Ten years ago, I wrote an article for ALE
) about the then
recent phenomenon of pubs selling Thai food.
The Wrestlers in Newmarket
Road Cambridge had paved the way 
but had now been joined by the Barley
Mow Histon, Railway Tavern Great Shelford and Navigator Little Shelford, all
of which I road-tested. Nowadays, Thai food sometimes seems to be
everywhere and with good reason - it's quick to prepare, good value and can
be delicious if spicy is your thing. Many would argue that the Wrestlers
remains the standard to beat, others would put the Three Tuns Great
Abington top of the tree. We'd heard great things about the Longbow
Stapleford so, tummies rumbling, that's where we headed.
The Longbow is highly regarded in CAMRA circles for the choice and quality
of its real ales, making it a fixture in the
Good Beer Guide
. Adnams Bitter is
always on, accompanied by three or four guests and Cassells cider. Brains
Reverend James, Nethergate Old Growler and Orkney Red MacGregor were
waiting for us tonight and I got stuck into the last of these, a truly sumptuous
brew. We'd been joined by friends Duncan, Clare and Josh who live in the
village and eat regularly at the Longbow. We shared starters of Thai Fish
Cakes and Noi's Spring Rolls (Noi being the chef here) - the latter feature
monk beans and jelly noodles apparently and tasted great.
On to the main courses which are priced at between £7 and £9.50 depending
which main ingredient you choose. Duncan, who is blessed with a cast-iron
gob, went for Prawn Pad Plik glistening with hot chillies and which he
described as "awesome".
Josh chose another hot dish, Gaeng Dang, but requested that the heat be
turned down which wasn't a problem for the kitchen; this was a red curry with
coconut milk. Clare went to the mild end of the menu with a creamy Musaman
which she said had a slow heat afterburn. Jane's Chicken Cashew was stir
fried with vegetables and pineapple and pronounced to be superb. My own
choice of Beef in Oyster Sauce was the only one not on the "Thai Classics"
menu and lacked a bit of distinction for me; beautifully cooked meat but
lacking the strong tastes you look for in a Thai - though I've no doubt it's
supposed to taste like it did. All the dishes came with fragrant rice and
portions were generous. The final verdict was a strong thumbs up from the
assembled multitude and this is certainly somewhere we'd eat at again.