Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Jan 28, 2009 02:46 AM

Thai in London

I have searched this board and it seems Thai 101 in Hammersmith is the critics choice. Does anyone know any other good thai restaurants in central/east or even south London (zones 1 and 2)? Is Thai 101 still good/the best? What do you reccomend eating as i usually am a tom yum and pad thai type of gal. I want to be a bit more adventurous.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I LOVE 101 and take all my Thai-loving friends there, who all leave impressed. The focus is on North Eastern Thai/Laotian cuisine. I would recommend any of the salads, esp the duck. Last time I was there, I had a Lao dish of deep fried fish (can't remember which one) covered in this spicy, peanut sauce with loads of fresh herbs - it was delicious! There's always loads of specials written in Thai, which I've been meaning to try.

    I've tried Esarn Kheow in Shep Bush once, which was nice but not on par with 101. I've heard good things about Addie's in Earls Court.

    Where in South London are you? How about Baan Thai in Brixton? I've tried the following which I've all liked.

    Rosa's - Spitalfields
    Thai Rice - Notting Hill
    Mangosteen - Carnaby Street


    1. I second Nii's recommendation for Thai Rice in Notting Hill - it is by far the best in that area. I still haven't made it to 101 in Hammersmith but it is on my wish list.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gourmet Chick

        Patara on Greek St in Soho is always good - has some unusual takes on the more traditional dishes you would usually expect.

        1. re: pj26

          i agree w/ Nii abt 101, it's amazing, and yeah the salad's are prob the highlight of the menu but i think as long as you order anything from either the specials board or the north eastern stuff at the back of the menu then you really cant go wrong.

      2. Echoing lots of the other posts there, at 101, it's probably best to order off the Isaan menu which is at the back of menu. I was quite happy with the classic som tom - a very spicy green papaya salad. You'll need some glutinous rice with that to wipe your palate. The Thai sausages are also very nice (with ginger, peanuts etc). I think it's also worthwhile ask for translations of the thai menu on the wall. Desserts can be nice.

        8 Replies
        1. re: limster

          I finally made it to 101 Thai Kitchen the other night, and I'm afraid to say I was disappointed. I know they were advertising for a new chef fairly recently, so maybe the food has gone downhill.

          It wasn't bad, but the food lacked the freshness and vibrancy of real Thai food. Mr GG isn't that adventurous, so we ordered Thai fishcakes and steamed vegetable dumplings to start. Neither were anything more than competent. The fishcakes were a bit greasy and didn't taste that fresh - this was somewhat of a theme.

          Som Tum is one of my favourite dishes, and I was excited to try their version. The green papaya tasted old to me - it was strangely tough and while the spicing was good, the flavours were balanced but the papaya just wasn't very fresh. I know you can get decent green papaya here - I had a much better Vietnamese version in Song Que on Mare Street in Hackney.

          We also had prawns in a sweet and hot sauce - again, spicing good, but the prawns were tough and overcooked. Stir-fried beef in oyster sauce with green vegetables - OK, but a bit sweet. Pad Thai (Mr GG's favourite, so had to have it) was again, competent, but didn't stand out.

          Not a bad meal, but not the authentic Thai experience I was hoping for. Maybe we ordered badly? I think I need to visit these places with Chowhounds rather than Mr GG so I can sample the menu more widely!

          1. re: greedygirl

            Why would the less common dishes be better if they can't do good Pad Thai or Fish Cakes? You would expect these to turnover faster, be fresher and thus be better.

            1. re: PhilD

              GG - really surprised by this. The freshness of the veg/fruit and herbs was one of the reasons I loved 101. I'm going again tonight, so I'll report back. Such a shame after I've raved on about this place.

              1. re: Nii

                I probably made it sound worse than it was. It wasn't terrible, but I expected it to be great and it was just average. Not a patch on any of the food I've had in Thailand.

                I'll be interested to see what your eperience tonight is like.

                1. re: Nii

                  did you end up going back? i was wondering if there were any other reports saying it had gone down hill....

                  1. re: t_g

                    Yeah, I went to 101 and I've got to say it was another satisfying meal. I opted for dish our waitress recommended - fish kidney curry, which I was told was an authentic Southern Thai delicacy. It ws really good with a myriad of flavours and spices, but it was VERY spicy. It came with a bowel of lettuce carrots and mint which balances the intensity of the heat. My cousin chose the catfish salad which was delicous. I also tried this Thai jelly drink which I've never seen or heard of before. It was smooth with a taste almost like Coke with fine jelly threads throughout.

                    I was almost fearful of returning after reading the review from GG.

                    I think the next Thai place I'll try is Montanah in Norwood. Thanks for the rec btw!

                    1. re: Nii

                      glad to hear it's still great! i think the key is to order like you did + get those isaan things at the back of the menu + the things on the specials board.

              2. re: greedygirl

                Haven't had a chance go back for a while, so I'm very thankful for the update and also for hearingsome of the items that haven't been reported on. Yes, it's always easier with a bigger group to have a larger sample of the menu. Was curious how the other dishes on the Isaan menu was holding up.

            2. I can recommend another plaqce in Hammersmith, it's called the Hammersmith cafe, here's the link.
              I know what you're thinking-"what the hell is this?" It's a greasy spoon cafe that is run by Thais (Hammersmith is a very Thai area I think), and they do fantastic thai food in the evenings, not sure if it's just a normal cafe in the day. There's always a lot of people in here though, the locals know about it, so here's a tip from a local:
              )It's also BYO-stands for "bring your own"-you can bring your own alcohol with you and pay a small corkage fee-you pay for soft drinks in there however. There's a few off licenses nearby for beer, or bring your own good bottle of wine etc.
              The seafood Penang curry is awesome, the Green Thai curry is the nicest one I've had in London. I did have a takeaway Pad Thai from there but wasn't so impressed with that, I think Pad Thai is very hit and miss wherever you go.

              3 Replies
              1. re: bootsyjam

                My husband and I went to the Hammersmith Cafe last month and really enjoyed it. I loved the 50s caff formica atmosphere and BYOB is always a bonus. It reminded me of Night and Day in Portobello - cafe by day, Indian by night.

                1. re: themags

                  thanks guys! I will try get out to Hammersmith as it seems to be the place to go!

                2. re: bootsyjam

                  I fondly remember the long gone (I think) "Bedlington Cafe" in Grove Park, Chiswick. I believe that was the first BYO, cafe by day, Thai by night which opened in about '92. I suspect it was the inspiration for many of the other Thais like this in west London.

                  At the time I thought it was great Thai food, I suspect our tastes have all matured since then.

                3. is there a reason Nahm hasn't been mentioned?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: batfink23

                    Not at all, love to hear more about it.

                    1. re: batfink23

                      Nahm has been mentioned ... usually in connection with being pricey. Maybe that's the reason it's not talked about more?

                      1. re: zuriga1

                        ....admittedly some years since I ate there but it was really good (and expensive) both times I went.

                        As an ex-Sydney resident I do have a soft spot for David Thompson and his menu at Nahm always takes me back to the fantastic days of Darley Street Thai - probably the best Thai restaurant in the southern hemisphere in its day.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          yeah ive lived in sydney + have a lot of love for david thompson too (esp his thai food book which is surely the bible of thai cooking now right) but nahm is just so expensive

                          1. re: t_g

                            Agree about the cost, iIRC our first meal at ``Nahm was almost identical to our last meal at DST, the "price" was the same, but in london it was pounds so 2.5 times more expensive...!

                        2. re: zuriga1

                          Nahm is incredible - if your budget permits, it is worth the extra expense.
                          The amazing meal that I had at Nahm in November 2007 was one of the highlights of my trip.