63 Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, IP4 1HP
Tel: 01473 218402
Click for map
- Cuisine: Thai
- Price: £20
- House wine: £15
- Open: Mon, dinner only, Tues - Sat: lunch and dinner
- Good for: A homely, comfortable dinner on a side of town you might not usually visit, and Thai food without the chilli burn.
A la carte plus four set menus at about £20
Baipo is like eating in someone's lounge. It's got about four tables and an owner relaxing in the corner with a TV, mercifully off. It's in one of the less salubrious Ipswich streets, but it's pretty cosy and warm and if you want somewhere quiet for some decent Thai food and a chat, then it's a good choice. It's one of only two Thai restaurants in Ipswich.
The menu's short by Thai standards and features the usual classics, although some of them are named confusingly. For example, minced fish mixed with red curry paste and green bean, deep fried and served with onions, cucumber salad and crushed peanut sauce was what almost always gets called Thai fishcakes. I ordered it, thinking it might be something I'd never tried before. But it was just fishcakes, which were nice - and rubbery - as always. The peanut sauce was tangy and nutty, although without any spice, as is true of the rest of the menu (which will be a draw for some!).
We ordered prawns in filo pastry as a starter, which were fine, although some of the prawns seemed a little on the skimpy side. The chilli sauce they came with was a bit vinegary but good enough.
The mains were a chicken red curry with egg fried rice and crispy trout with chilli sauce. The red curry was creamy and rich with plenty of crunchy bamboo shoots and a dash of peas - although, as with everything else, not spicy at all. The trout was ultra crispy and topped with a thickened sauce of tiny chunks of pepper. It was more a sweet and sour sauce than it was a chilli sauce, although the sour notes predominated. It went well with the fish, taking off any fatty hint that trout can have.
We drank beer rather than wine, Chang and Singha. The wine list features pretty much every specific style of wine that a sales rep would tell you goes with spicy food and some looked interesting, although we stuck to the beer.
Because of its location and size, we thought Baipo might be a hidden gem. That might be pushing it a bit, but it's definitely somewhere to pop in for a bite to eat in relaxed and friendly surroundings.
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