like the love child of Pak Choi and spinach and is absolutely delicious.
|Red Curry with duck, pineapple & lime leaves – £7.95|
I have created this exact dish at home so was already a firm favourite (as well as my to-go portion, from the previous visit) and I honestly think if this were an option I would choose it over the ubiquitous green curries that everyone seems to love so much. If you do visit, you must have this, along with the Pad Thai, it stole the show.
Other stuff you need to know
The service was slow, unfriendly (verging on hostile) to my friend and pretty much completely disinterested.
Loos: I didn’t hold out much hope of them being great, but actually, they were really clean, with no rank smells/plenty of soap/loo roll etc. I did do a ‘toilet cam’ for the video review but annoyingly lost the footage.
They’re only serve food three evenings a week until 8:30pm but open lunchtimes every day other than Sunday. Probably not an ideal choice if you are pushed for time though.
UniThai used to be reowned for it’s low prices but they’ve definitely increased in the last year or so. I’d say the prices match that of any standard Thai restaurant in town. Payment is cash only- ANNOYING.