The scene: A relaxed, intimate restaurant with a calming, modern vibe. The walls are adorned with pictures of famous Thai film stars and Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke, who likes to pop in for a meal when he’s in town. Projector screens flash images of Thailand on to the walls and in the middle of the restaurant stands a display of Greek artist Achilles Kapsalis’s ‘Psyteks’ sculptures.
The grub: We start with the satay chicken skewers, served with a homemade peanut sauce, and the hanom jeep – steamed delicate dumplings with black tiger prawns, minced pork and crisp water chestnuts. The food is fresh and flavoursome, and its quality is an indicator for the mains.
My kheang kuah saibalot bet – a dark-red curry of duck, coconut milk and pineapple – is delicious; the meat melts in the mouth as the coconut provides a sweet aftertaste.
One of my companions opts for the pad krapow gai sap. She’s a fan of spicy food and the minced chicken fried with hot basil leaves, garlic and chilli fits the bill – almost. However, an attentive waiter comes to the rescue with fresh chilli for an extra kick.
Food envy rears its head when our third diner is presented with the spicy light coconut-free curry of king prawn, organic courgettes, holy basil leaves and homemade purple shrimp paste. Everyone has a dip and murmurs in pleasure as the seafood dish makes our mouths sing. Our last guest opts for the pad Thai and offers the simple critique that it’s “perfect”.
Behind the bar: Ample and varied wine list from £2.95 per glass; beers from £3.95; shots £3.50. If you’re not drinking alcohol, try the nam kheang sai, a traditional Thai fruit-flavoured drink with crushed ice (£2.95).
Bill please: Starters from £1.95; mains from £7.95; desserts from £3.95.
Verdict: Quality never tasted so good – it’s a perfect place to take a date if you’re out in Fulham.
461-465 North End Rd, SW6 1NZ
Tube: Fulham Broadway
– Jahn Vannisselroy