Review of 'Jintana Thai Restaurant'

While in Cumbria recently we were in Ambleside looking for somewhere to eat that was not (a) a pub or (b) a takeaway. On the day the most interesting place we saw was “Jintana”, a Thai Restaurant, near the top of Compston Road. Sadly, it turned out not to be an entirely successful choice.


Jintana does a lot of takeaway business but eating in is possible with quite a few tables and a middle bar area on the ground floor (there is a single toilet on the ground floor and a climb up a number of stairs to another if that one is occupied). The interior is decorated quite nicely with Thai-inspired decoration throughout including several statues and carvings looking quite authentic. Walking in we were able to find a table for three early on a Wednesday evening, shortly after they opened at 5 pm. Our table was towards the back close to a full-sized Tuk Tuk fashioned into a small dining area. Thankfully we did not have to clamber onboard but rather had a normal table.

Looking over the rather long menu instead of picking through items we decided to cheat and go for one of their set menus, the “Jintana Menu” at £25.95/person. There are three set menus, Jintana (meat), Seafood (£29.95/person), and Vegetarian (£23.95) that offer slightly different dishes depending on the size of the party (an extra dish for each additional person). The rest of the menu held little in the way of surprises, but quite a good selection of Thai dishes: Soups, Spicy Salads, Starters, Chicken, Pork, Duck, Beef, Lamb, Prawns, Jumbo Prawns, Seafood, Vegetarian, Noodles, Rice and Side Dishes. There was also an “Early Evening Menu” (before 6pm) featuring two courses for £15.95.


The starters arrived on a large leaf-shaped plate: Spring Rolls, Chicken Satay Skewers, Pork Sesame Toast (!), Sweet Corn Fritters, and Spicy Chicken Larb Wontons served with sweet chilli sauce and plum sauce. The definite hit here were the crunchy Sweet Corn Fritters which had a gentle but tasty flavour and not greasy. I also really enjoyed the “Spicy Chicken Larb Wontons” which were small deep-fried pastry bowls with a delicately flavoured chicken filing but others in my party were not so impressed. The spring rolls, and sesame toast (done here with pork instead of the traditional Chinese takeaway favourite “prawn”) were both quite greasy and nothing to write home about (or a review?). Similarly, the small chicken satay skewers were quite boring, just a simple satay sauce on the chicken. Spice or even a bit more seasoning would be nice but this was sadly missing from everything…

Green Chicken Curry

After our empty appetiser plate was removed our mains started to arrive. The “Green Chicken Curry” was the most flavoursome of the bunch with a wonderfully deep and rich broth – as it should be. The rest of the mains were not as impressive looking more like options from a Chinese takeaway than any sort of Thai dish.

Sweet and Sour Vegetables

…Sweet and Sour Vegetables (yawn)…

Pork with Ginger and Chillies

..Pork with Ginger and Chillies (where are the chillies damn it!!)…

Beef in Oyster Sauce

…and Beef in Oyster Sauce (another yawn). Yeah, so far, so incredibly boring and the flavours pretty much were all much of a muchness. On the side we had Thai Jasmine Rice but even with this the excess amount of sauce in each dish, which served to hugely dilute any flavour they might have had, overwhelmed the rice and we had to resort to spoons to sip it up, or, just leave it as it was not worth our time.

So, other than the green curry, the mains were a huge disappointment though, to be fair, if we had ordered from the main menu rather than ordering the set menu we may have had better luck. You would think, however, that the set menus would be a chance for the restaurant to show off their food rather than disappoint their customers…

The service throughout was pleasant and the atmosphere was very quiet and peaceful making the dining experience very pleasant indeed. The cost of the meal (getting up to £100 including non-alcholic drinks for the three of us) did not include a tip which we left in cash on the table. Our set menu was not great but there were a few items that surprised…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-05-25

Cuisine: Thai

Address: Compston Rd, Ambleside, Cumbia LA22 9DJ ENGLAND

Location: Cumbria (England) - Ambleside



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Telephone: +44 (0) 15394 33394