I’M often asked about restaurants; the best, the worst, the most expensive, the best value-for-money and I can generally offer a couple of dead certs for an excellent night out.

Brambles in Broadstone, Westpoint in Bournemouth, the timeless elegance that is Isabel’s in Ashley Cross; all three epitomise a dedication to creating an ambience coupled with cuisine of the highest standard.

I can now add a very special addition to the list and it just might have raised the bar to the highest level.

Tiien, Bournemouth’s newest Thai restaurant, has hardly entered the fray beneath the radar. Open any of the local entertainment and culture publications and you’ll see an erstwhile restaurant critic waxing lyrical.

Indeed, the restaurant’s recent official launch certainly landed with a veritable thud on the local map, attracting a crowd who you hope will continue to support the restaurant.

But unlike some whose offering is a triumph of style over substance, Tiien delivers on every level.

Located next door to the imposing Marriott Highcliff Hotel, Tiien starts making the effort the moment you step through the door, a warm welcome from its friendly staff complemented by the sophisticated, yet relaxing bar area.

The restaurant has been officially blessed by Pra Arejarn Utai, a Buddhist Monk from Thailand, his blessing promising to bring luck to the restaurant and its diners.

But the inspiration for its success will surely come from the kitchen, from where head chef Pong Pan has masterminded a fascinating menu with magical tastes, whatever your needs.

Tiien may well be promoted as a ‘fusion’ restaurant, but don’t let this 21st century affectation put you off. This is a classic Thai restaurant that just happens to look like a million dollars; modern, comfortable, stylish and supremely on the mark.

Oh yes, the food.

The menu is intensive and varied to the point of making ordering a true test of your own self-control.

We figured the set menu, priced at a very reasonable £19.95 for what is effectively four courses, was the only way forward and chose a mixed starter to share, a selection of spring rolls, barbecued chicken wings, chicken satay, prawn toasts and fish cakes proving the ideal appetisers; crisp, hot and complete with various dipping sauces.

We both chose Tom Kha soup and it was wonderfully feisty, the coconut milk easing the kick from the blend of galangal, mushroom, lemon grass and spices.

My main course of Massaman Gai – curry with chicken, diced potatoes and peanuts – was delicious, while my wife’s Nuea Phad Namman Hoy – stir-fried beef with oyster sauce – was even better.

And if that wasn’t enough, there was plentiful stir-fried vegetables, Thai noodles and steamed jasmine rice to accompany these main courses, as well as a beautifully-presented plate of fruit to finish.

This was a veritable feast of food for a set menu and for less than £40, we were genuinely struggling to finish, although the quality ensured that I made every conceivable effort.

Our total bill came to £63 with drinks and I would do it again tomorrow… provided I didn’t eat anything during the day.