Lucky Khao - OctoberBEST 2020

 In a venue that's cafe by day, Northern Thai Barbecue by night what's the deal? 

As a fan of all things barbecue I've been meaning to try Lucky Khao for a while. OctoberBEST 2020 provided the perfect excuse to sample their food.

The dining experience in these COVID times had a couple of quirks, the reduced time that service needs to be squeezed into for starters. There was a note in the entrance letting patrons know that the police had written to them reminding them that everyone had to be off the premises by 10pm! We also saw two PCSOs come in and talk to the staff for about 5 minutes, distracting them from service.

There were a couple of minor service snags, but they were quickly spotted and rectified. So didn't impact the enjoyment of the evening unduely.

The set menu for the evening was a three part affair. Small starter, Curry and rice main. And finally a barbecue tray. Simples. All we had to do was choose the starter option and then veg or meat .. and your drinks!

For drinks we had Silly Moo cider, which is a local dry cider. As a cider fan this is my new favourite cider.

I was so keen to get stuck into the Pork Neck skewers that I forgot to take a photo with them nicely plated up :-) They were everything a BBQ'd pork product should be. Moist and lovely almost caramel skin. The Prik numm on the side had a great flavour. I was worried about it being hot, but it had just enough chilli to give some warmth. I guess it's like a Thai Pico de Gallo. I now want to make some and have with steak.

The other start was Mike's Party Wings, again great flavours from the garlic and BBQ. It was a bit messy eating though, could have done with a finger bowl.

The main was a shared Lamb Massamam. This was the only name I recognised from other Thai restaurants, but willing to bet they didn't taste like this! The meat was so tender and soft, it was also infused with the fragrant kaffir lime leaves and what I guess was lemon grass. I don't usually like fragrant foods, but the strength of the lamb balanced nicely. The potatoes were also nice and soft, a good indicator that the dish had been cooked together for a decent amount of time. (Don't get me started on places that seem to have just chucked in par boiled potatoes before serving)

The final serving was a sharing tray of barbecue goodness! From top left and clockwise - it was English Som Tam Salad BBQ lemongrass Chicken, Caramelized Pig Skin, Fermented Belly Rib, and Cola braised Beef Tongue.

I was most surprised by the salad - having forgotten the menu by this point - and it was very spicy! Also the beef tongue, I'm not really squeamish but not usually keen on the texture or taste of tongue. But this was different. Soft, with an extra "beefy" and smokey tones. I think this would work great in a chilli. The tamarind dip was sweet and sticky, great for pork belly.

Safe to say that I loved Lucky Khao and can't wait to go back, I don't know why I left it so long! Next time I want to try one of the cocktails as they are meant to be immense.  

Oh, one final thing. Lucky Khao is dog friendly. It helps when you have such a well behaved pup! Here she is licking her lips just thinking about all that food!