Maybe one of the reasons Thailand is known as the ‘land of the smiles’ is because the food is so dam good. Thai spicy green curry, pad thai, papaya salad or the famous tom yum soup – try it as hot as you dare – everyone has their favorite Thai dish. While there are literally hundreds of Thai restaurants in London and to the inexperienced it may seem that you can’t get a bad Thai, you can have some great Thai dining experiences. Self-professed Thai food expert Marie Teather charts her top five.
Set in the Halkin Hotel, Nahm’s gold and bronze décor is sleek, subtle, and cool—fitting to the chic hotel clientele. Tables look our over a prettily manicured garden while sharing dishes with a special partner makes for a memorable evening.
The first Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in Europe, nahm is quite simply an inimitable experience – for serious gourmands who value originality and strong, fresh flavors.
Cuisine is spiced by Australian chef David Thompson’s artful hand, with surprising textures played out in meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. With generous portions expect a feast. Large bowl of steaming Thai rice accompany well prepared and flavorsome dishes such as the beef stir-fried oyster sauce, onions and basil.
The Halkin, Halkin Street, SW1 7DJ
020 7333 1234
Simply Thai’s passionate and at times argumentative head chef, Patria Weerapan, shot to fame last year as she competed on Gordon Ramey’s show, The F’Word, to be name Britain’s Best Local Restaurant.
The food is said to be impeccable although service can vary depending on Patria’s mood on that particular day. But then that’s all part of the fun.
Patria’s devotion to her cooking is admirable. She works seven days and week and hasn’t taken a holiday in years ensuring that each and every dish is checked over by herself. Beginning with her sumptuous tom yam soup, move on to one of her pungent spicy salads, tensely aromatic rich creamy curry and crunchy vegetables ending, before trying any of her famously tasty main dishes. The aromatic duck curry or green curry prawns are a particular hit.
196 Kingston Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9JD
0208 943 9747
A hit with serious Thai fans and the general consensus is that Amaranth serves the most authentic Thai food in London.
This small and bustling with attentive staff has a menu that serves set meals and ala carte dishes including favorites such as green curry, papaya salad and pad Thai. The low prices and BYO policy make this a lively, popular neighborhood Thai and booking is essential. Based close to the station in Earlsfield, Amaranth is well worth the trip.
346-348 Garratt Lane, SW18 4ES
020 8874 9036
(no website available)
If you’re looking for a Thai restaurant that make you feel you’re right in the heart of one of Thailand’s tropical islands, then look no further than the eminent Blue Elephant.
Flowing streams with koi carp circle through the restaurant complete with jungle greenery, ornamental bridges and discrete little alcoves. The kitchen creates renditions of the core Thai repertoire, such as an aromatic salad of crispy banana flowers and prawns, laab kai (minced chicken with lemongrass, lime leaves and fish sauce dressing) & roast duck curry, alongside some crossovers – seared foie gras with tamarind sauce.
020 7385 6595
3–6 Fulham Broadway, London, SW6 1AA
The Pepper Tree
Celebrity fish chef—who incidentally spent months exploring Asia to learn authentic Asian and Thai dishes form the people who make them—called this Clapham eateyr his favorite Thai restaurant in London.
Surprisingly for a chef that empathizes on making each and every ingredient fresh and refuses to cut any culinary corners, The Pepper Tree is relaxed, cheap, and easy-going.
Long shared benches nod to the informal street side eating style found in Thailand while dishes include a delicious stir fried chicken with cashew nut, pineapple, spring onion, crispy chili and you’ll enjoy be able to enjoy one of the best pad Thais to be found in London.
The Pepper Tree, 19 Clapham Common Southside, London, SW4 7AB
020 7622 1758