When we arrived at Thailand, we were the only diners at 7pm on a Friday night, and it was to remain that way. An extensive menu featured a page of Laotian specials as well as a £10 set menu to include a starter, main and a glass of wine. To supplement our set menus, we ordered a dish of Thai sausages (above). Sweet, intensely porky and eaten with a little coriander and red onion, the skins burst juicily with a prod of the fork.
Chicken tom yum soup was deliciously deceptive. Slowly but surely, a nose-running, eye-streaming heat built up as I carried on slurping at it. Just the right balance of sour and spicy, tender pieces of chicken bobbed in the broth.
The laab style main I ordered came with raw cabbage which I thought rather odd; I'd have rather lettuce leaves to scoop the minced pork up with. Studded throughout with Thai basil, the crunch of the ground toasted rice was pleasing.
'Angry Lamb' looked suitably menacing and the tender, slightly pink chunks of lamb languished in a fire-packed sauce. Red peppers and onions bulked it out, and I was grateful of the steamed rice to cool the flames.
Thailand has its faults but I felt the food there to be a cut above the London chains and perfect when you're in need of a spice hit. I'm looking forward to going back for the curries; absurdly, they operate a 'happy hour' during which they offer a starter and main with rice to eat in for £3.95. It would cost me more than that if I attempted to make it at home.
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London SE14 6PP
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