MATT Westcott finds a little corner of Thailand on Stokesley High Street

SOMETIMES you just know it’s all going to turn out well. That was certainly the case a couple of weekends ago when myself and my other half managed to cash in an all so rare babysitting token. From the outside, Y’Thai is not the kind of venue that grabs the attention. In fact, I had cycled past it many times without even realising it was there.

But what this little restaurant on Stokesley High Street lacks in terms of a colourful exterior, it certainly makes up for once you pass through the door. The cold winter chill that gnawed at our bones as we walked across the car park was instantly banished by the warm welcome and convivial atmosphere of this little piece of Thailand tucked away in a quaint North Yorkshire town.

Chatter emanated from every corner, the manager was busy pulling pints for people at the bar and restaurant staff rushed backwards and forwards with plates of steaming food. As parents of three children, we immediately felt at home... With tables sited quite close to each other, this is perhaps not the place to seal that secret business deal or, dare I say, indulge in indiscreet liaisons. Conversations were overheard, meals commented on, but nobody, ourselves included, appeared to mind. If anything, you felt positively emboldened to engage – a case in point being the couple sat behind us who were involved in a moment of high drama.

“She’s just knocked a glass of wine all over me with her enormous cleavage,” we were informed.

Now if that isn’t a conversation starter I don’t know what is.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Atmosphere to one side, Y’Thai would be nothing were it not for the food, but deciding what you want is no easy task. The menu seems to go on and on.

Admittedly, a lot of it is variations on a theme, but they have such tempting names and their descriptions induce such Pavlov’s dogs style reactions that you find yourself asking the waitress to ‘come back in a few minutes’ more times than is probably helpful. Eventually, after much toing and froing, we made our minds up. Service is not the quickest, but we didn’t mind in the slightest, no doubt helped by a second glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and pint of bitter. When the starters did come – wow. Half a dozen of the largest mussels I had ever seen.

More usually used to a bowl of small but perfectly formed shellfish, on this occasion they were more akin to oysters in size. But the best was still to come. They appeared so fresh that you could literally taste the sea and, combined with the pepper and garlic and an intoxicating sauce, they were truly to die for.

Karen also opted for seafood, but preferred a mix of everything – king prawns, mussels, Thai fish cake, crab claws again in pepper and garlic and with a chili and lemon dip. A buffet to savour. While we were awaiting our main courses we witnessed a steady throng of customers calling in for a take-out.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

But rather than sit like spare parts while everyone else tucked into their dinner, as is often the case, instead they were made very much part of proceedings, more often than not enjoying a pint while their orders were prepared. A little while later, our main arrived, Karen choosing Gang Kai – relatively spicy chicken in red curry with coconut milk – while I went for Moo Tod – wok fried pork in a blend of garlic and pepper.

Both were piping hot and aesthetically pleasing, the sauce in both elevating them to an altogether other level.

By 9pm, the restaurant began to empty – the manager telling me earlier that the latest he had left was 10.30pm and that was on New Year’s Eve.

The key to a good night at Y’Thai then, arrive early, enjoy your food, soak up the surroundings, then reflect on an evening well spent somewhere else.

Food Facts

Y’Thai High Street, Stokesley, TS9 5DQ

Tel: 01642 710165

Online: YThaiRestaurant/

Hours: Closed Monday, Tuesday. Open Wednesday, Thursday 5pm to 9pm; Friday, Saturday, 12pm to 9pm; Sunday 12pm to 7.30pm

Ratings (out of ten):

Food 9, service 8, surroundings 8, value 9