Chorley Old Road
BOLTON doesn’t really have any celebrity haunts.
You know those places that second rate pop stars are photographed stumbling out of? Like The Ivy or Chinawhite.
But if we did, then the restaurant equivalent would by Nam Ploy.
Thai joints are thin on the ground in Bolton, but what we lack in quantity, is made up for in quality.
Nam Ploy has a good rep, and as the taxi driver told us on the way, ‘I’ve not been there myself, but lots of celebrities go there’.
I don’t think he meant the Beckhams and the Cruises, but it surely welcomes the odd Wanderers player from time to time.
Supposedly a favourite of legendary Antipodean crooner Peter Andre and former Whites star El Hadji Diouf, among others, on the rather quiet Good Friday night we were there, I spotted one of the current squad’s up-and-coming prospects. Had I been 17 years younger and had my autograph book with me, I might have gone and said hello. As it was, I just stared at him, awkwardly.
Later that evening, Bolton’s foremost Thai boxer walked in. This was turning out to be a real celebrity-spotter’s dream.
It is easy to see the draw of Nam Ploy. While it doesn’t look like much from the road, inside, it is rather plush, with solid oak carved tables and chairs, and grandiose portraits of the Thai Royal Family adding to the regal vibe.
You can’t go far wrong with the Rummit to start, which is posh Thai for “selection of snacks”. Skewered chicken and pork, crispy wantons, spring rolls and pork toast, plus three delicate dips.
The pork toast was especially good; spiced deep fried bread, dipped in sweet chilli sauce.
Pad Thai and Massaman Gai followed. Massaman is a classic Thai yellow curry, with chicken, potato and peanuts, in coconut milk. It was authentic, sweet and subtle, best with plain boiled rice.
The Pad Thai Kung, is an all-in-one: egg noodles, king prawns, sping onion, bean sprouts, and again with the peanuts. I’m not necessarily a big fan of nuts in savoury dishes. I prefer them in a bowl, on a bar, next to a pint. But they work well in Thai food.
We washed all this down, in true celebrity style, with a bottle of fizz. That’s the way I roll.
For pud, we shared a deep fried ice cream, mainly because I just wanted to see how that would work.
The answer is not particularly well. The combination of hot and cold, is intriguing, but the batter cools down and becomes soggy, pretty quicky, while the ice cream gently melts.
The bill, with a couple of Thai beers and a bottle of Prosecco, came to £70 for two. Not bad.
Desserts aside, Nam Ploy smashed it. Head down soon. You might even spot me in there.