Went for a walk before dinner, ending up at the huge branch of Waterstone’s on Deansgate. This is a seriously big bookshop, with an enormous range in stock. I then wandered back in the general direction of food. I nearly went for the standard option of Pizza Hut, but was saved by the fact that the nearest branch had people waiting to be seated, and an apparent lack of staff to look after them. So, I did the sensible thing and went back to Portland Street. I wandered up and down for a while, looking at the menus, and trying to decide what I wanted. After a bit of dithering, I eventually decided to visit the Siam Orchid Thai restaurant.
The restaurant was busy, but I was immedaitely shown to a table, and service throughout was prompt, friendly and polite. I started with the Thai equivalent of spring rolls – small, crisp, very tasty, and served with a rather nice chilli sauce for dipping. That was followed by chicken cooked in chilli and garlic with egg fried rice. This was delicious. Definitely top of my list for my next visit to Manchester. I rounded the meal off with a slice of cheesecake. All good stuff, the house red wine was rather more drinkable than some I’ve had, and the total bill was just over £20, which seemed like a good deal to me.
One other thing I liked. Unlike most Chinese restaurants, Thai restaurants (the ones I’ve visited, anyway) are a little more friendly to klutzy westerners. What you get on your table is a fork and a spoon. If you want chopsticks (and you’re one of those people who can use them), they will happily provide them, of course.
 Unlike me…