This is proper home style Thai cooking, in a no-frills setting, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
I often hear people lament the lack of authentic Thai restaurants in London. Well we’ve got just the place for you. This is probably the best Thai food we’ve eaten in the UK and it’s super cheap.
Sutti is the friendly owner of this family-run cafe style restaurant. Don’t expect any airs and graces here. I’m sure lots of people pass by without even noticing the place, despite being bright pink, or dismiss it because they’re not in on the secret. Inside is enough chilli and exotic flavours to take your breath away (and blow your head off).
The extensive menu is very different from that at your typical UK Thai restaurant. As well as north-eastern Thai and Isarn dishes, you’ll find plenty of southern specialities. Don’t worry, the usual suspects are available too if Pad Thai and green curry are what you enjoy. We invariably order Som Tum, or green papaya salad so we’re in our element at 101 Thai Kitchen where they have eight varieties on the menu. It usually consists of shredded green papaya and has all the flavours of Thai food: sweet, sour, salty and of course, heat. Trust me, this was plenty hot!
Laab Gai is another firm favourite of ours. Who would’ve thought we would be so passionate about salads? It consists of minced chicken, cooked with chilli (of course), lime, toasted rice, onion and various herbs. It may not be much to look at but this is another riot of fresh, clean flavours that mustn’t be missed.
Glass noodle salad was hot and sour, with a good amount of seafood and mushrooms in it. It was so good that we’d gobbled it up before we realised we hadn’t taken a picture of it yet. The southern spicy pork rib special was rich, the ribs tender and (you guessed it) the sauce packed plenty of heat.
We were extremely curious to try the fish curry, which is described on the menu as being ‘very spicy’. We’d seen a person on the next table take a mouthful then almost choke as he frantically reached for his drink. However, I was warded off it by my Thai friend, who advised that it’s an acquired taste (possibly down to the ‘salted fish kidney’ sauce). Oh well, maybe next time.
Having eaten here before, we would thoroughly recommend the whole sea bass dishes. They are very popular and I’ve always found the fish to be super fresh.
We wanted to have sticky rice and durian in coconut milk but alas they had run out. Durian is one to make your eyes water. This fruit ‘tastes like heaven, smells like hell’ and is a real opinion splitter. Personally, I love it but like the fish curry it most definitely is an acquired taste. Instead we settled on the ice cream selection, as the rest of the desserts sounded just a bit too unusual (even for us). The flavours were great. Coconut ice cream actually contained discernible pieces of young coconut. The durian ice cream (yes I got my fix) smelled and tasted like the real thing, but was not quite as overpowering as the fruit itself.
This is proper home style Thai cooking in a no-frills setting. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg but if you’re not used to spicy food, you might end up spending a few quid on quilted Andrex. We ate a lot, but left feeling satisfied and not overly stuffed, as is so often the case when we eat out.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Busabas of this world but if you fancy something more authentic in west London, I highly recommend 101 Thai Kitchen. You’ll find plenty of dishes to excite your palate here and have change left over. We’ve eaten here many times and have yet to order a weak dish. I’ve let you into a secret here. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.
Meal for two with beers and service: £40
Address: 352 King St, London W6 0RX
Tel: 0208 7466888