Tongue Thai’d | MC & Sons, 160 Union Street, London

In its previous life, MC & Sons on Union Street in Bankside used to be The Charles Dickens – a proper old boozer with unfriendly service and the world’s smallest toilet cubicles. Despite these flaws, we’d frequently visit with our work mates and had many a good night down there with wonderful people (as these snaps prove). We were a tad sad to see it had closed down but overjoyed to see it would still be a pub (and hopefully a better one) and that pub was MC & Sons.

The pub has had a major facelift and those unfortunate toilets are now a far more reasonable size and located downstairs. Ironically, the table we had reserved was located right where those horrid fluro green panted loos used to stand. What a buzzy, cosy and friendly pub with great decor, a vast array of beers and being an Irish pub – plenty of whisky thrown in for good measure. They have a great little snug to seat 8 with its own hatch to the bar too, perfect for group catch ups – that would have gone down a storm in its previous incarnation. The best bit about this new pub for me was the new menu. No more bowls of inedible chips – instead, like many of the pubs in this neck of the woods, they have a Thai kitchen.

Thai food and pubs are a match made in heaven for me, throw in a log fire and a dog or two (not literally) and I’m over the moon. MC & Sons failed on the log fire front but at least there was a doggy or two. A half of Camden Brewery‘s Ink stout for me a pint of Scraggy Bay for Ade and it was time to look over the very reasonably priced menu. The Mixed Platter (£6.95) was a no brainer – sweetcorn fritters, vegetable spring rolls, butterfly prawns, chicken satay and vegetable tempura.

The spring rolls we could probably have lived without but the fritters were everything I hoped they’d be (they are one of my all-time favourite Thai nibbles). The vegetable tempura included fresh broccoli florets, mushrooms, crisp carrots, and light onion rings. The platter and the substantial bowl of Khow Kiep prawn crackers (£2.50) combined was a pretty filling start but luckily I have a back-up stomach when it comes to a green curry.

Bonus points to MC & Sons for including rice within the pricing. The Gaeng Kiew Wann (£8.95) was pretty good value and a tasty, decent curry although I don’t think it would make my Top 5. There were plenty of other dishes I had my eye on but I cannot resist a green curry, it’s always been my thing.

Ade backed away from his usual choice of a Massaman curry and chose the Khao Soi (£9.95). A mammoth bowl of Northern Thai curry with coconut milk, chicken legs, topped with pickled shallots and crispy noodles. I couldn’t stop looking at it and after tasting a mouthful I just wanted to swap right there and then. The meat was fall-of-the-bone perfect and the sauce – oh my god, so robust yet so comforting and creamy. This was too much for him to finish so he took the rest home in a doggy bag for lunch the following day, just to make me jealous all over again.

MC & SONS UNION STREET | IRISH BOOZER | WE LOVE FOOD, IT'S ALL WE EAT

An Irish coffee, when in Rome and all that…

Talking of food envy, I had a double hit of it that night. I declined the suggestion of an Irish coffee, thinking I didn’t like them, neither did I need the caffeine impacting on my already troublesome insomnia. But then I had a sip of Ade’s and realised that wasn’t true at all. Back as an early teen, I would pester my step-Dad to let me order one when we went to the local Beefeater (it was the 90s). One day he finally caved in and let me and I absolutely hated it so never ordered one again. Lesson learnt, never listen to such memories, they don’t know what they’re talking about – your palate certainly changes once you reach your late-thirties.

Lastly, going back to my earlier point of the portion size, MC & Sons – please don’t go thinking about altering it because next time I come in (and there will be a next time), I’m going to order the Khao Soi and eat every last little bit – promise.

Find out more here
160 Union Street, London SE1 0LN

Telephone: 0203 953 0250
Email: mcandsons@windmilltaverns.com

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-11pm

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Nearest station: Southwark (4 mins walk) Borough (8 mins walk)

We ate as guests of Mc & Sons, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.