This evening we decided to visit Eat Thai on St. Christopher’s Place; a Thai restaurant that some have reported as offering the best Thai food in London. If you’ve dined at Addie’s Thai Cafe this might seem controversial, but we were willing to give it a try.
First impressions were not promising; it looked small and cramped with an anonymous interior and rather tasteless black leather and metal chairs. Downstairs was a bit less cramped, but it was really lacking in personality despite some reasonable object d’art sprinkled around. We were also disappointed that they felt the need to play background music.
As usual at a Thai establishment we couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the wine list; it is enough that they serve Singha lager. Whilst we were settling in with our first drinks they brought us some prawn crackers that transcended the normal prawn cracker experience; they tasted of prawns!
The menu was somewhat lacking in variety compared to Addie’s, but there were a few things we liked the sound of. Our first choices were a couple of salads. Duck salad with celery, shallots, fish sauce and lime served in baby lettuce leaves was quite delicious, with moist and tasty pieces of duck and a gentle chilli kick to it. This was a damned good dish. The other salad we ordered was markedly less successful: butterflied prawns still in their shells with a brown sauce made from coconut and grapefruit. It looked highly unattractive, the prawns were totally overcooked and getting them out of the shells was too much of a fight. At £4.50 per prawn this was too much to stomach.
By this stage we had mixed feelings about the restaurant, so were unsure about what would follow. One of the next dishes was back to the quality of the duck salad. It was pork neck that had been marinated and then char-grilled. This was similar to a dish we’ve had at Addie’s and also cooked at home and whilst it was very good, both Addie’s and us have cooked a better version.
The weeping tiger beef (neua pat nahm prik pao kaek) was dull and overcooked even by Thai standards. The marinade was lacking flavour and intensity. The sauce it was served with was also flavourless. Jeff the neighbour cooked a far superior version of this a last week.
Our final main course was a lamb Massaman curry. This was the star dish of the evening with very tender slow-cooked lamb. The sauce it was cooked in was complex and bursting with flavour. Delicious!
Our overall impression was that Eat Thai was more competent than most Thai restaurants; easily bettering boring, boozer-quality Thai food which we have all been forced to endure. However, it does not compete with Addie’s Thai Cafe for variety, presentation or ambiance. It is also about 50% more expensive, and whilst Elitist Review is concerned primarily with excellence, it is pleasing to be able to recommend the cheaper option. Still, if you ever find yourself hungry on Oxford Street and The Square and Le Gavroche are fully booked, this would be a reasonably pleasing alternative.
Contact details are on the Eat Thai website.