After HoursGo off base for the flavor of Thai
Like other folks, airmen understand the priorities of a random workday.
For example, it’s 11:30 a.m., and the lunch hour is fast approaching. Yes, there are tasks to accomplish, but come on. They can wait. It’s lunch.
And yes, that salad bar option and the grill/sandwich place near the Galaxy Club are both decent eats at a cheap price on any given day at RAF Mildenhall. And there’s always the food court.
But why can’t the Army and Air Force Exchange Service contract out some Asian? Why can’t folks grab a bit of Panda Express or some other Asian option that gets you a big plate of slop for less than six bucks? Sadly, that’s just not an option at the food court.
So as the lunch hour inches closer each day, why not head off base into nearby Mildenhall? It’s a little like the open lunch system in high school, where seniors were able to hit McDonald’s instead of the cafeteria. Relish that hour of freedom, and forget about droll, soul-crushing work for a bit.
A good place to eat while savoring that temporary freedom and talking openly and securely about your superiors is En-Thai-Sing, a delicious and affordable Thai restaurant right off the A11 at the five-ways roundabout in town.
The lunch menu offers various noodle and rice plates with your choice of anything from chicken to squid on top, for around 7 pounds ($14) an entree. Yes, expensive in dollars, but a deal when it comes to the massively strong British pound. Plus, think of it as paying a bit extra to get outside the fence.
En-Thai-Sing also has plenty of options for that Saturday night meal out with the girlfriend or the wife and kids. Or the husband and kids.
At any rate, the restaurant emphasizes traditional Thai culinary traditions. For example, did you know that Thai food is normally eaten with a knife and fork, sans chopsticks? But if you want to mesh all Asian cultures together, the friendly waitstaff can hook you up with a pair.
Thai food is traditionally eaten communally, with a group sharing various dishes. According to an En-Thai-Sing pamphlet, each patron is to spoon up some rice and then a single scoop of the entree. Mixing different dishes together is entirely frowned upon, as it detracts from the flavors.
But what flavor! Thai food emphasizes heat and is often cooked with a type of chili that starts off mild to the palate and then starts a slow yet pleasant burn. Throw in some basil and fresh veggies, and that’s some good stuff.
The menu also features chef’s specialties such as soft-shell crab with garlic and baked mussels with Thai herb butter.
So next time that lunch hour beckons, think about heading off base, because En-Thai-Sing is straight up enticing.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
To see previous After Hours reviews, go to stripes.com/afterhours.