MAXINE GORDON checks out a new Thai street food spot in York

NEW restaurants and bars seem to be popping up in York as quickly as student accommodation blocks and luxury flats.

One that caught my eye recently was Tah Tien, a small eatery selling Thai street food at the Ouse Bridge end of North Street.

From the outside, it looks like more of a bar, with wooden counters facing the window, and three large wooden benches inside, designed for sharing.

The menu in the window looked inviting informing us that it sold small plates of food priced at one for £5.50, two for £10, three for £14, with a lunch offer of one small plate and one side dish for £6.50 (£7.50 with a soft drink).

I posted a picture of the exterior on Instagram and a few of my followers commented enthusiastically about the place. "Delicious and fab staff"; "It's amazingly insane" "I like it. Nice Thai food served in paper boxes. No frills."

So last Saturday night I turned up just after 6pm with my husband and teenage daughter to give it a go. I had rung ahead to book a table, but when we arrived there were only four other people dining. However, within half an hour the place was filling up with diners huddled together in groups, sitting on benches either side of the long wooden table.

Each table has a wicker basket packed with cutlery and chopsticks alongside a chrome napkin dispenser and squeezy bottles with sweet chilli sauce.

On arrival, customers are given the menu, a waiter's order pad and a pen (my fellow Instagrammer was right about "no frills") and invited to write down their order and place it at the bar, where payment can be made too.

The menu lists the name of the Thai dish followed, helpfully, by a description in English. There is plenty of choice, with something for most tastes, including pork, chicken, beef, prawns, squid, fish fillet and tofu. However, of the 31 main small plates on offer only four are listed as suitable for vegetarians. And while the four curries (two chicken, one beef and own prawn) can be made with tofu and vegetables, the curry sauce contains shrimp paste, so would not be suitable for veggies, which may be disappointing.

My teenage daughter is a vegetarian so didn't have as much choice as me and my hubby. She plumped for Laab Hed Tord (marinated crispy mushroom Thai style) and some veggie spring rolls (Por Pia Pak). We carnivores felt spoilt for choice and chose Por Pia Ped (duck spring rolls); Kung Chub Pang Tord (prawn tempura with spicy tamarind sauce and chilli); Keaw Wan Gai (chicken green curry) and Kaeng Ped Kung (prawn red curry), with sides of broccoli (£3.50); sticky rice (£2.20), and ginger and garlic rice (£2.20).

To drink, my other half chose a Singha Thai beer (£2.50), while we had soft drinks at £1.50 a can. There is a water cooler on the service counter, where people can help themselves.

That might be handy if you order something spicy. Menu items are marked with between one to three asterisks, presumably to identify those which might be hot to handle.

The food arrived fairly promptly, served in brown paper cartons, on a set of white trays. Everything came pretty much at the same time, and so felt like a feast. Which it was.

We began with what we considered our "starters" - the spring rolls and tempura. All were really good; not the best we'd ever had, but hot and crunchy with plenty of filling.

The curries were very tasty. The green curry was slightly hotter than my red one, but I preferred the latter on account of the rich flavours of coconut cream and lime – which offered that perfect blend of sweet and sour that is my favourite part of Thai food.

My daughter's mushrooms were delicious - deceptively so. What looked like a pile of batter scraps actually turned out to be a gorgeous serving of succulent mushrooms in a crunchy coating. Luckily, she was happy to share them with me. The side orders were great too: the ginger and garlic not too overwhelming in the rice while the broccoli was cooked perfectly and came in a sharp and tangy broth which really awoke the palate.

To finish, we shared a scrumptious serving of hot banana fritters and good vanilla ice-cream.

Our bill for three came to £45.35, which we thought was fair value. We noticed a young couple next to us share just four dishes and a soft drink each, so you can easily come to Tah Tien for a bite to eat that needn't break the bank.

Tah Tien,10 North St, York

T: 01904 633396

Food: tasty 3.5/5

Atmosphere: Canteen-like 3/5

Service: Good 3/5

Value: fair 3/5

All reviews are independent and paid for by The Press