This is not my first visit to this exceptional establishment, it’s my tenth. But it’s my first since I started writing and my nod to its excellence is well overdue. Set on a peaceful lake amongst a lush tropical garden, Spirit House is not just a restaurant – it’s an experience. The exceptional presentation of exquisite contemporary Thai food, served with subtle elegance in the most tranquil of settings makes it so.
I can recommend pretty much everything on the menu, but today I start with the tamarind chilli soft shell crab with minced pork and Asian celery. I love tamarind and its sourness in this dish is in perfect harmony with the hit of chilli. The light crunch of the shell gives way to delicate, sweet flesh and finishes well with the dusting of nuts.
My husband has the pork belly to start and it’s as good as it always is (yes, he almost always orders it). The rich crispy skin, sweet citrus caramel sauce colludes with the ginger and mint salad to bring him back for more every time.
The massaman seared lamb loin is nice and spicy – delicate heat comes through the sweetly caramelised sauce. The Kipler wafers are beautifully light and crisp and the pickled garlic adds a nice contemporary twist.
The star dish today is the green curry pork loin. Spice crusted and served with (yes, more) pork crackling, shavings of apple, Thai celery and shredded kaffir lime leaves, it’s fresh, punchy and incredibly moreish.
Over the years I have had the very great pleasure of not only eating at Spirit House, but also attending their cooking school. It’s great fun, really hands on and both Kelly Lord and Annette Fear are great teachers. I have yet to join them on one of their culinary tours to Thailand and Vietnam but look forward to it immensely.