★★★★★| Thai Square, London
Thai Square restaurant is an oasis in the heart of central London. Away from the hustle and bustle and crowds and pollution, stepping into Thai Square is akin to stepping into a whole different world, a world that is calm and tranquil and where one can find excellent food.
Once inside, you are courteously welcomed and immediately shown to your table, and that is when the magic and adventure begin. And it begins with the very large and generous menu and it’s very difficult to decide what to order. So many pages and pages of choice, from the starters page to the salads and soups, from the house special menu to the stir fried and curry and grilled dishes. And then there are the seafood and noodle dishes and the accompaniments and, of course, a vegetarian menu and the set menu- whew! It all sounds and looks so very good.
We wanted to experience traditional Thai food during our visit, so we started out with typical Thai drinks. I had the Mai Tai – and it was very very refreshing for what was a very warm day in London. It was a proper Thai cocktail – reddish orange and fruity, with the rum not overwhelming at all, with crushed ice and served with a strawberry, mint and berries. It hit the spot. My dining companion had the Pina Colada. It was coconut milky white and also served with a strawberry, mint and berry. It was missing a slice of the typical pineapple but nonetheless, it was good. Both drinks were served in a long tall glass and were £9.95 each, worth every penny. So Thai Square was 2 for 2.
The starters upped the game quite a bit. The seven-piece Salt and Pepper Squid (Thai style calamari) were superb. It was uniquely twisted squid battered and crunchy and cooked to perfection. While it was served with no sauce, a slice of lemon gave it the kick it needed to go into high gear, served on a bed of lettuce with bits of chilli (£7.95). The Prawn Dim Sums (£7.75), four of them, didn’t taste fishy and was a fabulous texture, and the sweet soya sauce nicely complemented the dish. Two excellent starters. 4 for 4.
As mentioned, it was very hard to decide on a main course but the Bangkok Lamb sounded traditionally Thai, so that was what I ordered. Four generous lamb cutlets together with a unique papaya salad and sticky rice. The lamb was perfectly cooked, and the colour and texture were very good – nice and meaty and all beautifully served on two green leaves. It was a generous portion, great tasting and an excellent value at £16.95. My dining companion had the Beef Stir Fried with Cashew Nuts. It was surprisingly spicy (though categorised as one chilli on the menu), with a mix of beef and peppers, spring onions and carrots, and it was everything you could want, and more, and was at the right price of £12.50. At this point, Thai Square was 6 for 6.
We definitely had a bit of room for dessert and Thai Square didn’t disappoint at all! The Coco Sundae is a popular Thai dessert with coconut ice cream with papaya, pineapple jam, Thai palm seeds, cashew nuts and sticky rice pudding – and it was divine. But even more heavenly was the Mango Crepe with Ice Cream. Mango sauce poured criss-cross style over a large crepe stuffed with mango and served with vanilla ice cream. What a dish – we both fought over it! Highly recommended! Both desserts are serious bargains at only £6.95 each. I felt that it was almost impossible for Thai Square to top itself, but it did with these desserts. 8 out of 8.
The service at Thai Square is superb. The wait staff are very attentive without being obtrusive. You’ll want for nothing. They seem to appear at your table when your mind is thinking about something you need. It’s uncanny. The Trafalgar Square branch that we visited was decorated in Thai-inspired surroundings, with white tablecloths – it’s luxurious without being very expensive. The layout of the tables are perfect, not too close to each other so that you can hear the table next to you talking about their visit to the National Gallery or Brexit, and it’s comforting to see the chef walking around to make sure everyone is happy with their food. I’ve yet to visit their other London locations (Covent Garden, Fulham, Islington, Mansion House, Minories, Putney Bridge, Richmond, South Kensington and The Strand), but I’m sure they are of a high standard as well. I can’t recommend Thai Square enough. With all the food and drinks we had the total bill was only under £100. Excellent value for an excellent experience.
Thai Square offers a selection of more than 1,000 dishes in their award winning restaurants, and I can’t wait to go back. Exceptional food at exceptional prices. Thai Square rates 10 out of 10 – sheer perfection.
For locations in and around London, please go to their website:
Opening times vary from location to location, so it’s best to check the website for the location you want to visit for all the details.
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.