hoh mok pla (steamed cod fillets cooked in red curry paste and coconut milk with egg and thai herbs); popia (deep fried pancakes with cabbage, carrots and clear noodles); yum pla muek (sliced squid blended with thai herbs, chilli and lemon juice)

There are only two Thai restaurants that I go to in London. That’s not to say that they are the best, but they are very good and consistently so. I mean, there are a serious number of dodgy Thai places in L-town, some that don’t even serve dessert *blasphemy!* and others whose service varies so dramatically that it gives me whiplash.

There’s no secret that my very very most favouritest Thai is Siam Central on Charlotte St. Not once have I had a sub-standard meal there and everyone I’ve brought has been duly converted. We are the believers. Now, Siam Central is uber convenient for me, because it’s like two minutes from my apartment. So that’s all good, but what do I do when I’m at work?!

Well. The answer, my friends, blew to me quite literally in the wind, and it whispered ever so enticingly… Thai 33, baby”.

Ok so the leaflet didn’t say baby, but it did say something about Thai on Old Bailey and having a disproportionate lack of Asian around where I work (Wagamama don’t count), I jumped at the opportunity, ate at Thai 33 and have pretty much been in weekday-love with it since.

And that was almost two years ago.

One thing I love about Thai 33 is that bona fide barely-speaks-English Thai people work there. The little man is especially cute and he hovered, ever so curious (and partially worried, no doubt) when three food bloggers descended upon his little establishment one Friday afternoon. It’s completely normal for us, but for him to see Kang whip out his large, well-oiled machine and flop it on the table is a scary sight, and Mark, well he had a blackberry camera, but it’s not the size that matters, right? Right.


moo prad gra prao (stir fried pork with onion, peppers, chilli and holy basil); pad thai with prawns; ped ma kam (thai style roast duck with tamarind sauce, peppers, pineapple and carrots); hoh mok pla

Another thing I love about Thai 33 is the spicy prawn crackers they serve up for you to nibble on as you peruse the menu. Ok fine, that’s not really the second thing I love about them, but it does make me happy. What I actually meant to say was that I love their simple menu. It’s not fancy, it’s not fusion, it’s not different, but it’s good.

They have all the standard fare ~ pad thai, curries, spicy beef salads and stir fries with holy basil. And in my opinion, it’s all fresh, tasty and quite authentic as far as Thai in London goes. I’m usually pretty predictable and do the pad thai, curry and rice combo but the boys pushed my boundaries and ordered a ped ma kam (thai style roast duck with tamarind sauce) which, despite the layer of fat expected on anything ducky, was really effing good. Sweet, tangy, savoury all rolled into one joyous slab of duck meat.

We also ordered the hoh mok pla (steamed cod fillets cooked in a red curry paste and coconut milk with egg and thai herbs) which was steamed to a delicate and soggy perfection, and I use “soggy” in the most positive of ways, ok? I never was good at describing food, but soggy = good.

The only thing which I thought was meh last Friday? The yum pla muek (sliced squid blended with thai herbs, chilli and lemon juice). The squid itself was tender as a baby’s butt (not that I’ve ever eaten a baby, but I would presume their little bottoms are tender as they are smooth) but it was rather bland and tasteless and definitely not spicy, like we had hoped.

But don’t let one squidy disaster put you off. I’d highly recommend you check out Thai 33 ~ for its reasonable pricing, you even get a white table cloth and wine glasses… and if you’re not after a romantic meal with yourself, they also operate a take-out fascade two doors down ~ you’ll often find me here on weekdays, queuing for my tom kha gai soup with a serve of steamed rice.

Perfect for this impending doom winter.

Thai 33
33 Old Bailey
London, EC4M 7HS
0207 236 2440

Thai 33 on Urbanspoon

5 Thoughts on “my weekday lover: Thai 33, 33 times the deliciousness

  1. Despite the fat? Surely it’s the best bit of the duck! Mmm duck fat.

  2. Thai food can be a hit and miss in London – standards seemed to have dropped after it went mainstream in the late-90’s. Either that or I’ve become fussier in old age – probably a mix of the two. I doubt I’ll check out Thai 33 as I don’t find myself round the Old Bailey much but I will try Siam Central when I’m next round Charlotte St.

  3. I know exactly what you mean about prawn crackers. There’s something sooo satisfying about munching on them whilst waiting for your food to be served.

    I also completely agree that’s it’s ridiculous for Busaba to not serve dessert. I still go there though, their calamari is really yummy, as is their fried rice. And the pandan tea (with an almond coconut biscuit on the side) is one of my favourite teas ever. They’re very fusion I think, so pad thai isn’t great but a number of other dishes are yum.

    Pun Kum on Windmill Street (1 min from Siam Central, lol) is also good, I love the pad see ew and yum woon sen (pork and rice noodle salad). And of course, Addies in Earl’s Court… and they serve a really yummy pandan pancake dessert. With ice cream!

    Sigh. I’m hungry now.

  4. Lizzie: true that, duck fat is usually good.. but sometimes.. just sometimes.. there is too much fat. ick.

    Mr Noodles: OOoo definitely check out Siam Central and lemme know what you think 🙂

    Su-yin: Hmm I don’t know if I can go back to Busaba, I was SO disappointed! I’ve walked past Pun Kum hundreds of times but I haven’t been, mainly because I always go to Siam Central 🙂 Maybe next time! Oh hey Siam Central serves pandan pancake too 😉

  5. Pingback: London Eater – London food blog and restaurant reviews and restaurant guide » The Unblogged Meals.

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