Thai Ladies, Thai Lunch: Thai Square, St Albans

During half term, my mum, Annabelle and I went to visit two close family friends in St Albans. Together we were five Thai ladies, three generations and two families at one place, Thai Square.

Group Shot

The restaurant is a beautiful mix of Thai and English, modern and traditional. The owner, although not Thai, upholds and respects the Buddhas and Ganesha (Ganesh) on display by leaving offerings of milk, orange juice, banana and food.

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You may notice that Ganesh is a Hindu God. My mum, like some Thais pay their respects and pray to many religious deities from around the world. In addition to Ganesh my mum also prays to the Chinese goddess, Guanyin (Phra Mae Kuan Im in Thailand) and Luang Por Khong (a Chinese Monk who helps you find things that you have misplaced). Followers of Guanyin, like my mum do not eat beef. I’m told that this is because cows and buffalo used to work hard on the paddy fields in Asia and it would be unkind to slaughter them after their service for the people.

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We chose a selection of dishes from the lunch specials and à la carte menus. We ordered duck spring rolls, Thai ice tea, and Gai Yang (barbecued chicken) with Som Tum salad (papaya salad) and sticky rice.

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Below left is the Pad Thai prawn with an egg net placed on top. Pictured next to it is tapioca balls with a minced pork filling. It is similar to the Japanese Mochi I wrote about in a previous post, however this is a savoury dish. You don’t need cutlery to eat these, you take one of the little balls, place it in the middle of a lettuce leaf and pop into your mouth.

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The lunchtime set meal resembled a Japanese Bento Box with Tom Yum prawn soup, a spring roll, satay chicken, a vegetable ‘golden bag’, steamed rice, stir-fried mixed vegetables and a main dish. We had stir-fried mince pork with basil and chilli.

The service at Thai Square was first class. Friendly, welcoming and never too busy to assist. A great atmosphere to eat authentic Thai food. What’s your favourite Thai meal and have you tried the pork tapioca dish I mentioned?

Bx

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Toddler Tastes: February Update

My New Year’s Resolution was to encourage Annabelle to try new foods and to eat things that she used to when she was younger but hasn’t been willing to recently. February has seen her take large steps forward in achieving this. She has been happy to chew larger chunks of meat and vegetables and to eat full meals of pasta with basil or sun-dried tomato pesto.

Mission Burrito

As we have had half-term this month, Andy and I have taken Annabelle to eat out a couple of times. Our first trip was to Mission Burrito, Bath, where she was slightly hesitant to eat the rice box I bought for her. Knowing she would be even less likely to have a wrap, I asked for rice with stewed pork and vegetables. She started with plain rice on it’s own dismissing the meat and avoiding the vegetables but as the meal progressed she had a balance of the three.

Cafe Rouge

At Cafe Rouge, Bath, we had greater success. I had an English breakfast and Annabelle had my beans and toast. She loves both of these anyway so on this occasion it wasn’t so much of an achievement in terms of variety but more that her eating habits seemed grown up in comparison to previous dining experiences. She sipped her babyccino from the cup, finished her food without fuss, asked for more and then continued to eat her ketchup with a spoon. We really try to discourage the latter but never get far!

February eating achievements: Pesto pasta, chunks of meat and vegetables, lightly spiced Mexican food, a few tastes of Chicken Tikka Biryani, toasted fruit bread
Still no luck with: Ham, eggs (scrambled or hard boiled), cheese chunks (she had melted cheese on a croissant), malt loaf, yoghurt with fruit pieces, sausage or bacon
Hopes for March: A variety of breakfast cereals – In Greece last year, we couldn’t buy Weetabix and tried Cheerios instead. She would eat it after a bit of persuading but absolutely refused to try Coco Pops. It’s funny but if it’s not chocolate but a cocoa variety of something, e.g. Bourbon biscuits, she won’t touch it. She likes vanilla and milk chocolate versions, i.e. custard creams so I wonder if she will try Rice Krispies?

Is your child a fussy eater? What techniques work in encouraging their eating habits? Please let me know your stories and click here for January’s Toddler Tastes.