Dining Out: No 10 Alehouse, Whitegate Drive, Blackpool

No 10 Alehouse
No 10 Alehouse
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We had called in at the No 10 Ale House after Blackpool FC matches recently and been tempted by the smells of Thai food being prepared in the kitchen upstairs.

So having had our fill of turkey dinners, it seemed the perfect destination for a post-Christmas meal out.

Stir fry and red curry

Stir fry and red curry

The venue is the second opened by former postman George White, following his first venture in St Annes, and he seems to have hit on a successful formula.

The micro pub movement has really taken off, with its offering of a choice of real ales, good prices and friendly atmosphere.

We rarely go into the No 10 without striking up a conversation with other customers, and this time round once more bumped into familiar faces.

The menu offers a choice of Spanish-style tapas or Thai dishes, which is an unusual fusion but clearly works.

Tom Yum soup

Tom Yum soup

When we arrived many folk were already eating downstairs, where there is plenty of room including recently refurbished space in the back.

However we had booked an upstairs table which was waiting for us on the first floor.

The menu is quite succinct but covers all you need.

We opted for a couple of starters from the tapas menu where choices include Spanish favourites such as calamari, Tempura king prawns and patatas bravas.

Thai fish cakes

Thai fish cakes

However my husband Clive and I had decided to go full Thai, and he is a particular fan of Thai soup so that had to be tried.

All orders are taken at the bar, even when sitting upstairs, and paid for in advance.

We carried our own drinks up the stairs, but the food was then delivered to our table.

Clive started off with the Tom Yum soup, and his bowl arrived packed with lemongrass, mushrooms, chicken and Thai spices.

I tried a couple of spoonfuls and it was delicious, hitting the right strength without being too overpowering (although I would always recommend having a jug of water to hand).

Next up we shared a couple of plates of Thai fishcakes and Thai spring rolls, both of which were served with chilli sauce.

The fishcakes were really moist and a good size for dipping, while the rolls were clearly freshly made stuffed with vegetables and noodles.

Indeed, we always feel Thai food is among the healthiest of the oriental offerings with its lovely peppers, herbs and spring onions.

Not that we were too virtuous, accompanying our meal with a decent bottle of Tempranillo red wine, which came in at a very reasonable £17.

There are other wines around the £13 mark for a bottle.

The mains menu covers curries and stir fry dishes, and I believe there is merit in sticking to a handful of favourites as this menu does.

Over-complicated choices can just hold you up so we were very happy to go for the Gang Dang (red curry) with chicken and comprising coconut milk, fresh herbs, peppers, carrots and bamboo.

Our other choice was the Pad Khing stir fry with beef, ginger, spring onion and peppers.

Both are served with rice, and at a cost of around £7.90 per dish this is excellent value for Thai food which tastes as good as at many a more expensive restaurant.

We shared both dishes and by the end hardly a grain of rice was left, such was our appetite for what was put in front of us.

To get back to a footballing analogy, the proprietors have certainly hit the back of the net when it comes to serving up excellent food at a really good price in friendly surroundings.

Our total bill, including wine, came to just under £50.