One good thing about living in London is the choice of restaurants (if you can afford them). Its ages since Ive had Thai food, so when my lovely boyfriend asked me where I wanted to go on Saturday night, I suggested a nearby Thai restaurant. Neither of us had been there before, but Id noticed full tables as Id walked past, so I figured it couldnt be all that bad.
The restaurant is situated at the corner of Belgrave Road and Charlwood Street in Pimlico, just a five minute walk from Victoria Station. The address is:
22 Charlwood Street
Tel: 0207 592 9584
Fax: 020 7592 9160
My first impression when I walked through the door was how light and airy the restaurant was. The front of the front and sides of the restaurant (it is on a corner) are glass and because the evening was so light and sunny, it looked fabulous. The furniture was fairly simple; square tables with bamboo chairs. There were a few very attractive wood carvings, something that can be found easily in Thailand, but are still quite exotic here. The overall impression was simple, but effective. There was room for about 10 -12 tables on the ground floor, where smoking was allowed, with probably the same amount downstairs, which is non-smoking. Downstairs, however, like so many restaurants in old London houses with basements, was not particularly attractive. The décor seemed more modern and the lack of windows made it feel stuffy and there were lots of untidy-looking rooms off the main room. Luckily, we managed to get a table upstairs. Tables for parties are available there was a party of 8 while we were there although booking is advisable.
The toilets were passable. They smelt fine, partly because of a good spray with air freshener, but were mucky and looked older than me. Im not particularly picky about toilets I lived in a country with squat toilets for a long time but I do think that decent restaurants ought to have decent toilets.
The choice of dishes was fairly standard for a Thai restaurant, with the usual Tom Yum soup, Pad Thai (fried rice noodles), a range of curries and stir fried dishes. Their was a variety of starters, priced from £3.45. A platter for a minimum of two people cost £9.50 and included spring rolls, Thai fishcakes, satay and samosas. Main courses included a very good selection of vegetarian and fish dishes. We had Tom Yum soup, stir fried pork with cashew nuts, Larp Gai (minced chicken with Thai spices) and a vegetable curry, washed down with a couple of bottles of beer. The Tom Yum soup was deliciously spicy and definitely left a tingle on my lips, but I have had stronger. The Larp Gai was absolutely delicious, just as it should be, with a nice sharp almost vinegary taste. Again, though, I would have preferred more taste. Unfortunately, as is often the case, I think the spices had been muted to suit western tastes. Still, everything we had was delicious, so I cant complain too much.
We couldnt fit in a desert, but I did see a very nice-looking mango sorbet doing the rounds. Coffee was hot and not too weak.
There was a wide range of drinks available. We had Tiger beer, but there were another four or five different types of beer to choose from, a good selection of wine and the bar was well stocked with just about every type of alcoholic drink I could think of.
This really was excellent. All three of the staff in the front of the restaurant were pleasant, helpful and very quick without standing over us all the time. All guests that I saw come in were seated quickly and efficiently.
We paid about £43 for two people, which I thought was reasonable for London, although not as cheap as I have paid in the past. Service charge is not included. There is a 10% discount on take away orders, although I thought the airy restaurant was worth the 10% it costs to eat in.
This was an attractive restaurant and we certainly enjoyed our meal. I probably wouldnt go out of my way to go back, but because of the proximity to my boyfriends flat, I expect that we will. Next time I will probably ask for dishes to be a little hotter (as in spicy), but apart from that and the slightly dodgy toilets, there is very little to criticise. Recommended, especially if you can get someone else to pay for you!