Last week I was invited along to try Tiger Bills in Consett by the beautiful ladies from Sparkle. As I had never been before, off I went with lovely Chloe from NewgirlinToon to enjoy an evening of chit chat, cocktails and scrumptious food.
Now I could show you the photos and a review of that evening but I thought what spoke louder than an organised visit was that I booked a table to return on the Saturday night with the family. Is that not testament to a good time? An immediate booking and an in-depth review!
As soon as we arrived on Saturday we were greeted and seated by Marcella the manager in our huge booth by the window. With just 3 of us, we could have had 3 more and still not felt cramped! The restaurant itself is very spacious and airy which suits a combination of intimate seating in booths or large spaces suitable for groups and parties, with a central bar space and a theatre kitchen allowing guests to see “behind the scenes” at the food being made.
If you are not aware, Tiger Bills is an American Thai fusion concept serving the very best ‘traditional staples’ from both continents. Each side of the menu is solely devoted to tickling your taste buds with a myriad of munchies, on the American side you have the classics of nachos and ribs to fajitas and big juicy burgers while over on the Thai side you are spoiled for choice with soups, noodles, salads, starters and delicious curries. To supplement the food the bar is stocked with popular drinks, Thai beers on draft and an incredibly tempting cocktail menu which has recently expanded to include cocktails served in a pineapple or a watermelon!
|Raspberry Bumble Non Alcoholic Cocktail (£2.50)|
Between the 3 of us, we managed to demolish 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 puddings… which of course vanished so quickly there’s no photographic evidence of. Although it has been suggested that if there are no photos then there are no calories!
First up we have the Seekrong Moo Yang (£6.10) from the Thai menu. Large, succulent ribs coated in a light batter and smothered in sauce. The meat fell off the bone with only a mere helping hand. A generous but sufficient portion for 1 person as a starter. On hindsight Mother Tramp thought they should have been served with a wet towel as she was covered in sauce and went through 3 napkins just to clean up.
Khanon Pang Na Goong (£5.95) from the Thai menu were served with sweet chilli sauce and were really light. Unlike some I have tried, these were not greasy at all and I could taste the succulent minced prawns rather than the overpowering taste of the frying process. Absolutely delicious.
Again from the Thai menu Mr Tramp tried Tung Tong (£5.40) which were large filo parcels, like a wonton, stuffed to the gills with beef, prawns, garlic and herbs. Again, not greasy and jam packed with moist meat. A very generous serving with sweet chilli on the side for dipping. A choice of maybe plum sauce would have been nice with both these and the Khanon Pang Na Goong to mix up the flavours a little.
Mother Tramp chose the Super Stack Burger (£9.95) from the American grill menu which contains turkey bacon, monterey jack cheese and a portobello mushroom. The burger arrived with skinny fries, coleslaw, side salad and a BBQ sauce. The burger was piled high and it certainly hadn’t been scrimped on. The meat was well cooked and had that tasty charred taste. We all commented that the picture of the burger on the menu / website does NOT do the actual burgers justice… I think they need to revamp their photos! Mother T loved the coleslaw and the skinny fries.
Mr Tramp chose the Kang Kheaw Warn Green Curry with egg fried rice (£7.70). I had tried this on my previous visit and it was just as delicious. The curry is perfectly flavoured with a delicate coconut taste with a spicy kick to finish. Along with chicken the curry is packed with veg.
I chose the Kang Kra Ree Yellow Curry (£7.70) with garlic rice (50p). On my last visit I had tried the Jungle Curry which is the hottest they sell but after trying the yellow curry I was a convert. Coconutty but not overpowering with a mellow well rounded spice throughout it was just perfect. Packed with chicken and small chunks of potato it was a hearty choice. The garlic rice was epic. The crispy garlic topping was delicious and I will be recreating this at home!
My only criticism, if you can really call it that, was we all thought the Thai curry portions were quite small. If we had not had a starter and pud I think Mr Tramp and I would have left there feeling a bit less than full but what the portion size may lack, the flavour and quality certainly made up on.
As if we weren’t full enough, we managed to put away the American waffles with Toffee sauce (£3.95 – Heavenly and the Tiger Bills sharing sundae (£4.95 – gooey and indulgent!) as well as an extra pint for Mr Tramp’s ‘dessert’.
I like how the Thai food comes with chicken or veg as standard with rice, fries and salad included and you can choose to upgrade to different meats, rices and fries as you wish. I think this is a BRILLIANT concept and our server pointed this out to us straight away. I personally hate to see cluttered menus with 4 different variants and prices under each dish.
The thing, in my mind, that really sets Tiger Bills apart from other restaurants serving Asian food is that the chefs are carefully selected and highly experienced in authentic Thai cooking and the company help support their chefs by finding accommodation and assisting them settle in to their new surroundings.