Nicha's Thai Kitchen, Dalton

It was a Friday night and husband and I were in the mood for something hot and spicy. So we did what anyone with such a yearning would do: we went to Dalton.

The ancient capital of Furness is home to a recently-opened restaurant, Nicha's Thai Kitchen, which can be found in the former courthouse on the town's main street. And it's already proving wildly popular.

It was the cliched dark and stormy night as we sallied forth into Dalton, nearly being swept away by the wind as we fought our way from the car to the restaurant (town centre parking in Dalton is always something of a challenge), bursting into the building to find it chocker with diners.

A pleasant lady seated us and relieved us of our bottle of wine, which she put in the fridge. It's bring your own at Nicha's, with a not unreasonable £2 per head corkage charge. Soft drinks are sold, should you be feeling abstemious.

Armed with a jug of iced water, we settled down to make our choices. The menu at Nicha's is, as one might expect, traditional Thai, with starters all £5.50 and main courses all £10.50 - which will make divvying up the bill fairly easy for large groups.

We ordered chicken satay with a peanut dipping sauce and Goong Choop Pang Tod, which is deep fried prawns to you and me, followed by Gaeng Kheow Warn (that's a green curry - my husband opted for the pork version) and a classic Pad Thai for me.

The starters were fab. Large, juicy prawns in a tempura batter with a dipping sauce, and the star of the show, the chicken satay kebabs, which were beautifully fresh and succulent with a stunning peanut dipping sauce. Simple but perfect - and clearly the work of an expert who cares about ingredients. I presumed the eponymous Nicha was responsible for this delightful brace of starters.

The restaurant was by now full, with customers also arriving to collect takeaway orders. The atmosphere was lively with pre-Christmas good cheer. It's buzzy and light (perhaps a tad too light for the evening trade) and everything seems new and fresh, as one would expect from a recently-opened restaurant.

Our mains were equally as impressive as the starters, although we both felt the portions were slightly too generous. Gordon's pork curry (with rice as a extra at £2) was not for the faint hearted. If you like your curries hot, you'll love this. Gordon does, but even so, he needed that jug of iced water.

My Pad Thai was beautiful. A huge mound of succulent noodles, with chicken, egg, tamarind, beansprouts, crushed chilli and grind peanuts. It was fantastic. Far too much for one, I thought, but the very friendly waitress was more than happy to package up our leftovers into doggy bags; and my Pad Thai was just as delicious the following day.

Owner Nicha put in an appearance during the evening, taking a well-earned break from toiling in the kitchen to say hello to her customers and check that everyone was happy. It seemed we all were.

Service throughout was friendly and efficient; and the food fantastic. Nicha's Kitchen has had a highly successful start (it's been getting rave reviews on social media) and deservedly so.

I'm already looking forward to a return visit - and can't wait to try out a few more dishes.

Nicha has well and truly found her niche in Dalton.

Food 5

Service 5

Atmosphere 4

Value 5


Authentic Thai dishes

Friendly service

Bring your own booze


Parking nearby isn't always easy