My dear friend and best-man Keith accompanied me on this restaurant outing, being a fellow Thai lover, and were long overdue a catch up.
We were quite confused by Thai Square, when we first walked in all seemed well; cool and modern, gorgeous wafts of Thai food up our noses. Then we were taken further to the back of the (huge) restaurant where it all changed. The cool lanterns hanging out the front were nowhere to be seen, bare and stark it was like a different place. Out table was so close to the couple next to us we might as well had a table for four. We luckily moved to a more intimate table.
In the background some kind of pan pipe music was playing, it felt like going back in time, I didn’t think restaurants like this existed anymore.
Anyhow, we got on with ordering our food. We decided to share the mixed starter (chicken satay, Thai fish cake, duck spring rolls, prawn tempura and Thai dim sum) so we could get a good taste and feel of what’s what. It was all great apart from the fish cake which had no texture whatsoever and just dissolved into nothing. Shame. Loved the dim sum, I was tempted to order some more.
Our cocktails both amused and slightly saddened us, check out the curly straws! Flavour wise they were OK but have had better. I had a Mek – jito (like a Mojito, but with Mekhong– a uniquely distilled and blended spirit from Thailand) lime juice, sugar syrup, fresh mint leaves, fresh ginger root and soda. Keith seemed pleased with his Thailand daiquiri – Mekhong, Lime juice, Cherry liqueur, Passion fruit puree. He was a tad embarrassed drinking it, swiftly straightening his straw.
Next of course was the Thai green curry, this one scored pretty high, although the chicken was a tad chewy, am still on a mission to find the best green curry in London. Am amazed at how much they can differ, there’s nothing more disappointing than a bad one, luckily this wasn’t the case here. The side of Spinach with ginger was a favourite, and a huge serving, it was lovely and not a combination I’ve had before. I devoured most of it.
Keith opted for the Chilli Lamb Stir-fried lamb fillet with red curry paste, fresh green peppercorns, krachai (wild ginger
root), fresh chillies and Thai sweet basil. The coconut rice was very well cooked and flavoured, the lamb was tender, it was about as spicy as it could be without being painful and there was subtle spicing in the sauce. Although he was a bit perplexed by the bunches of peppercorns!
Time for dessert, and another occasion to feel both sad and amused. Just take a look at the picture of the menu above. We didn’t fancy what we guessed was a factory-made pre-packaged dessert so had ice cream instead. Strangely we both chose the same flavour combinations – lemon and raspberry. What we were served with was not what I was expecting from the menu. A pleasant surprise, and the ice cream tasted fresh and creamy, quite sorbety but a great refreshing end.
The food was pretty good but let down by the surroundings, they could do with a re-vamp. It’s a huge space and could be something really special.
Thai Square Covent Garden
166-170 Shaftesbury Avenue,
London, WC2H 8JB
Tel: 020 7836 7600
Fax: 020 7836 7622
Open Daily 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-12am