Rim Nam Thai Restaurant, Hebden Bridge
Hebden Bridge prides itself on being a cosmopolitan spot in the culinary department; there’s Greek, Italian (x3) Turkish and at least two chippies. Chuck a brick and you’ll hit an organic and/or vegetarian café. Rim Nam is tucked away at the back of the Marina that houses the tourist information office and one of those paint-your-own-pottery places I’ve never seen the point of.
The restaurant is cavernous so a bit clattery but the welcome’s warm enough for you to not care. Floor to ceiling windows overlook the canal with a view of Hebden’s narrow boat community in all its glory. There’s a certain incongruity in this clash of cultures, though there’s a photograph on the wall of an unnamed location in Thailand which doesn’t look so removed from the bucolic scene spread before us, minus the New Age Yummy Mummies pushing all-terrain three wheeler prams and hippies trailing dogs on strings.
‘Eating inThailand takes precedence over most events. The food is readily digested and dinner time comes around in short time’ bears the legend on the menu, and one which we endorse fully, believing for many years that the gap between meals is way too long.
Goong Tempura brings four fat, succulent prawns to the table, the batter shattering on impact, the sauce fragrant with a tiny kick. Gai Haw Bai Toey (‘marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves with sweet & sour sauce’) looks marvelous, like an art work, the juicy chicken hiding in dark green crispy edible leaves, with a single pink lotus flower to decorate. Red and green curries are sublimely smooth and aromatic with just the right amount of oomph, Tiger beers keep on coming and by 7.30 the place is heaving with all sorts and all ages.
Don’t come here for a low-key, intimate dinner a deux. Come for value for money, fabulous food, cheery service and a party vibe.