Monday, 30 August 2010

Thailand, New Cross

I've walked past it many times, but a couple of Fridays ago I finally made it to Thailand, a restaurant on an ugly strip in New Cross. Decent Thai food is hard to come by in London; I've had thick, sickly sweet 'green curry' at such places like the chain, Thai Square. At other places, the dishes felt dumbed down for the Western palate with none of that hot, sour and sweet balance, and bereft of the chilli zip I would like. Patara came close, but it's fancy and has prices to match.

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.

Thailand

15 Lewisham Way
London SE14 6PP

Tel: 020 8691 4040

Thailand on Urbanspoon

11 comments:

meemalee said...

Haven't been for a while I must admit, so I'm glad it's still good!

I happen to like the cabbage instead of lettuce :)

Sharmila said...

Ah, I used to go here a bit when I was a Goldsmiths student.

I also like cabbage. Isn't that what usually makes up the vegetable plate (along with long beans) that you usually get with laab?

kake said...

Ooh, yes, they started delivering to us recently, which makes me very happy. I like those sausages too, and I'm also very keen on the marinaded raw prawns from the Lao section — nice and garlicky.

Gourmet Chick said...

Good find Lizzie given decent (and cheap) Thai is so hard to find in London

Mr Noodles said...

I totally agree on the sad state of some Thai places in blighty. From a noodles perspective, I can't believe how much sugar they pour into Pad Thai.

Anyway, I can't believe how cheap this place is. £10 set menu is amazing value. And I do love the look of those Thai sausages!

catty said...

And now I think I have to have Thai for lunch. *nom*

The Grubworm said...

Damn, those sausages look tasty and the tom yum sounds just right. Like the others above, I am sad at the state of Thai food in London. Siam Central and one little Thai Cafe in N16 (can't remember the name) are as close as i have got so far. Good find!

gastrogeek said...

This looks bargainous, especially that "happy hour" -errm how do they make any profit?! I like the sound of that angry lamb.

Katie Parla said...

This is very encouraging news. I have heard mixed reviews of this place and the happy hour always put me off, but I'll definitely check this place out!

Danja said...

This place used to be fantastic before it changed hands (2004/5?). Not now a patch on what it was.

Huong said...

When I used to work there back in 2007 the Thai green/red curries were absolutely delicious. By the way, the "happy hour" portions are a little bit smaller than the usual portions, just for a heads up.