The scene Tucked away in the winding streets snaking from Liverpool Street station to Spitalfields, the glass-fronted Sri Thong doesn’t look like a typical London-based Thai restaurant.
There is no faux Asian decor, no overwhelming smell of incense, no lotus flowers.
Instead, it’s understated; there are white tablecloths and a clean-cut interior – although, this might be disappointing for those looking for that south Asian ambience.
There’s a large group of us, and it’s a busy Friday night, but it doesn’t faze the staff – they are friendly, attentive and keep the food coming and our glasses topped up with wine.
The grub Sri Thong’s chef is from west of Bangkok and draws his inspiration from Thailand as well as Europe, so expect to find classic dishes along with experimental fusions on the menu. We order a bunch of sharer starters to kick off the evening.
Plates with large helpings of chicken and prawn satay, chargrilled aubergines, tempura vegetables, prawns on toast and crunchy seaweed arrive.
Most of the food is deep-fried, so it’s all a bit oily, with liquid oozing out as I bite down. But it washes down well with a bottle of beer. So far, so average.
However, what pushes this restaurant from three stars to four is its mains.
My Penang curry is delicious, oozing with rich, creamy red sauce, which is thickly coating chunks of soft, fresh vegetables.
It’s spot-on. Every other dish is also insanely delicious.
From the Gai Graprouw (wok-fried chicken fillet with fresh chilli and holy basil), to the Goong Pao Panang (freshwater king prawns marinated, chargrilled and topped with a mild Panang curry sauce and coconut milk), all of our mains are faultless.
They’re so good, everyone stuffs themselves silly and there’s no room for dessert.
Behind the bar Just Singha and Tiger beers, but a fantastic selection of wines from around the globe.
You can also order a fresh juice if you’re on the wagon.
Bill please Starters from £4.50; mains from £5.50; beers £3.65; wine from £3.55.
Verdict A perfect find for top Thai food without the fuss.
1 Widegate Street, E1 7ES
Tube | Liverpool Street