The search was long and arduous, but finally I’ve found it. A good Thai restaurant in London. It took long enough to find! There was none of that namby-pamby bowing to “western” sensibilities either. This was properly spicy, if you asked for it. And yes, I certainly asked for it…
So, thanks and a shout out to all those tweeters who recommended this as a place to try when I sent out a distress call on Twitter. North East Londoner that I am, I was a bit lost when heading into the badlands of the South West (of London). And what a happy surprise it was to find them neither bad nor boring.
Quite the contrary, a small covered village of cafes and eateries, a market to put Dalston’s Ridley Road to shame when it came to interesting meat and vegetables. Big orange mangoes from India and Pakistan, the best on the planet, okra the size of a tiger’s claw, and many knobbly bitter green things that looked like they were grown in the greenhouses of Venus. I loved it.
And of course a good Thai restaurant. I’ll happily cross London to sample their pungent, sweet and above all, well balanced curries. We tried a beef Massaman – succulent and tender beef with potatoes in a salty-sweet and spicy coconut sauce, redolent of pungent fish sauce and aromatic lime leaves and lemongrass.
Veggies, don’t be put off by their meat-centric menu. We asked them whether they had any vegetarian dishes, and they said they could make any dish with tofu and/or veg instead of meat and a fish-free sauce.
It brought home the joy of simple and swift Thai cooking. The sweet balance of flavours and textures, the almost paradoxical poise and power of a good curry, laced with red-hot chillies and yet bursting with flavour. And it’s BYO, and so very reasonable. Most mains were around the £6-7 mark, starters £4-£5.
We sat outside enjoying a parade of small starters and generous mains, watching the world go by, listening the the strains of a Spanish guitar from one side and pounding dub from the Jerk chicken joint on the other. I loved every minute.
Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9, Tel: 020 7095 8922