Kaosarn chowdown, Brixton, London
- limster May 5, 2011 01:15 PM
See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6986... for prior discussion on this place.
Some highlights, with a few off menu dishes:
A superb chicken salad, with excellent knifework ensuring that all the components were of the right size to deliver the right amount of flavour. Most prominent was the bright acidity and zest from lime against the diced chicken, supported by multifaceted flavours and textures from chilli, ginger, nuts, herbs amongst other things. Wrapped in lettuce for a sharp shearing sensation on the bite to contrast the softer contents of the salad. Rare to see a dish as balanced as this, despite the number of ingredients and complexity.
The massaman curry was also a favourite among the dishes we tried. Rich, nutty, sweet, sour, spicy in harmony. Tender lamb, medium soft potatoes that were texturally a cut above the generically soft ones elsewhere, punctuated by peanuts.
A lovely blunt crispiness on the batter of the fried fish, in a remarkable sauce with basil and green thai peppercorns over a rich coconut milk base.
Tender but firm long grains of glutinous rice under cloak of coconut milk, with very sweet mango, a perfect celebration of mango season.
While these were the standouts, the other dishes were also very good:
A classic thai green curry with chicken; crispy and slightly puffy fried wonton filled with a delicate mixture of minced chicken and prawn; a smoked fish salad coriander leaves and ginger as well as other herbs and spices; a deftly executed king prawn stir fry with sweet mangetout, mushrooms and oyster sauce.
This was roughly my impression of the consensus opinion but will let the other folks chime in.
Sorry for the late addition to this thread. Limster's pretty much got this one down but I'll try to add something.
The chicken salad was absolutely amazing. The number of textures and flavors going on at once was remarkable. Large chunks of kefir lime with skin on offered an interesting textural experience while also brightening up everything it touched. One of the best Thai salads I've ever had.
I'd also agree that the fish dish was excellent and this was largely because of it's strongly flavored sauce and about a kilo of green peppercorns. Great dish.
The massaman was the best version of this dish I've ever had. Extremely tender lamb, perfectly cooked potatoes and it additionally seemed to be dotted with peanuts and raisins. This is a must order here.
The mango and glutinous rice dessert was quite good and it was especially interesting to try rice which had been cooked in coconut milk. The flavor and even a degree of creaminess carry over very heavily even though the grains of rice remained quite firm. Very good mango too.
The green curry was only good. The chicken in it was of a much higher quality than one usually encounters at a Thai restaurant, but I personally think the same dish would've been exceptional if done with squid.