Restaurant review: Rak Chang, Leigh-on-Sea

By the husband (Gary Pearson)

Rak Chang, Leigh-on-Sea, Broadway
Rak Chang for our first date night since Sonny’s birth

It was Friday night ,”date night”, for my wife and I.

Our first outing since the birth of our little lad Sonny. He’s our first child and aged a tender ten-and-a-half weeks old we felt (just about) ready to venture out in the big wide world again…

So for our first apres-baby date we were thinking nothing too fancy, nothing too fussy, something we could trust and know we were going to enjoy. A safe bet.

We chose Rak Chang, on the Broadway, as we had been there a few times before and had always enjoyed a good, dependable meal with ample variety. After all, you don’t want to go too wild on your reintroduction to the real world do you!?

Staff there are lovely, very traditionally dressed and professional.

We were shown to our seats and I noticed for a Friday night it was pretty quiet.

After a brief perusal of the menus, we made our choices.

My grilled spare ribs were “seasoned with cider and dark rum” and I was looking forward to them. Katy  went for Prawn Tempura, served with sweet chilli sauce.

I have to say my four ribs were somewhat underwhelming. Quantity was fine, but flavour was very bland. Wasn’t really getting too much cider or rum.

Katy’s choice wasn’t great either. Again, quantity very good. Four big prawns. But they were caked in a rather too moist, not quite soggy, deep fat fried coating. Yes, they certainly had been battered, but not necessarily in a good way.

Ok, so let’s not dwell on these and fast forward to the mains.

I went for a staple, the ever so famous Thai green curry. Katy opted for Praew Whan, with chicken.

My curry was decent. More milky than creamy, complete with fresh sweet basil, aubergine and bamboo shoots. I wasn’t fooled by its rather serene, mellow appearance. It packed a chilli punch, and I liked it.

Katy’s Praew Whan was good too. A sweet and sour stir fry with plenty of pineapple chunks, accompanied by wedges of cucumber, tomato and onion.

The sauce was super sweet, really tasty, and it’s fair to say both mains made up some considerable ground left by the night’s starters.

After plenty of chat about, yes you guessed it, the new mini dictator in our life (aka Sonny) Katy was starting to get the urge to get back to the little fella. But not before dessert. Please.

To round things off I went for Lychees and Rhomundens, something I’ve not tried before, and Katy loves her chocolate so her choice of chocolate ice cream cake was no surprise.

Hers was naughty concoction. A fair portion of this kind of half ice-cream, half gooey chocolate cheesecake. I was allowed a spoonful, I wasn’t disappointed.

My fresh and fleshy traditional Chinese fruits came with a good dollop of Rossi’s vanilla ice cream and the sweet, delicate selection of fruit was just what I was looking for to lighten and sweeten the palate and bring an end to a meal which certainly finished stronger than it started.

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