If you can forgive the fact there is barely enough room to walk past diners sat down at the bar, this is a unique and fun option. It’s refreshingly unique as it uses no electricity or gas at all and only uses charcoal beneath either the grill or tao pots that serve as indivdual stoves for the woks.
The cuisine is based on northern Thai dishes and the dishes are reassuringly rustic in style. I don’t believe there is any other option in London that gives you a closer feeling of being transported to Chiang Mai as a result. Dinner was £25 for 1 without drinks and there were some crackers in the mix.
The spiced sausage was prepared by the onsite butcher and was a simple and pleasing hit of meat as a starter. The glass noodles with crab were a strange texture in their elasticity but the chili with lime that went with this was absolutely sensational. Normally I don’t do heat very well in any way but this really was well balanced giving a kick of spice but tempered beautifully with a reassuring element of sweetness.
The northern style herbal pork curry ‘soup’ was, on the other hand, quite a punchy kick of a dish but pleasant nonetheless however I found that the pork flavour could have come through more although the texture and style of the dish was interesting. However, as I needed one final thing from the menu, I opted for the lamb skewer which, with the cumin I thought was an absolute triumph – so simple and packed with gorgeous lamb tenderness, brought to life with the wonderful herbal spice. The next time I am walking past I do believe I will go in and get 4 of these for another ‘hit’ and show to others I’d like to introduce this place to.
Bottom line: I’m definitely glad to have done this place. The informal vibe, the music from the real LP changed every 15 minutes or so by the staff, the exchanges with them and chefs at the bar along with quality Thai dishes makes this a quality and unique little find. If you’re booking in large numbers you can do that for downstairs however, I would prepare to be open minded on the table and chair décor.