Category Archives: Thai

Mai Thai

I have been driving past Mai Thai for years and have always been in ore of those little Thai decorative features on the outside with the wooden carvings. What’s always stopped me from going is the difficulty of parking at Wimbledon Broadway but one evening I sucked it up and paid the stupid parking ticket. The things we do for good food.

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As soon as we walked in I could feel that my taste buds would be bursting as it just smelled so good. We were so starving we went straight in for starters without much discussion.

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We ordered the Thai Pancake and the mixed selection starter (yes, that’s how hungry we were). The Thai Pancake was huge and the contents were rather odd. It was filled with bean sprouts, sweet grated coconut and prawns. The pancake around it was very light and crispy. It was such an odd tasting thing but was lovely and different.

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The selection platter for two was what you would expect, nice but nothing to rave about. The fish cakes were exceptionally lovely though.

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For drinks I ordered again something rather questionable but I loved it. The Mai Thai, their signature drink. When you hear the contents I know you are bound to pull a face: coke, red bull and whisky but actually the flavours were so soft and refreshing that I drank the whole mug of it before I got to my mains.

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For mains we had the Chicken Penaung Curry and the Goong Tord Sauce Makam. We teamed it up with our favourite egg fried rice.
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The Chicken Penaung Curry was creamy as it had a thick coconut base. On the menu it emphasises that it has lots of chili but it’s not really that spicy. It has a zesty kick to it with the lime leaves and well it was fabulous. One major thing to comment on is the amount of chicken you get is a lot more than you would expect for one portion of curry, I was pleasantly surprised at the value for money of this dish, we had so much left over.

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The Goong Tord Makan is a dry stir fried dish with deep fried king prawns. It is sweet and sour in flavour. A nice dish which is a complete contrast from the Penaung curry.

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I think value for money is one thing we can label this restaurant for as we paid £20 each for A LOT of food but food that had the finest ingredients. We had to take away the left overs as there was just so much. The staff and service are exceptional and I will definitely be returning to Mai Thai in the future.

Mai Thai
75 The Broadway, London SW19 1QE
www.maithaiwimbledon.co.uk

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The Greedy Elephant

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I love evenings in Surrey, driving around the country lanes and looking at the amazing home I can’t quiet afford. There is another positive for Surrey, it’s full of little gems to dine in such as The Greedy Elephant. Rumored to have the best Thai food in Surrey, well I had to put my fork to the test to see just how true this was. So off I went to Weybridge to find The Greedy Elephant.

Entering The Greedy Elephant you know immediately that you are in a Thai restaurant with all the gold statues and carvings. I fell in love with the crystal chandeliers they had all over the place, ideas for my own home decor started to spark. However, my excitement and wonder ended when I came face to face with the most sarcastic and rude hostess you could possibly find. Reminding myself to breath I continued to sit down and told myself how worse could she possibly get (the answer was very, however I will not focus on the incidents that took place and focus on the food)

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The menu is huge!!!! So it does take a while to go through it all. The complimentary prawn crackers helped to sooth the process.  We were so confused about which of the 50 starters to pick that we decided to go for the selection platter with: fishcakes, spring rolls, prawn toast, chicken satay and prawn parcel thing which wasn’t on the menu but tasted amazing. For the price of £16.95 I had to question whether it was really value for money at all, it was definitely a nice dish but not worth the hefty price tag which is ridiculous when you compare the price to the rest of the dishes on the menu. On the plus side chicken satay has to be the best I have ever tasted, tender and it actually tastes of something, spicy with a tender texture. The fish cakes where juicy and chewy and packed full of flavour, you could see and taste the fresh herbs in each cake. With regards to presentation I always think that the Thai have the most incredible presentation with knife craft and use of fresh flowers in the aesthetics of the piece but here the presence of that Thai attention to detail was lacking. Again this make you question the price tag of this dish.

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The mains are more reasonably priced and the quantities are far more generous than your average Thai restaurant. Each curry could be shared by two. This definitely made up for the excessive spend on the starters. We ordered the jungle curry with chicken and the roast duck curry. OMG, usually the duck curry is never something that I would have considered but boy was this a good choice. It was creamy with all that coconut milk and the duck pieces had crispy skin and tender meat which just melted in the mouth. The vegetables were soft and I am a fan of the baby Thai aubergines. The menu stated it had pineapple in the dish wish I wasn’t keen on that idea but I think it was blended into the sauce as there were no chunks.

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The jungle curry was nice but nothing to rave about. A very watery consistency and the chicken itself was rather pale and unloved with flavours, so if you had a mouthful of chicken without the gravy it was rather bland. The beans and baby corn were lovely and crisp and added wonderful colours to the dish.

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To go with our mains we ordered some good old egg fried rice which was fluffy and tasty and went really well with the mains.

I’m not sure how I feel about The Greedy Elephant as the food is fabulous however the rudeness of the hostess was disgusting. I must mention the incident that took place as we paid and left. We asked the hostess if my friend and I could split the bill to which she smiled and said ‘If you want to split it, you work it out’, nicely we did and got up to leave and she just stared us out the door without a farewell sentiment. If you don’t mind feeling like you should be grateful for dining in the presence of the hostess for some good food then this is a great place. However, if you prefer service with a genuine smile (not the kind from the lady in Fatal Attraction) and a friendly atmosphere then this is not the place for you.

Such a shame, The Greedy Elephant could be amazing if they just sort the service out.

The Greedy Elephant
57 Queen’s Rd, Weybridge, Surrey
thegreedyelephant.co.uk

Rosa’s Thai Cafe

We have been wanting to try Rosa’s for years and we finally found no excuse when one opened up on our door step on Upper street.

The overall look of Rosa’s is very modern and you would never associate it with thai food and even when you look at the menu it is a question mark. Rosa’s menu is so exciting to look at as it isn’t your average thai. It’s full of fusion dishes such as: spaghetti green curry and stir fried prawns with pad thai sauce (what we had :). So all the combinations we think about, well Rosa actually does them.

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Our friend Mark joined us for this event and we were sceptical about what he would be able to eat as he is currently on this wheat and sugar free diet but Rosa catered for that wonderfully.

To start with we have chicken satay and summer rolls. Now satay is Elena’s most hated thing as she thinks they have zero flavour however, her opinion of satay at Rosa’s has made her love them. I have to admit these were well seasoned with an array of spices and cook wonderfully. The summer rolls were lovely and full of fresh ingredients. I appreciated that extra bit of coriander in them which made them even more moorish.

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The barman was lovely, as we weren’t really feeling the drinks on the menu we just told him what flavours we like and away he went to create up delicious personalised drinks. Thumbs up.

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Our mains smelled amazing and looked so sweet on the tinned plates. The portion sizes were a lot smaller than we were expecting when you looked at what you were paying for each dish.

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The pad thai infused stir fry was lovely with huge juicy prawns. Elena’s spaghetti just messed with your head as it looked Italian yet tasted like a subtle Thai dish. Mark had a minute seared tuna steak which he loved, his only development point was that it should have been a 30 sec searing, but he is difficult like that.

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Rosa’s is a quick eat and go kind of dine which puts it perfectly into our ‘snacks in between shopping category’.

Rosa’s Thai Cafe
6 Theberton Street, London N1 0QX
rosasthaicafe.com

 

iYara

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As you open the doors of iYara in South Wimbledon you are hit with the most amazing fragrance of lilies. Your mind immediately thinks about the fact you too need to purchase a lily glade plug in but then you realise where the scent of lilies is actually coming from. The restaurant is literally covered in fresh lilies and for a flower loving romantic like myself you really appreciate the luxurious touch that it brings.

iYara maybe small in size but it is not to be dismissed. When I first read that it had the name tag of being the best Thai in South London I knew I had to give it a go being a Thai food lover. One thing I do recommend is making a reservation. For such a small place there is nowhere to wait should you come on a busy evening like we did.

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The menu is what you would expect from a classic Thai offering. On this visit we started off with crispy duck spring rolls and Thai fish cakes. I loved the touch of the orchid and crafty carrot work for presentation. Makes it all that much of a royal experience.

Now, I have never had crispy duck in a spring roll but this was an amazing combination of textures and flavours. The duck was so juicy. It was accompanied by a plum sauce which was sharp yet sweet at the same time. The fish cakes were subtle in taste as they always are yet these ones had an almost lemongrass flavour popping through which made them all the more moorish.

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For mains we went for the classics which you can always use to compare Thai food. We had the iYara green curry with chicken and then had the Pad Thai with prawns. I can not say they tasted like all the others we have tried as they were both very different from what you would usually expect making you questions how a green curry and a pad thai should taste. However, it was definitely the best version of whatever it was meant to be. The green curry was a lot less spicy and can be more accurately described as mild. It was a lot more creamy and sweet than the others I have had yet I love every mouthful. The meat was super tender and packed full of flavour.

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The pad thai was balanced with sweet and sour which is different from your usual as it is always more of one than the other. The prawns were big and juicy and bigger than the ones you would get in any other Thai restaurant. The peanuts ran all the way through the dish so there was a welcomed crunch through the course of eating.

The portions were big so we happily took home the left overs for lunch the following day.

Definitely worth another visit to try the other offering. If you go on a chilly evening like we did it is best to wrap up warm as it can get a tad drafty but this didn’t spoil our meal.

iYara
136 Merton Road, London SW19 1EH
iyara.co.uk

Blue Elephant

I’d like to start this review by saying that photos below do not do Blue Elephant justice. I was taken there for my birthday and it was an intensely romantic evening, during which I tried to take a few sneaky photos with my phone, but as you can see it was a bit of a failure…

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blue-elephant-restaurant-review-fork-and-talk-1For one night and one night only me and my partner immersed ourselves in all things Thailand. Having recently moved from it’s old spot in Fulham, Blue Elephant is now based at a prime location on Imperial Wharf. When you walk in its hard not to get overwhelmed by the grandly decorated ambience. Golden buddhas and lights peaking from plethora of greenery, dark wood creating a warm sitting and subtle scent of flora and spices excites your senses.

Thai hospitality is the best in the world and Blue Elephant is no different. We’ve felt very well looked after. Cosy table, away from the others with a view onto the river – it was a perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two.

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I really loved that the menu was split in three types of cuisine: The Past, The Present and The Future. It was a genius way to try the classic dishes and the experimental modern take, all in one sitting, especially if one of you is a more experienced diner of Thai cuisine.

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We have decided to meet in the middle and order a few dishes from each category. Mixed satay of chicken and buffalo with Thai fish cakes for starters. Cashew and tamarind chicken, Chicken Panaeng with jasmine rice and vegetarian Pad Thai.

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I loved every single dish, prepared with the freshest ingredients and cleverly seasoned, whether it was meat or veg it melted in your mouth. It was by far the best Thai food I’ve had in London.

For a price of £150 dinner for two with wine, I will certainly keep Blue Elephant in mind for special occasions.

Star Rating: *****

Blue Elephant
The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, Townmead Road, London SW6 2UB

http://www.blueelephant.com/london