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I’ve risen, and I’m firing on at least two cylinders

So after weeks of chucking chunks I managed to go out and eat food! And I didn’t even blow bits repeatedly throughout the meal. My stomach is still in quite a bad way, but I greatly enjoyed my trip to West London to eat the best Thai food I’ve had in the UK.

Addie’s Thai Café, a couple of hundred metres away from Earl’s Court tube station, seems rather sedate from the outside. The inside is also well-designed but unremarkable; it could be any modern Asian restaurant. Yet the relative difficulty in getting a table and the frequency with which good reviews appear that perhaps what comes from the kitchen is more remarkable than the decor.

We started off with raw prawn salad which was one of the most characterful dishes I have ever eaten The prawns were peeled and butterflied, with minced chili, garlic, Thai basil and coriander piled on them drizzled with a lime juice and nam pla (fish sauce). I say ‘characterful’ because they were stunningly hot; sweat poured from our brows as we manfully consumed these hot little delights. Delights they were, the combination of flavours was most pleasing and even thought they did hurt, I wanted to eat more.

Our other starter was little rice pastry cases filled with chicken, pork, peppers, sweetcorn and spices. These were quite nice little, tasty, crunchy bites that provided a degree of relief from the screaming pain-fest of the raw prawn salad. Certainly enjoyable, but relatively speaking just lacking explosive pain pleasure. By this point we were feeling rather pleased with the meal and quite optimistic about what was to follow.

The first of our main courses was strips of roast pork neck meat served with a sweet soy reduction sauce. The pork was very tender and bursting with flavour, which was perfectly complimented by the sauce. The flavours were quite intense in this dish (although it was not hot) and you really got the feeling that high quality meat had been used that had been prepared with the utmost care.

The quality of the meat (and other ingredients) shone through in the duck curry. Thai curry in coconut milk is pretty ubiquitous these days, every boozer serves some knock-off of it. However, this example had a real depth of flavour and style one doesn’t find terribly often. The duck meat was great and very well cooked whilst the sauce was complex and interesting. Afterwards we decided that this was probably our least-favourite of the things we ordered, yet this didn’t stop it from being a very good dish.

Our final dish was Thai spicy squid salad. This is one of my favourite dishes and something I find it hard to avoid ordering when I see it on a menu. The squid was of a very high quality, tender, flavoursome and clearly prepared with great skill. The spicy herbal salad itself was very lively and refreshing. It was clearly the best squid salad I had tried.

So the food was great. The service was attentive but unobtrusive, too. It didn’t bother me that the wine list was short, over-priced and dull because I drink Singha in Thai restaurants (as should you). We drank a reasonable number of beers, fruit juice and water, and ordered a lot of food for just two of us, but the bill was still a perfectly moderate sixty notes, which seemed excellent value for the high quality of the food. Addie’s Thai Café was a hit all round. Should you want quality Thai food in London, I don’t know of anywhere better.

Menu and contact details on the website.

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