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“Not just great food, but an experience too!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Icookthai

Icookthai
Ranked #344 of 1,209 Restaurants in Cardiff
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Not just great food, but an experience too!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

I have now been here twice & found the food to be extremely tasty & very authentic. The place has a bit of an unusual feel to it, in that it feels like ur dining in the owners living room rather than a restaurant...he's a bit of a character & its very much a one man band as he does the waiting, cooking, & cleaning up all himself & is quite chatty too, being very passionate about Thai culture & cuisine - so don't expect to be in & out quickly, there is quite a bit of waiting around, even when its quiet, but its definitely worth the wait! The menu is quite limited & u need to order in advance of ur visit (tho don't be too surprised if he tries to spring a few surprise changes on u when u get there, by way of broadening ur horizons!)but everything I've tried has been so full of flavour & the chicken satay starter & coconut rice r the best I've ever tasted. The only thing is u have to pass thru the kitchen to the toilet out the back & the place seriously looked like a bombsite & did give me some doubts about hygeine & health & safety but for all I know it may have been organized chaos & I gave it the benefit of the doubt... It may not be the best place to go if ur in a hurry or want a quiet meal (the owner serenaded my partner & I with a made up song at the piano & actually came & sat at the table with us for a while on our first visit!) but if u want to experience authentic, freshly cooked Thai food from a man with a true passion for what he does & probably learn a thing or 2 along the way, then id definitely try this. We will definitely be back!

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank pu55ycat78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    21
    4
    6
    15
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Thai Cooking Class”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2012

My wife bought me a "Thai Cooking Class" present at ICookThai. I had previously done an Indian Cooking Class which was completely hands-on, so was very much looking forward to this.

I looked up the website in advance and was slightly disappointed to see that this would be a cookery demonstration which I would only be able to watch. No cooking by the attendees would take place.

Nevertheless, I turned up on the appointed day and time at the venue to find a very ropey looking premises with no signs outside the establishment that gave a clue of what took place there other than a small A4 size page in the window stating this was the ICookThai venue.

Despite it's shabby external appearance, I went inside and was greeted by Pimm wearing a stained black chef's jacket. This place had clearly been a restaurant at some point in the past as there were plastic tables and chairs with plastic table cloths upon them. Pimm informed me that this was now a take-away only.

Everything inside looked like it needed a deep clean and Pimm was clearly living in the restaurant area as there was his piano, guitar, computer and projector TV screen in the room, with various items scattered about the place.

I was invited to take a seat at one of the tables where there were various vegetables awaiting preparation and an open packet of cooked prawns. The other attendees arrived and the session commenced at 12pm.

By 1pm Pimm had talked to us for an hour without slicing a vegetable. We had his history and rants about what we should and should not be doing with our lives. There was perhaps 10mins about the 'real meaning' of Thai food.

He then proceeded to show us how to make Spring Rolls. He was chopping vegetables and mixing ingredients with his hands while rubbing his nose and wiping his hands in a single piece of kitchen roll. The vegetables were not washed and there was earth clearly visible on the lettuce leaves that were used. In addition, I never once saw him wash his hands!

He cooked the Spring Rolls in a Halogen oven/pot which was on the table in front of us, and then served them and gave cutlery for us to use which may well have been washed but some were still slightly stained. There was little taste to the food other than butter which had been used to wash the previously frozen packet pastry sheets prior to adding the vegetables.

Next was the main course of Red Thai Curry which comprised of curry paste from a packet and a tin of coconut milk. A raw chicken breast was produced and was then thinly sliced and added to the paste and coconut milk in a pot on an electric hob on the table in front of us along with additional vegetables. No sign of chicken or vegetables or hands being washed but the piece of kitchen roll was being used to wipe fingers. The prawns having been open for the past two and a half hours were then taken back to the kitchen area. Who know's what happened to them then.

The curry was then cooked and a large pan of boiled rice appeared from the back kitchen. Each person was served a tablespoon of rice and a tablespoon of curry on a plate which we ate around the table. In fairness, it tasted quite good but where was the skill in putting this dish together? Anyone can slice a bit of chicken and veg and then add it to a pre-packed paste and tin of coconut milk.

By the end of the session, I had been there for over three hours, been lectured at about life and learned very little about Thai cooking. I believe that Pimm means well and I wish him no ill, but what was given by this session was far and away from what I expected.

This session is being sold directly at £99 though there are Groupon offers available for £30. Overall, it is not an experience I would recommend.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Vincent S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Insulting”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

We were invited in to watch the chef cook. The kitchen was dirty, which wasn't very reassurring, but I didn't actually end up eating any of the food because I'd asked for a vegetarian meal, and the chef questioned me on my reasons and then told me I'd be poisioning my children if I allowed them to follow my example. I found this very upsetting and eventually felt I had to leave. I'm sure he is a very talented cook, but I'd rather just eat a nice meal somewhere than be advised on my lifestyle choices by someone who doesn't know me.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Anne1EMouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
“Scrumptious Thai”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2012

What a great experience, not just the food but the warmth and hospitality of the chef Mr Pimm. He greets you as you walk in, and offers you the chance of watching him cook your meal from fresh ingredients bought that day. Not only does he explain each step of his cooking methods, but lets you in on little secrets about thai cooking. His enthusiasm and zest rubs off on you, and you cant help but pass the night with a smile on your face. Needless to say, the food was exquisite, the best thai food I`ve tasted.I recommend you pay the place a visit, but text Pimm first with your order, you will not be disappointed.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Lee h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
“Little gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012

A very unusual restaurant as it's a one man show hence a slow service . But the food was the best thai that I have ever had and I have eaten in to the best Thai restaurants in London for years. Breath of fresh air in Cardiff, will definitely go back.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Cardiffgirl888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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