Soi serves up true taste of Thailand

Bakewell Food Festival, Alastair Lawson cooking Pad Thai
Bakewell Food Festival, Alastair Lawson cooking Pad Thai

Thailand – home to James Bond Island, ladyboys, and the world’s biggest waterfight.

A mecca for backpackers, south-east Asia’s most popular tourist spot has a reputation for good food on the cheap, with street food at the forefront of the Thai city experience.

Few dishes are more emblematic of the countries food than pad Thai, available for less than a pound from Bangkok street vendors, but so often given an anglo-makeover and served up in UK restaurants.

But the team behind Soi, who were serving up the real thing to queues of hungry customers at Bakewell Food Festival at the weekend, are bringing the authentic taste of Thai street food to the cobbles of the UK.

“We wanted to make something that tastes just like what you would get in Thailand” said Alistair Lawson, who runs the business with his wife, Lizzie. “We have just had two Thai customers who came back to tell us they enjoyed the food. They were the single most important customers of the day.”

Lizzie added: “In Thailand, people will tell you if they don’t think what you have made is any good. But here, customers can see it being cooked so they know it’s fresh and they know what has gone into it.”

Sampling the pad Thai – a noodle dish made with fish sauce, coriander and palm sugar – the emphasis on fresh flavours is palatable. The balance of sour, sweet and savoury flavours comes through in every bite and the noodles were perfectly al dente, although the Thai no doubt have another word for it.

Finished with crushed peanuts, lime and chilli sauce, the made-to-order dish was definitely love at first bite and a snip at just £4.

Even amongst the abudance of fayre at the Bakewell Food Festival, Soi attracted discerning customers looking for a taste of Thailand minus the air miles.

Five stars.

For more information on Soi’s upcoming events, visit, call 07969123224 or email