NW1 Bar is a bar and restaurant in Camden that serves Thai food. It is located on Parkway, about three minutes away from Camden Town tube station.
I eat in NW1 bar at least once or twice a month and have been doing so for over a year now. During that time I have only ever had to complain about the food once, because it arrived cold, a problem that was easy fixed.
The quality of the food is wonderful. I'm not an expert on Thai food but I have eaten in a lot of Thai restaurants and my expectations for this one were quite low, because it is marketed as a bar, not a restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food was much better than most of the restaurants that I had previously ate in and since trying the food here I have found that other Thai restaurants just don't live up to the high standard of food served at NW1.
During the day they have a lunch menu where you can get a starter and main course for £5. I find this to be excellent value for the area and for the size of the portions. The choice of meals is also very big. I find that many places that offer a lunch menu only have three or four choices, not NW1. At NW1 you get to choose pretty much anything that's on their evening menu.
In the evenings it is slightly more expensive and the portions are exactly the same size but there is a slightly bigger choice of food.
I think the biggest attraction to this restaurant for me is that in the evening you can choose any meal and either have chicken, beef or tofu. This means that vegetarians get just as big a selection of dishes as non-vegetarians.
The service is the reason why this restaurant doesn't get five stars. It's a testament to the quality of the food that I still go to this restaurant regularly considering how bad the service is.
The first problem with the service is that it is very slow. I have waited for forty minutes for my lunch at this restaurant in the past on more than one occasion. I don't mind delays in the evening because it's nice to have the opportunity to talk to friends for a bit longer but when you're on you lunch break at work this is a real problem.
I have had the waiting staff write down the wrong order so many times in this place that I began to wonder if I was ordering the wrong thing. I've started writing down orders just to be sure that it wasn't me making the mistake!
Now, I have nothing against foreign people working in this country, in fact I think it's a good thing to have Thai people serving you Thai food, it adds to the authenticity in my opinion. However, some of the staff speak very little English and that can be a little bit frustrating.
I have had cause to complain a couple of times about the service, usually because of the time it takes to be served but also because there have been times when only some of our meals have arrived and we've been left waiting another quarter of an hour for the other meal. Unfortunately they never deal with complaints very well, often not even apologising. I'm more inclined to let a complaint go if I get an apology rather than a list of excuses but all you will get when you complain at this place is excuses.
One time they even tried to charge us for a meal that didn't arrive.
I find this restaurant/bar to be very comfortable. The seats are all soft and high backed (I think it's very important to have back support) and there are sofa's available.
I do find that the tables are a little bit on the small side and the four people tables are better suited to two people.
The other thing that I like is that there are hooks under the table for you to put your bags on, so you have added security in an area where there are so many pickpockets.
If you do decide to eat here factor in the time it will take to get served and that you won't get very good customer service but you will get a wonderful meal for a great price in a comfortable setting.