KUTI’S Royal Thai Pier is one of Southampton’s landmarks.
It’s always been a striking building but one that for many years was sadly crumbling.
So I was delighted when Southampton restaurant group Kuti’s took it over and restored it to its former glory in 2008.
Just entering the building is a pleasure. It’s as striking on the inside as it is on the outside. The sense of occasion you get as you arrive outside continues as you enter the large lobby and move into the plush dining area.
It’s easy to see why the decision has been made to offer it as a wedding venue.
This is a new venture for the restaurant and one that is sure to prove popular, particularly with three different restaurant areas to choose from for the ceremony and reception – Kuti’s Pier Palace downstairs and upstairs Kuti’s Bay View in the conservatory and the stunning Kuti’s Chandelier View.
When we arrived for our meal the restaurant had a pleasant buzz to it. A wandering up close magician was entertaining some of the diners while my football fan boyfriend was delighted when former Saints star Francis Benali came to check up on us and make sure that we were enjoying our evening.
There was an impressive-looking buffet on offer but we decided to order from the extensive menu.
I started my meal with a mixed salad with Thai dressing and a garnish of cashew nuts. It comes with an egg but as I’m vegan this was left off mine.
It was a light and tasty way to start my meal and get my appetite going for the main course.
My boyfriend started with Goong Phaow – grilled tiger prawns with chilli which was deliciously hot.
The menu offered a good vegetarian selection, all of which sounded extremely tempting. After much deliberating I went for the Tofu Phad Priew Wan – chunks of tofu in sweet and sour sauce with pineapple, tomatoes, mixed peppers and onion.
It proved to be an excellent choice. It was a very generous portion with a good amount of tofu while the sauce was perfectly balanced.
I’m never sure whether or not to have a side dish for fear of being greedy but I’m glad I did as the Phad Hed Gratium – stir-fried seasonal mushrooms with garlic sauce – was amazing.
This was incredibly tasty and cooked to perfection.
Unfortunately my boyfriend got rather carried away with all the tasty-sounding dishes on the menu and ordered way too much food.
He opted for two mains: Gaeng Kiew Wan - Gai Neua – a classic green Thai corn fed chicken curry which ticked all the right boxes and was pleasantly hot – with rice and, in a Mr Greedy moment, Phad Thai - Goong Gai Neua – in other word Thai noodles with king prawns. This was very tasty and filling!
Everything was so good it was a real shame to leave anything but with such generous portions we just couldn’t finish.
With starters at around £5.50 and mains ranging from around £8.50 to £15, it was good value for money for a lovely night out.
• For more information and to make a reservation, call 023 80 339 221 or visit kutisroyalthaipier.co.uk.